Friday, July 23, 2010

Inlet View Bar & Grill, Shallotte Point, Shallotte, N.C. in Brunswick County

One of the first questions newcomers to Brunswick County, N.C. ask is where the best restaurants are, specifically seafood restaurants. In 2009 Inlet View Bar & Grill at the end of Village Point Road in Shallotte, N.C. reopened after a five-year hiatus. The results are astounding!
The d├ęcor is simple with lots of wood and huge windows that overlook the Intracoastal Waterway with all the splendor a seascape offers. Patrons can visit the upstairs bar and go out on the massive deck to enjoy the outdoors and the view. They can eat on the bar level if they wish, but the main dining room is one floor down. An elevator assists those who don’t want to tackle the steps.
The owners buy local seafood as often and as much as possible. Shrimp, soft shell crab, clams, oysters and flounder are the popular catches. The light breading on the generous portions of fried seafood is sweet and tender. The hush puppies have a special taste that makes them irresistible. One basket is never enough.
Start with bacon-wrapped scallops for $8.95. Other than the market priced items, the most expensive selection on the menu is crab legs at $18.95. A house salad is only $4.25 while a Caesar salad is $4.50, but top them with shrimp, tuna or mahi mahi and it jumps to $11.99.
Grilled chicken ($13.95), hamburger steak ($9.95) and ribeye steak ($15.95) are the only non-seafood dinners, but BLT, cheeseburger, ham & cheese, hamburger and grilled chicken breast are on the menu. The “kiddie” menu has the always popular grilled cheese, chicken fingers and hot dog. For the young seafood eaters there is fried shrimp.
I choose flounder, and it was yummy. My dinner companions chose shellfish in all its forms and said it was the best they had ever eaten. It could have been the view, the conversation or just the ambiance. We enjoyed every second of our time there.
Look for information at http://www.inletview.com/ or give the restaurant a call at 910-754-6233.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ingram Planetarium, Sunset Beach, N.C.

Another unique attraction often overlooked when visiting Brunswick County, N.C. is Ingram Planetarium, a few miles south of Museum of Coastal Carolina just off Sunset Boulevard, aka Route 179, in Sunset Beach. Both facilities lie under the umbrella of Ocean Isle Museum Foundation, Inc., which supports them.

Ingram Planetarium enjoys the luxury of being one of the few planetariums around the world to have SciDome HD, a system that projects around three million pixels on the sky dome. With ImmersaVision from Spitz, Inc. visitors see 360 degrees of viewing. No matter where they sit, nothing is blocking their view. In addition, it contains 500 million objects and is updated on a regular basis. Technicians can show 88 constellations in various ways.

Mark Jankowski, senior technician at Ingram, said he can outline the stars six different ways, show the Big Dipper, connect the dots and display the overlay of a bear. He takes viewers into space and makes them feel as if they are really there. Want to go to Jupiter, Saturn or Mars? Just make the request.

Shows at the planetarium begin on the hour starting at 1 with “Astronaut.” At 2 the program is “Oasis in Space,” 3 is “Zula Patrol: Under the Weather” and 4 is “Seven Wonders.” Free family programs are also available through Aug. 19 in the Paul Dennis Science Hall. Tuesdays feature “Navigating the Seas.” Wednesdays have “Turtle Talk” and Thursdays offer “Sun Fun” in which families look through a solar telescope and discover sun and participate in sun-related activities.

The planetarium also offers musical laser shows at 5 and 6 p.m. through Aug. 19. On Tuesdays at 5, catch “Laser Beatles.” At 7 watch “Laser Arena Rock.” On Wednesdays at 5 see “Laser Metallica” and at 6 is “Pink Floyd: The Wall.” It is recommended that young children not see this one. On Thursdays at 5 “Laser Beatles” returns, and at 6 is “Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon.”

The planetarium is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:30- 7; on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:30 to 4. Cost per show is $8 for those 17-59 and $6 for those from 3-16 and those 60+. People can find more information at www.ingramplanetarium.org, e-mail personnel at infor@ingramplanetarium.org or call 910-575-0033.