Stripers Bar and Grille

By Jennifer Grant

Our plans to eat breakfast while looking out over the marina had been slightly foiled by Mother Nature. The sky was dark and gloomy and the rainfall had just turned heavier as we pulled into the parking lot.


The stormy weather reflected how Laura and I felt about both our trip coming to an end and the four-hour car ride ahead of us that day. Determined to make the most out of our last meal of the trip, we parked, dashed out of the car, and ran for shelter from the rain at Stripers Bar and Grille in Manteo.


The restaurant turned out to be more of sports bar than I had anticipated. Along with its expansive brunch menu, we were also given a list of game day selections. Behind us, a football game played on all the televisions in the bar, while Top 40 pop music blared. Our table was in the perfect location to look out onto the Marina, but with all the fog and rain that day there wasn’t too much of a view. I found myself wishing we had visited on another day, when perhaps we would have seen boats out in the water and would have been met with sunshine instead of looming clouds.


I wasn’t expecting to see many complex brunch items on the menu, and yet I was pleasantly surprised. I was drawn to the crab egg benedict with a side of grits, while Laura opted for a benedict with pan-seared vegetables rather than crab. I laughed when she told me she was partial to Maryland crab and would only order it there.


My breakfast came out steaming with a thick layer of Hollandaise sauce and large chunks of crabmeat. By that point, I had worked up an appetite, so I quickly cut into my breakfast and watched the dripping yolk fill my plate. The grits were good, but were a different consistency than I was used to. They reminded me of rice pudding in a way, which was unexpected, but actually enjoyable.


As we ate, I overheard a very peppy and positive couple talking to a bartender. Just retired, they had recently moved to North Carolina from California, and wanted to discover all the state had to offer. Their excitement was contagious, and as Laura and I left the restaurant, I found myself feeling grateful for the opportunity we’d had to explore the Coastal Plains that weekend.