Monday, July 17, 2006

The Dolphin Den

One of the better restaurants in Avon, NC is The Dolphin Den at mile post 55. While a good amount of their fare is standard food service delivery food there are some really nice items on the menu that deserve attention.

The evening we went to the Dolphin Den I had the Stuffed Broiled Shrimp. These crab stuffed wonders were a bit expensive, but definitely worth the price in terms of taste and satisfaction. Swimming in just the right amount of butter these Shrimp were delightful and worth having again. The fries were you standard affair, frozen and bagged food service fries.

The Spinach, Artichoke and Crab dip...well, it is mediocre at best. Another food service import and not a made on premises appetizer.

My wife thoroughly enjoyed her Fried Seafood Platter tho, and I sampled most of the items on her plate and can attest to the fact that it was good, if small for the price. The quality of the cookery made up for the volume. Where the Den shows through is in the deserts, which they say they make on premises and I am inclined to believe it. The Key Lime Pie was great and had a thick, homemade graham and butter crust with a frozen ball of whipped cream on top. Nice! The Chocolate Surprise was gooey and chocolatey and everything you'd think it was by the name.

The Dolphin Den can be a bit pricey in some areas but makes up for that in others. Go for dessert and you won't be disappointed. Be warned that many items are just food service items and not made from scratch, according to the server whom I talked with but this does not apply to the desserts!

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for reviewing the Dolphin Den. As the head cook for the past seven years I must take exception to your comment that many of our items are not made from scratch. This statement is inaccurate. We do buy a few things that are pre made. The cheese sticks, jalepeno poppers, the artichoke dip you mentioned, onion rings, ravioli, and clamstrips. Everything else is made from scratch.

Michael said...

It was a pleasure to review the Den. My comment where prefab food service items is concerned comes from talking with our waiter and my own experience in food service, (and your own admission). While we were there my kids had the spaghetti with marinara and the sauce was obviously canned variety. It's certainly not a sin to use pre prepared foods, and your key items are obviously house made. Where you folks excel is in your deserts and they are something you have managed to do quite well. Many doesn't mean all, or even large just means that there are many items, (sides, appetisers, etc) that are food service items. Not a sin, but not a huge plus, either. It's certainly not an issue that will stop me from eating at the Den on future trips to Avon (coming soon!).

Anonymous said...

Last Friday, on our last night at the beach, my family ate at the Dolphin Den.

While the food was average, the waiter was the worst I've ever had. A tall gangly sort of beach bum looking guy, he was slow and never asked how our food was. We asked for more butter when he brought our meal, he never came back. My sister-in-law went to get him. When he came with the butter, he asked how things were and my brother-in-law said that our potatoes got cold waiting for the butter. At this point, the waiter started talking baby-talk in a sarcastic manner saying "Aw, is your potato cold? I'm so sorry. I wouldn't want your potato to be cold." and walked away.

When I went to complain to the manager, the hostess said there wasn't one. When I ask for who was in charge, she said she would find someone, who turned out to be the cook, who, based on his manner was a friend of the waiter, saying the waiter was under some stress. He didn't take us seriously until we implied we were documenting his answers for the owner.

In my entire life, I have never been so disrespected by a waiter. If you get anything like this kind of treatment, don't pay the bill.

Michael said...

There's never any excuse for that type of service and the person in charge should have written off your meal and disciplined the waiter. It's a sad situation when that's the type of service you get. Thankfully, most of the wait staff I have run into in the OBX have been really nice.

Christina said...

My husband and I vacation in Avon twice a year and ALWAYS make it a point to visit the Dolphin Den at least twice, if not more, during our trips. Their She Crab Soup is the best on the Banks (and I've tried it everywhere, believe me). I frequently get the delicious Coconut Shrimp, and my husband's favorite entree is the Broiled Scallops.

I am disappointed by the negative comments made about the waitstaff, too, because we have *NEVER* experienced any difficulty with the guys working at the Den. They always make us feel welcome, are very attentive to service, and even though we're there only twice a year they remember us and always seem glad to have us back. It is rare that you can go into a restaurant and see the same waitstaff from year to year... that alone tells me a lot about the quality of a restaurant.

Try the Dolphin Den... you WILL NOT be disappointed!