Being a "newbie" to OBX, my wife and friends wanted to dine at a local seafood restaurant that wasn't too expensive, and avoid the tourist buffets. On a recommendation from a co-worker, we chose Awful Arthur's and were very impressed with the food and service. We dined at 7pm on a Tuesday evening, and had to wait for our table. This gave us time to enjoy some cocktails in the upper bar before dinner, and a great view of the beach and pier.
Appetizers consisted of crab and lobster bisque, claims casino and hushpuppies. Note: hushpuppies are rather large and filling. Could have done without them, all else were excellent and prepared to everyone's liking.
Dinner for four: three orders of the Awful's Combo (shrimp & crab legs) and one French Dip. Portions were enough to be filling. Wait staff were pleasant and were happy to answer any questions we had - being first timers. Service was prompt, especially since the restaurant was filled to capacity.
We will definitely keep Awful Arthur's on our list of restaurants to return to on future OBX visits.