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Cape Fear Foodie: Provisions for the coast

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) - The threat of disastrous storms, oppressive heat, mosquito bites and those pesky water bugs…all reasons we live on the coast right? Oh, that’s just me?

Who am I kidding? We live here for sunrises (and sunsets), the ocean waves, great weather (usually) and the abundance of Neptune’s bounty. With those positives in mind, I decided to meet some old friends for some waterfront dining in Southport for what I thought would be a relaxing setting with even better food.

And Provision Company delivered on all fronts.

Provision Company in Southport can be busy, so grab a drink or checkout the local shops and...
Provision Company in Southport can be busy, so grab a drink or checkout the local shops and charming waterfront.(WECT)

Situated at the confluence of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River, and flanked by a variety of restaurants of equal renown (Fishy Fishy Cafe, Frying Pan, etc.), this no-frills bar and grille is everything you want at the beach.

If you haven’t been, things can get confusing when first entering. For one, the place basically runs on the honor system. waiting in line? Grab a beer (or a hard seltzer) from the fridge, just be sure to tell them what you had when you checkout.

Once you’re in the door, which can take a while during peak tourist season, a menu of various seafood and grill options await.

If your beach bar and grill doesn't have a menu with options like this, it might be best to...
If your beach bar and grill doesn't have a menu with options like this, it might be best to find a different spot.(WECT)

Everything from steamed shrimp to cheeseburgers is on hand, and despite my love for a great burger, you didn’t come here for a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat (sorry Jimmy Buffett).

After you make your decision, you place an order at the counter and find your table. The food doesn’t take long, but it wouldn’t matter if it did, the waterfront view, complete with passing boats, wildlife and the Oak Island Lighthouse, helps pass the time.

Tell the kitchen to take their time, with a view like this, any wait for food is palatable.
Tell the kitchen to take their time, with a view like this, any wait for food is palatable.(WECT)

On this trip, we went with an order of conch fritters to start. Fried golden brown, these tasty morsels are filled with conch meat and spicy stuffing. Think of it as a seafood hushpuppy, complete with a zingy remoulade dipping sauce.

Savory Conch Fritters are a great way to start your meal at Provision Company, just make sure...
Savory Conch Fritters are a great way to start your meal at Provision Company, just make sure you save some for sharing.(WECT)

Next was the main course, and I settled for the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with homemade potato salad and cucumber salad….and my friends shared a plate of steamed peel-and-eat shrimp with a homemade deviled crab cake.

The Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Dinner, it's what Provision Company is known for, and for good reason.
The Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Dinner, it's what Provision Company is known for, and for good reason.(WECT)

The tuna was excellent, seasoned just right with the fish easily breaking apart…and the sides were perfect to not distract from the star of the show. It’s what they are known for and shouldn’t be passed on.

The shrimp was cooked to perfection, easily releasing from its shell, and each bite reminds you how lucky we are to have fresh seafood at our fingertips. Meanwhile, the crab cake was excellent and maybe the best thing I had all night. Each one is loaded with crab meat, the stuffing is just right and then they are deep fried for good measure…how could that be bad?

A plate stacked with steamed peel-and-eat shrimp and a homemade deviled crab cake...a classic...
A plate stacked with steamed peel-and-eat shrimp and a homemade deviled crab cake...a classic choice for dinner on the water.(WECT)

Remember no-frills? The patio dining area can be loud, with a fully stocked bar and patrons taking in the salty air, cold drinks and classic rock tunes. But it’s family friendly, and don’t shy away from the paper plates and plastic cutlery either. After all, it’s what is on the plate that matters.

A night well spent in beautiful Southport, at a seafood restaurant with breathtaking surroundings. This is coastal living.

PRO TIPS:

  • Expect a wait, there were hundreds of people scattered between the various restaurants, but there’s plenty to do and see. Drop your name with the staff, have a drink, or peruse the nearby gift shops or waterfront… it beats waiting on a bench in a crowded room.
  • Splurge on the seafood. The prices are more than fair for what you’re getting, so pick an appetizer, order some shrimp and nab an entree. You can always take it home, but you’ll want to soak up the experience while you can. This is a legendary spot in the Cape Fear (for good reason) so enjoy your time (and your meal) while you’re there.

IF YOU GO:

Provision Company is located at:

130 Yacht Basin Dr, Southport, NC 28461

Do you recommend a restaurant? Or know of a best kept secret that you want the rest of the Cape Fear to know about? Shoot me an email at corey.preece@gray.tv and I would love to feature your selection. Cheers!

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