Sometimes you’re hungry and on the hunt for food. Not just any food, mind you. Good food. With a good view. It is so blazing hot here in North Carolina during the summer that eating outside in the sweltering heat is not always the picnic you imagine. Best to eat outside when the weather is most glorious: not too hot, little humidity with a nice breeze.
I spent the early part of the day with my toes in the Atlantic at Wrightsville Beach. Simply splendid. Surf time was followed by frog time at Airlie Gardens, one of my most favorite places to roam in Wilmington. All that walking makes a girl have an appetite! How do you cure a rumbly in your tumbly? By lounging riverside whilst eating some superb seafood, of course!
The George on the Riverfront is one of several restaurants overlooking the Cape Fear River in Wilmington. I’ve passed by numerous times, usually after I’d already eaten somewhere else, such as one of my Wilmington favs the Blue Surf Café or Flaming Amy’s. This time I made a decision early on to try something different. Originally I was thinking Elijah’s a few steps further down the Riverwalk. There was something about The George that was so appealing. I think it was a combination of the plants and the colorful awnings that made me stop to check the menu. That was all it took to be hooked. Their menu is varied but mostly seafood. It’s in Wilmington so of course there is seafood!
For starters, as if I truly needed starter food before digging into dinner, I ordered the shrimp and crab nachos. The nachos were served hot and smothered in fresh shrimp and crab in a cheesy, creamy sauce topped with tomatoes, scallions, and jack and cheddar cheeses on – wait for it – rainbow chips! Not only did it taste like golden, velvety nacho-ness, it looked like fireworks on my plate.
Next up was the main event: The George’s version of shrimp and grits. Yellow grits (the only kind you should eat), topped with sautéed shrimp, bacon chunks (because every dish should have bacon), with tomatoes, garlic and scallions in a white wine cream sauce. This was more than your average shrimp and grits. Each bite was a flavor explosion in your mouth. It was so difficult to stop eating, even when each bite was, or should have been, the last bite. I think this may be the definition of gluttony… But why stop there? I didn’t eat but two peanut butter crackers that morning and walked all over the coastal area so why not have some dessert?
Indeed, I ordered dessert. I couldn’t resist! It was a tangy lemon mousse with raspberry preserves sandwiched between small slices of spongy vanilla cake. It tasted like summer. Lemon, raspberries, and cake serve cold. Each morsel was heavenly. To top it off, the view was tranquil. The sun was dipping towards the horizon and I watched sailboats and tour boats meander up and down the waterway. I didn’t want to leave. Now I know that I’ll have to go back….