Thursday, June 19, 2008

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Two meditations on a theme this morning, as part of G:TB’s staff heads to the beach for a hard-earned mini-vacation:


Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to be where everybody knows your name

No, no, no, wait. I don’t want to go where everybody knows my name. I want to go where I can walk in barefoot, sit at the bar and drink 40 oz. Red Stripes and drinks served with plastic sharks full of grenadine, eat the freshest fish tacos and crawfish bites on the Outer Banks, enjoy the best chicken wings ever cooked within sight of the ocean, then roll my gluttonous self out the back door to play volleyball in the sand. That’s where I want to go.


If it's possible to find a little slice of heaven within the confines of Eden, that's what we've found at Tortuga's Lie. The stretch of coast from Corolla to Hatteras has sea-level high points galore, but we've uncovered nothing to unseat Tortuga's as the jewel in the crown. It serves as the primary (sole) watering hole for our annual pilgrimage to the 252 area code, and this hole is vastly greater than the sum of its parts. Out of this world fish tacos, Red Stripes, surfing videos, reggae music, license plate decor, volleyball pits, and a top-notch staff . . . these are all fine ingredients, but taken on their own, none stands out as a singular draw. Put them together -- and accompany the result with twentysome of your best thirtysomething friends surrounding the bar and holding court -- and it's everywhere I want to be. That it happens but once a year perhaps enhances the image in our minds; that we keep going back again and again without a sliver of letdown reinforces the legacy of the place. I'll be there at some point in the next few days, and my eager anticipation is palpable.


And so, dear reader, if you find yourself in the 252 this weekend and happen to be wandering down the Beach Road in Nags Head around Milepost 11.5 on Saturday evening, poke your head in and say hi.


Jerry said...

Isn't it crowded enough? Now every member of Gheorghe's fan base will be lining up at the door at 11:30 when they're in town....

Geoff said...

At what point during the trip is TJ supposed to stumble out on to the beach only in boxers with his Irish curse peeking out from behind the curtains for all to see?

rob said...

dammit, jerry, i totally didn't think of that. the line will increase by at least 3 people. crap.

TJ said...

I need to stop "borrowing" mugs from Tortuga's...and then tossing them 60 feet in an empty supermarket parking lot, causing angst for all involved.

Sisler said...

Any plans to stop by Capt. Frank's for a dog??

TJ said...

Slammin' Sammys maybe...perhaps La Fogata...wherever we go, Whit will make up a song for it.

Sisler said...

Try the Capt'n for lunch. MP 4.5 on the Bypass. Any place good enough for Johnny Cash to eat is good enough for me. Do yourself a favor and try the junkyard dog. Although, I know TJ will probably get ketchup only.

Whitney said...

Wouldn't mind expanding our cuisine beyond Tortuga's to Capt. Frank's, but I kind of don't see it happening.

The things about Tortuga's is that it's so not a one-trick pony. The fish tacos, fish burrito, and tuna special are ALWAYS top-shelf. The Bajan burger is all our local yokel Bruce ever orders. And we've got one guy who swears by the Coco Loco chicken.

Appetizers - feel free to round-robin that, too. Steamed clams, shrimp, etc, and the afore-praised crawdads & wings -- all great. Bite of the Day? A must every time.

And the drinking... yeah, Red Stripe tall boys, but also a nicely poured Guinness, or a chilly PBR, or a icy bottle of Bud, or a mixed drink of choice. One guy even swears by the "Shark Attack" girly drink. (Same guy.)

That many appealing options and you gotta go more than once. In the back of my mind, I am secretly hoping for one rainy day when we can do the Open to Close.

But this upcoming weekend is just family time down there, so Rob and I will have to get over there when we can and take in as much of the Tortuga's goodness as possible.

rob said...

the idea of capt. frank's appeals to me, too, but it's 10 miles from the homebase, and we're a lazy, lazy bunch of fellows. most non-tortuga's mealtimes we wind up arguing/bitching for 90 minutes and giving up and either ordering pizza or walking 1/4 mile to the local b-b-q joint.

rob said...

the always-awesome fjm, with what could be the most egregious joe morgan answer ever:

Lee (NYC): Joe, thanks for taking my question. I am a Yankee fan but I have always been a huge Willie Randolph fan. I feel that Willie Randolph has nothing to do with the mess the Mets are in. Shouldn't Omar Minaya take most of the blame? He put this team together.

Joe Morgan: He has to take his share of the blame for putting the team together, but the manager usually takes the blame first. If Willie is fired, the focus will go to the GM. If he stays, the focus will stay on him. But it would be that way in other cities too. The Mariners are way under .500, for instance, but no one is criticizing the GM, they're looking at the manager.

except that the gm of the mariners got fired.

Jerry said...

We did a solid 11:30-6 shift the last time I was there. A lot of weird stuff happened that night.

Zoltan said...

The fried chicken place up the street from the Martha Wood did a solid job.

KQ said...

well well well. so the gheorghe boys are coming to the beaches' hood. methinks there might have to be a summit. and by "summit" i mean "drink up." sat night at tortugas might be tough for this queen, but if you fellas will be out and about fri, do be sure to let us know where and when.

oh yeah - and one way to guarantee happy wives and children is to do all of your shopping at ally&maddy in duck, capped off with a refreshing cold iced coffee drink at duck's cottage. just sayin'.

rob said...

sadly, friday'll most likely be limited to hanging out at the house (somewhat un-duck-friendly at mp 12.5 or so) and chasing rugrats.

where's ally&maddy in duck?

KQ said...

in loblolly pines shopping center next to pizzazz pizza & sun realty. it's a must stop for any savvy shopper. but let's get back to the drinking....

Whitney said...

There could be a brief happy hour Friday wherein Rob and I head to the "store" for "supplies." It's a very regular detour to hit Tortuga's for a couple of beers.

rob said...

and, while this is undoubtedly a case of too little, too late, we've changed plans and are headed to tortuga's right now. we, admittedly, are slightly less than well organized.

KQ said...

alright fellas, husband and i are leaving Duck momentarily (it's date night. yeah baby!) and will gladly head your way if you will be out longer than the amount of time typically alloted for a "supply trip". (Wait! Is that why said husband's trips to Food Lion take 2 hours?) I should be able to pick you out of the crowd - Tara said to look for the drunkest guy in the bar, and a squirrel.