Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tortuga's Lie, Nags Head, NC

Tortuga's Lie exterior
I had only had one prior experience at Tortuga's Lie before this past weekend and let's just say it was not a great memory. First, this place gets PACKED during regular summer dining hours (6-8pm) and unless I am somewhere I am dying to eat, usually I cannot stand to wait. Second, I ordered the Steamed Vegetable Plate which was probably a mistake on my part. That's what I get for trying to eat healthy. This second visit proved very different. If you go at 10pm, there is no wait! Novel idea, eh. We bellied up to the bar to survey the menu and quell our hunger. I thought about the white pizza or the nachos supreme, but then the appetizer special caught my eye, a Cajun shrimp quesadilla stuffed with shoepeg corn, sweet red pepper, red onion, cheddar and jack cheese. One of my companions, Claire also ordered the quesadilla. We both thought the dish was great. Just the right size of a 10pm meal and the Cajun shrimp gave it a twist. I must mention, not much sour cream is on the plate, so ask for extra. Nikki and Christy ordered the crab cake sandwich, Island fries for Nikki's side and beans and rice for Christy's. I swiped some of the fries and they are spicy and delicious. Nikki and Christy were both happy and said the crab cake had hardly any filler, if any at all. I noticed on the menu that Tortuga's only carries this seasonally because they use local crab meat. Extra points for Tortuga's for going local. Seasonal can also mean a price variation, but its worth it for local fare.

The daily specials are always of interest. One that caught my eye, in addition to the quesadilla was the salad du jour. Pepper grilled salmon, gold pineapple, sweet red pepper, grilled portabellas and a sesame ginger dressing topped with p-nuts and scallions. Prices are reasonable; this salad was around $11 and the quesadilla was $10.

Now, let's chat about atmosphere. T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are all acceptable, as Tortuga's is very, very casual. It is not a big place, but eating at the bar is fine unless the jerk that worked when we dined is manning the bar. When we asked him to repeat the specials, he actually had the nerve to say 'do I really need to say that again'. We were all quite taken aback and he lost credibility and tip money the second that came out of his mouth. We never stiff a waiter because that makes us look bad and its just not good manners, but he definitely worked himself out of what could have been a good darn tip. Tortuga needs to give him a little talking to.

Besides the jerk, we had a great meal because we had a great group of people. The initial bad reaction I had to Tortuga's has been erased and I will definitely go again, just not during the rush since I have little patience.


Tortuga's Lie is open Monday-Sunday 11:30am-10pm.

Tortugas' Lie
MP 11 on the Beach Road
3014 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
Tortugas' Lie Shellfish Bar on Urbanspoon

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