This was our second visit to Pier 41 (see below for our first review...posted elsewhere and copied here). Our experience this year was exactly as before. The place was full of locals and the staff was friendly as ever. Sweet tea was just right and we needed a refill on our Hushpuppies they were so good.
I couldn't resist the fried oysters again although I mixed in some scallops. Both were cooked perfectly and were fresh. My wife got the broiled oysters which, I must admit, were even better than the fried. The portion was huge. I think she got 4 dozen oysters on her plate. It's easy to over cook oysters...but these weren't. I'm going to change my order for our visit next year.
If you're on I-95 near Lumberton at dinner time, take the very short trip to Pier 41. You'll be happy you did.
March 2012 Review...
Driving through NC on I-95, we had a strong desire for some local seafood. We did a search on our smartphone and found Pier 41. When we drove up on a Friday evening, the parking lot was full, so we thought we might have found the right place. We were not disappointed.
What first struck us was the unassuming dining room. No pretension here...this was a friendly place, populated by locals. It seemed everyone knew someone. We sat right away (while the lot was full, service is quick so they are constantly turning over their tables) and were greeted by a friendly server. Hushpuppies came out quickly and were wonderful. Just a little sweet, and not greasy.
My wife and I couldn't resist getting fried oysters, our favorite. The portions were generous (I got the large order, my wife got the small). These were among the best I've had, and I've had plenty of fried oysters in my 50 years of eating. They were crispy but not burnt. The bellies were cooked but not slimy.
The owner came and sat with us for a few minutes and we talked basketball :). He told us about the community and some of the interesting people he serves every week. And of the busboy that he helped grow up a little with some gentle mentoring - and is now a soldier in the Army (the young man was eating at a nearby table).
The experience was topped off by a friendly local that caught us in the parking lot and, seeing our out of state plates, encouraged us to watch our for crazies on the highway. All in all a great experience. One we will repeat next time through Lumberton.
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