Plaza Mariachi Mexican Restaurant

Plaza Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, 326 South College Road, Wilmington, NC

If you like Mexican you'll like Plaza Mariachi. Reasonable prices, good food and excellent food. It is located in the old Wal-Mart Shopping Center near Staples at 326 South College Road in Wilmington, NC. They are worth a visit. If you do, you'll return. They are one of Wilmington's better Mexican restaurants.

Our overall Score: 8.7 out of 10

I can recommend the Plaza Mariachi Mexican Restaurant.


Portofino Italian Trattoria OUT OF BUSINESS

Portofino Italian Trattoria, 5552 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC
UP DATE: As of mid June 2009 they are closed
Wilmington has more than it's share of so called Italian eateries but sad to say most would be better off serving Chef Boyardee®. they think just because someone in their family heard Dean Martin sing they can now cook pasta. We do have a few good along with the many bad.

Now for a pleasant surprise There is one that actually is good. PORTOFINA! It isn't large but that makes it even better. They make there own sauce and they know what they are doing. Portions are large and tasty, the meat balls are the best around. Only real complaint is with my drink. Sorry I like Coke from a fountain or bottle. They get theirs from a can. The plus side is, it's always fresh.

Our overall Score: 8.6 out of 10
I can recommend the Portofino Italian Trattoria.


Big Daddy's

Big Daddy's at Kure Beach

Big Daddy's has been the place to eat around here for as long as I can remember. It is probably oldest restaurant in the area. They were famous for their steaks back in the 1970s and have always been know for the seafood. As in most restaurants their popularity comes and goes. I will have to admit that it has been quite sometime since I have gone there and the time before this I would say they were just average. Well, what a surprise this visit was. They left very little room for improvement. You can bet I'll be back to try the steak and can only hope it will be anywhere near as good as the seafood I had this time. It has what has to be the best deviled clams on the coast and the deviled crab isn't far behind. Every thing was cooked to perfection and the service was fantastic.

Our overall Score: 9.7 out of 10

I highly recommend the Big Daddy's at Kure Beach, NC.


Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen in Wallace, NC

Looking for a reason to drive up to Wallace? Why not drive up for lunch at the Country Kitchen. It is on the main road and is worth the drive. The buffet usually has BBQ ribs that are probably the best in the southeastern North Carolina. Service is always tops with the country touch. Don't get in a rush to get there or get back home, make a day trip out of it and enjoy the back road. You get the best in country cooking outside of the Wilmington area.

Our overall Score: 8.3 out of 10

I can recommend the Country Kitchen in Wallace.


Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings, Carolina Bch Rd at Monkey Junction, Wilmington, NC

It has the sports bar atmosphere but if you go at lunch during the week its not bad. The wings are above normal even though they are like 90% of the people that do wings. They think the only way to make hot wings is to use Texas Pete, there are other hot sauces. All in all the food was very good and the service was above par. Get something other than the hot wings unless you like Texas Pete and that will not be hard because there are a number of sauces you can get. If you don't like wings, there are still some very good selections on the menu.

Our overall Score: 7.8 out of 10

I can recommend the Buffalo Wild Wings.


Casey's BBQ

Casey's BBQ on Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC

If you want just plain good down home Southern cooking this is the place. This is like mama made it when I was growing up in the 1950's Wilmington. No big surprise because that is when and where Larry started learning his skills. It is hands down the best Southern buffet east of I-95 in North Carolina. Daily on the buffet you'll find fried chicken, catfish, mashed potatoes, slaw, cabbage, collards, corn, chitlins, fatback, rice and brown gravy. That is just a partial list and doesn't even start to describe the desert bar. Great service and the most friendly atmosphere around. If you try them, you will be coming back.

Our overall Score: 10+ out of 10

I can highly recommend the Casey's.


Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue

Jackson's Big Oak Barbecue on Kerr Avenue, Wilmington, NC

This is the classic eastern North Carolina BBQ house. There are only 2 places in the Wilmington area to get really good eastern North Carolina BBQ and Jackson's is the best of the two for to old time BBQ atmosphere and trimmings. Besides 1 of the two best BBQ plates in the area it has the BEST Brunswick Stew and collards. So if you want to step back in time a little and eat some of the best down home style food try Jackson's.

Just a little side note: Kerr is pronounced Car by the family the street was named after.

Our overall Score: 9 out of 10

I can highly recommend the Jackson's.


Ichiban Express Hibachi Grill

Ichiban Express Hibachi Grill 4608 Maple Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403

Just as the name implies, it's fast but not fast food. I not that fond of oriental take out that only have room for 10 to 15 sit down customers, this is the exception The food is very well prepared and taste is as good as your larger fancy restaurants. It would be worth your time to give then a try.

Our overall Score: 8.7 out of 10

I can recommend the Ichiban Express.


Thai Spice / Wilmington, NC

Thai Spice 5552 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC just south of Monkey Junction.

The best Thai food around. Friendly, clean , easy to get to and tasty. No buffet but you will not walk away hungry. If it say spicy, they mean spicy but not at the expense of taste. I was delighted to fine that my my spicy meal was hot (spicy) but could also distinguish the taste of each idem in the entree. If you select an idem that is spicy you can choose mild, medium or hot.

The deserts were fantastic. Not a wide choice but what they have is excellent.

Our overall Score: 9.2 out of 10

Would I go back? You bet I will! I highly recommend the Thai Spice.


Olive Garden / Wilmington, NC

Olive Garden on Market Street in Wilmington, NC
If you like chain restaurant Italian food this is one of the better place to go. This is one of the few Olive Garden that I have been to that you never have to wait more than a few minutes and most of the time there is no wait. Always clean and plenty of wait staff to handle crowd. Even though it is always full the noise level is very acceptable. As a bonus there is no TV to distract you from your meal.For some reason most chain outfit don't think we can eat without a TV. The food was very tasty and the price reasonable.

Our overall Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Olive Garden in Wilmington passes muster.


Peking Buffet / Leland, NC (OUT OF BUSINESS)

Peking Buffet at 414 Village Road, Leland, NC 28451
Large selection of food and most is very tasty, but maybe a little to Americanized, at least for my taste. It is a buffet so you can't expect the best food but is good for what it is. No real complaints though.

Our overall Score: 7.6 out of 10

It passes muster, but Peking Buffet could improve.


Pirate's Table / Wilmington, NC

Pirate's Table on Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC

One of the area's better seafood restaurants and has been at the same location for over 20 years.

The food was cooked to order on our visit Sunday night. The service was excellent and very attentive. The food was prepared quickly and served at just the right temperature. There was absolutely no greasy taste like so many seafood restaurants have in their food. If you like carrot cake they have the best.
Our overall Score: 8.6 out of 10

YES! I recommend the Pirate's Table.


Britt's Donuts / Carolina Beach, NC

Britt's Donuts on the Board Walk at Carolina Beach, NC

It not a restaurant but well worth mentioning. If you like donuts you have to go here at least once a year. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin could learn a lot from this little shop. The only donuts that I have ever had that even comes close to being as good as Britt's was back in the 1970s in shop at the Navy gate of Sefridge Air Force Base. Back to Britt's they only make one type and tat is glazed but when you have the best why make something would be less. So your choice is how many and whether you want milk (cold) or a soft drink. I recommend the milk.

You will not see this one on the top 10 list, only because it is not a restaurant.

Our overall Score: 10 out of 10

YES! I would HIGHLY recommend Britt's Donuts on the Board Walk at Carolina Beach, NC


Mexico Vieja / Leland, NC at Waterford

Mexico Vieja / Leland, NC at Waterford on US 17

Wilmington areas newest Mexican restaurant. Not just another south of the border type restaurant. The furnishings are authentic and has the look of an up scale restaurant in Mexico. The menu has the usual treats but has some that you will find no where else in the area. If you want something new and different try the guacamole enchilada, it is fantastic. Service could not be better and the food is brought to you promptly. There is no doubt if you like Mexican you love Mexico Vieja.

Our overall Score: 9.6 out of 10

YES! I would HIGHLY recommend the Mexico Vieja in Leland, NC

Holland's Shelter / Burgaw, NC

Holland's Shelter / Burgaw, NC

Take NC53 east out of Burgaw about 6 miles. This ride will be well worth it. Holland's Shelter right beside the road overlooking Shelter Creek. This is your old style fish camp of yesteryear. Since the very beginning 30 years ago they have been a hit. They have some of the best food served in Southeastern North Carolina and if you like seafood it is well worth the drive up I-40 from Wilmington. Service is excellent along with the food. If you are going on Friday night get there early. People come from 70 to 100 miles on a regular basis for a night out of just plain GOOD food.

If you have been there before, you know what I am talking about and I will probably see you there again soon.You could not find a more beuitiful location than overlooking Shelter Creek while you sit back and relax while enjoying seafood, frog legs, or just a good ole hamburger. A wide ranging menu that everyone in the family can find something they like. Yes great family atmosphere.

Our overall Score: 8.7 out of 10

YES! I would HIGHLY recommend the Holland's Shelter on NC53 east of Burgaw, NC.