The Missing Link
By Kip Tabb –
About twice a year I order a dolphin boat and chocolate shake from John’s Drive-in. I realize that the grease in the fried dolphin is clogging my arteries and the fat in the milkshake is raising my cholesterol to medically terrifying levels, but for the 15 or 20 minutes it takes to eat it, I am 16 years old again and dreaming that some cheerleader somewhere will actually take the time to talk to me.
I mention this because just about the time I picked up my first dolphin boat of the year last week, someone mentioned that Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame was on the Outer Banks.
Immediately my mind went into overdrive and I envisioned the Outer Banks from 2000 feet. I started searching my memory of eating at every Outer Banks restaurant I could recall, looking for clues like a four-year-old would search for Where’s Waldo.
And then it hit me.
I’m at John’s Drive-in. If ever there was a place that is simultaneously a drive-in and a dive, this is it.
All I have to do is hang out here and Guy and the crew will be here any day . . . right after they go to the Brine and Bottle on the Causeway in Nags Head, and it’s right down the street from the Black Pelican, what could be more convenient? If the triple D crew drives from Coastal Cravings in Duck then to the Brewing Station in KDH, well, it’s on their way.
What could be more fitting for a show called Diners, Drive-ins and Dives than a trip to John’s Drive-in? So I waited, and waited, and waited . . . and I’m still waiting.
All in all, it’s a bit puzzling. I have eaten at all five restaurants the Triple D team visited, and I have never had a bad meal at any of them. In fact, in some cases the food has been absolutely spectacular. The beer at both the Brewing Station and Weeping Radish (that’s the fifth place visited) is wonderful and the outdoor setting at the Brine and Bottle is a marvelous place to have lunch with a friend.
I can go on and on about every one of these places and frankly they’re all very deserving of world-class recognition. But the only one that matches even one of the three descriptions for the show is Coastal Cravings in Duck with its drive-in window and location behind a convenience store and gas station—all Guy Fieri favorites.
Black Pelican? A rambling multi-level affair with a wonderful bar, but hardly a dive. The Brewing Station? A brew pub with Chef Pok in the kitchen, hardly the makings of a diner.
I’ve been in dives . . . heck, I was a short order cook in a dive years ago. I know a dive when I see one and these are no dives.
I say, let’s bring Guy Fieri back to the Outer Banks to experience true Outer Banks cuisine. Let’s start now make John’s Drive-in the next Drive-in and Dive on Triple D.
Here’s the link to the email page: http://www.foodnetwork.com/contact-us/package/index.html.
Select “comment” then scroll down to Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It’s actually slightly out of alphabetical order but comes right after Cupcake Wars.