shrimp salad

Guest Review: Sandbar & Grille on Hatteras Island

Sandbar Restaurant in Buxton
The Sandbar in Buxton

The following is a guest blog from Shelby Kinnaird, also known as The Diabetic Foodie. If you haven’t read her blog, you should! Shelby currently resides in Chatham County, but spent many years in the Outerbanks. She has graciously accepted to share some of her favorite places with you.
by Shelby Kinnaird

One night I met a girlfriend for dinner at Sandbar & Grille in Buxton. It’s one of my favorite restaurants on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks. When the server said the night’s special was a Crab Stack, I immediately put my menu aside. A crabcake topped with a soft shell crab and jumbo lump crab meat smothered in roasted red pepper sauce? Yes, please!

The Crab Stack was just as luscious as it sounds and quickly became one of my favorite dishes at Sandbar. When I arrived home from dinner, I described the meal in excruciating detail to my husband. He was jealous. We went back to Sandbar a few nights later so he could try the stack. They didn’t have it. We went again. They didn’t have it. Finally, a nice waitress clued us in on the secret – the Crab Stack is usually a special on Friday night. You can bet we were there the following Friday.

Picnic tables outside
Sit outside and enjoy the view!
shrimp salad
Blueberry and pomegranate salad with shrimp.

If you are looking for a place to eat in the Outer Banks that has a menu to satisfy a wide variety of eaters with stunning views of sunset over the Pamlico Sound, check out the Sandbar. You can, of course, get obligatory OBX dishes such as steamed shrimp, snow crab legs, fried flounder and a fresh fish special of the day. If you’ve been out fishing, they will prepare your fresh catch for you. Folks who aren’t so fond of seafood will find baby back ribs, stuffed pork loins, hand-cut steaks, burgers, BBQ and creative pasta dishes. Sandbar is also featuring a new spinach salad this season with blueberries, dried pomegranates, goat cheese, candied pecans and optional shrimp, chicken, tuna or oysters. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, but I’ve heard good things. For dessert, there is usually key lime pie and a cheesecake of the day.

Sun setting on the sound
Enjoy the sunset and look for the green flash!

During high season, Sandbar can get rather crowded. Reduce your wait time by heading there early or plan to hang out on the deck, sipping a cocktail and enjoying the panoramic view. If you arrive just before sunset, keep watching the horizon when the sun disappears and you might be lucky enough to witness a green flash.

Sandbar features the Hatteras Island Poker League on Monday and Wednesday nights (Texas Hold ‘Em), karaoke on Thursday nights and live music on Saturday nights. There’s also a game room downstairs for the kids. The entertainment schedule varies according to the season, so check before you go.

Opened in 1997, the Sandbar & Grille quickly became a favorite of locals and tourists. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel completely destroyed the business – all that was left was a shell of a building. You can see photographs of the aftermath at the restaurant. They reopened in their current location in March 2004 only to have Hurricane Alex take off their roof in August of that year. As owners Jane and John Metacarpa say “with the help of a great staff and friends, we managed to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.”

Sandbar & Grille opens at 5pm and is open seven days a week. (They sometimes have lunch hours during the summer as well.) They are located on Highway 12 right at the Buxton/Frisco line on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, just past the high school. You can like them on Facebook to find specials and events happening at the restaurant.

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