Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Hawthornes Eat Out. And Out. And Out Again. Saltbox Café.

Whenever we find a good restaurant,
I like to tell people about it
in hopes they'll enjoy it too.
So this post is about several meals
we've had at the Saltbox Café
over the past few weeks.

Note that the menu changes with availability and season.

A few weeks ago,
 the Hawthornes had a winning lunch at the Saltbox Café,
so we decided to head back for the Sunday brunch, 8-2.

 Cozy, warm atmosphere.
 Whimsical, beachy artwork.

 Middle Hawthorne had the BLT
which I was not allowed to touch.
It was huge and he scarfed it down.
When I asked him how it was,
he grunted and gave me a thumbs up.
That is high praise, in case you were wondering.

 Middle Hawthorne's "friend" had the stuffed French toast.
Cream cheese and strawberry stuffing.
Assorted blueberries strewn around.
I really wanted to dig in there.
I restrained myself.
 I did have a bit of the sauce
 and I think that it was a Crème Anglaise.
Whatever it was, it was quite good.

 Mr. Hawthorne had the shrimp and grits.
Oh, but this was so much more than shrimp and grits.
Shrimp, smoked andouille sausage, onions,
peppers, mushrooms, and spinach.
The grits were perfectly creamy.
The sauce was subtly spiced.
And you know it's good
 when I used my toasted English muffin
to sop up the last of his broth.

 I had the Crabby Benedict -
two toasted English muffins,
 poached eggs, a heaping of crab meat, and Hollandaise.

Note: The Hollandaise sauce could have used a bit more lemon.
But then I am a lemon freak.
I like my Hollandaise to pop.

Oh ...  to the person driving the white Altima
on Sunday, March 9, 2014,
who parked 6 inches away from a Silver Avalanche
on the passenger side -
And how did you get out of your car without hitting ours?
Mr. Hawthorne had to back out of the parking space
so Middle Hawthorne and I could get in.

We're back for another lunch
at The Saltbox Café.
It's located on Colington Road next to this picturesque creek
where you can generally find a lovely white egret.

 I had some of the lightest vegetable spring rolls ever.
Full of filling and light on roll,
these were excellent,
as in I've never had spring rolls this light.
They were served with a nice mustard sauce
and an Asian chili sauce.

 I also ordered the creamy crab soup.

Loved the delicate flavors -
sweet crab meat in a luscious creamy broth,
the slightest hint of heat,
all perked up by some fresh herbal goodness.

 Mr. Hawthorne had the Caesar salad 
with juicy, tender grilled chicken.
And it was a good Caesar dressing.
Not the Hawthorne Caesar dressing
... nothing really is ...
but it was quite good.

Colorful Colington creek.

A few days later,
the Hawthornes were on their merry way to Foodlion.
It was lunch time and we were hungry.
That's never a good time to go to the grocery store,
so we decided to stop by the Saltbox Café for lunch.
I'd just seen their post on Facebook that morning:
 Chef Sprinkle was making
Oregon Inlet Clam Chowder that day.

Gotta try it!


 Mr. Hawthorne and I aren't what you'd call "big eaters."
We're grazers.
We eat little bits all throughout the day.
So, when we go out to eat,
we usually share meals,
and it's still more than we can eat.
We shared a bowl of the 
velvety, creamy, smooth, delicately flavored Clam Chowder.
There were chopped clams in every spoonful.
Potatoes were in there, 
but the predominant item was the clam.
When you're making a seafood anything,
the seafood should shine.
My clams were shining.

 We ordered one steak salad.
We were planning on sharing it, like the soup;
however, our waitress brought out 2 huge plates of salad for us.
The grilled steak was very flavorful,
 and rare, as requested.

It was served on a bed of assorted greens,
with mild bleu cheese crumbles,
cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber,
all doused in a light vinaigrette dressing.

 I did something I never do.
I ordered dessert.

Key lime parfait.
It was on the black board
and I had to have it.

Lime custard, fresh strawberries,
a strawberry sauce swirl in there,
and some really good ginger crumble something-or-other throughout.

Bottom line -
the Saltbox Café
is refined, refreshing, and innovative.
Saltbox Café, you have the Hawthornes' seal of approval!

 Crabber in the creek ready to go to work.

Buoy, that was a good meal!

Sometimes I crack myself up.

Yeah, I know.
I am easily amused.


zzzadig said...

Wow, every dish looks superb!

Unknown said...

Love the Salt Box Cafe! The owners are friends of mine and I am delighted by their success! When I ate there I wanted to lick the plates! I will be back soon with friends from out of town.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Holy crap. Zzzadig likes the food!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lisa, we look forward to coming back. Again and again!

Marilyn said...

Man, now I really want to come back to visit you just so I can go eat at the Salt Box Cafe. Just Kidding (sort of), I really want to come visit you again, too!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Marilyn, come back and visit!

Kathy said...

Wow, when you give your seal of approval, that's high praise indeed! Can't wait to try it, but, alas, my trips to the beach will be fewer now that the pater has moved away. *sniff

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Sniff, indeedy, Kathy.