Cape Fear Foodie: On Thyme Restaurant
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the year winding down, you have to forgive me for slowing down a tad on my food reviews. Between travel, gift purchases, Christmas decorations, gatherings, the inevitable weight gain and inherent laziness while binging my favorite holiday movies ... I haven’t had much time to dine out.
However, when I heard that one of the more popular food trucks in the area was opening up a brick-and-mortar store, I had to get off the couch and check it out. On Thyme Catering and their food truck have been a staple on the scene for a while now, but venturing into a new space always comes with certain risks and rewards.
Located on Castle Street, the new On Thyme Restaurant has a beautiful mural on the outside of the building with various odes to Wilmington and its legends like Althea Gibson, and a nod to Wilmington native (and Globetrotter) Meadowlark Lemon. It’s an appropriate touch given the food inside is a slam dunk.
The interior is equally as unique, with 3-D geometric patterns on the walls, neon signs, and an Instagram photo wall. The menu may not be as flashy, with everything from wings to pork rinds, but it is unquestionably delicious. Plus the staff is over-the-top nice and a pleasure to be around.
Having eaten at the food truck several times before, I can attest to the Cajun Shrimp Po’boy and the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich as being both huge and tasty. So this time I wanted to switch it up. I passed on the wings (though every order I saw looked fantastic) and opted for some handmade Philly Egg Rolls and a Castle Street Burger, while my friend nabbed the Southern Shrimp Burger.
The egg rolls are everything I dreamed of when I saw them on the menu. Crispy (not soggy) wrapper, packed full of steak, melted cheese, peppers, and onions...plus served with your choice of dipping sauce. Any kind of Philly Cheesesteak appetizer will always get my attention, and these were exceptional.
The Southern Shrimp Burger looked more like a po’boy on a bun, but with this quality of fried jumbo shrimp, it doesn’t matter how it’s served up. My friend (who absolutely loves fried shrimp) says it’s the best in the city, and that’s high praise given the various seafood locations around town.
As for the Castle Street Burger, it’s a big boy. A bacon cheeseburger with sweet pickles, caramelized onions and their signature “thyme sauce” (think chipotle mayo/remoulade, I would ask for more) with a buttery, grilled brioche bun. It is delicious and at only $12, well worth the value (you can make it a double for $3 more). Both sandwiches are served with fries, and the portion won’t leave you hungry.
I can foresee On Thyme Catering transitioning well into this space, and given the early turnout of loyal customers and new clients, it is already a hit. Give them a try on Castle Street, if for nothing else than the shrimp, those egg rolls, and that awesome mural.
IF YOU GO:
On Thyme Restaurant is located at 918 Castle St, Wilmington, NC 28401
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