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Give me the inside scoop please

Dear Ms. Ima...I want the inside information on where the locals eat. I have three kids, and they have good manners but we have all been in a restaurant with a screaming baby or a wild-child who is running amuck and ruining dinner for the rest of us. Where can we bring my little angels and get good food, good service and not feel intimidated or worried that we are going to bother someone? Thank you so much! Worried in Washington Dear Worried,

First of all thank you so much for being so considerate. I love kids...but totally agree that it is not a good idea to take little ones out to dinner when (a) it is later than they normally eat (b) they are not well behaved (c) the restaurant is just not geared towards small children. And let me be clear that I am referring to kids under six years old as small. I kind of feel that if your kids are little that anytime after 7 pm is too late to go to a restaurant unless it is Pizza Hut or McDonalds...something like that. 7 pm starts the dinner rush and that is all I will say about that.

I remember having to carry one of my daughters kicking and screaming out of a restaurant...and we sat in the car while the rest of the group had their dinner. She cried and asked why and I told her...you just don't act like that while you are out. You do not have the right to be disruptive or disrespectful EVER. That was the last time for an incident like that.

Once my husband and I were in a very popular place in Kill Devil Hills and it was busy, busy. There was one large table with a baby in a high chair just a few tables over from us. Right when we sat down the baby was screaming...not crying but just doing that thing they do...which can be cute when you are the dad or mom but not so cute when it hurts your ears while you are trying to eat. Anyway, the people in back of us asked the waiter to please say something to the parents...and the waiter replied that they were not sure what to do...apparently other diners were also complaining. The screaming/shrieking must have been going on for a while before we got there.

We had just ordered when the group got up to leave...and as they walked out the door the other diners began clapping! Yes, really. The adults turned around and looked to see what was going on and realized they were being applauded for leaving. Kind of funny. We burst out laughing.

That was not the baby's fault...that was the parent's who should have taken him outside.

But I digress...There are quite a few very family friendly places here where little ones will be welcome and you will feel comfortable. This time, all these eateries are in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk but I will blog about Corolla restaurants soon.

Kelly's Restaurant in Nags Head...kids menu, large restaurant and they do it right. Just cannot go wrong here. One of my top choices

Goombays in Kill Devil Hills...but go early. The bar is located right next to the dining room and this is a very popular place for locals and visitors. Another one of my pet peeves is when I see the adults ALL drinking...(who is the designated driver??) and drinking a lot. But I digress, again

Jolly Roger
Kill Devil Hills milepost 6.5 on the beach road
If you want sophisticated cuisine in a contemporary dining environment, don't go to the Jolly Roger. However, if you want to experience an Outer Banks institution and a bit of local color, by all means, check it out! Open all day from breakfast to late night karaoke. Lunch specials, daily beer specials, really good homemade breads, crazy decor, gift shop, and did I mention local color?

Outer Banks Brewing Station
Kill Devil Hills Milepost 8.5 on the Bypass
"Let them run out all their energy before you sit down to eat" says Maslin from Web Services. Only on the Outer Banks will you hear the phrase: "My 2 year olds favorite is the Outer Banks Brewing Station." Emily from Association Management likes the "great kid's menu selection and she likes it because it has a very kid friendly fenced back yard where they can run around and play on the pirate ship" plus picnic tables and outdoor games. A foosball table in the bar area is great for the older kids too. Innovative menu, beer is brewed on the premises. They are also the only wind-powered Brew Pub in the country.
600 South Croatan Hwy
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 449-2739

Mako Mike's
Kill Devil Hills Milepost 7.5 on the Bypass
"The decor with hanging fish gives even the littlest ones something to look at. The fish tank is always a gathering place for kids young and old. And now they have "Sharky" strolling around talking to the kids and dancing little jigs. The kids love him." says Jeanne from Pools & Spas. Plus, "They make children's cocktails so that the kids can feel a part of any celebration. A popular desert with the little ones is jello with gummy sharks." Multi-level setting with fish tanks and shark decor. Gift shop featuring local artists.
1630 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 480-1919

The Pier House
Nags Head Pier, Nags Head milepost 11.5 on the beach road
They are ready and waiting for you long before the sun comes up, so set your alarm and come watch the sunrise over a great home style breakfast. The kids will love the views and all the activity.

Enjoy a delicious Carolina Style dinner in the Nags Head Pier Restaurant and take a stroll down the pier. Bring the family or that special someone for entrees ranging from $7.95 to $24.95. Most major credit cards accepted.
3335 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-4200

Rundown Cafe in Kitty Hawk
Milepost 1 across from Kitty Hawk Pier...good food, funky decor and friendly staff. Love it!
5218 Virginia Dare Trl N
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 255-0026

There are others and I will include them in future posts. If you are not sure if a place is "kid friendly" then either call the restaurant, ask your rental company or visit their website and look for a kids menu. That is always a tip off.

Hey, we LOVE kids on the OBX...this is a family beach. Aside from one or two places there is almost no restaurant here that is not suitable to take your children to. Some just work out better than others and there is no need to stress out your little ones, other diners or yourself.

More later,
Ima Local