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Uglie Mugs Coffee | Avon, NC

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Uglie Mugs Coffee House (Facebook)

40534 NC Highway 12 (map it!)
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 995-5590
Open daily 7a-2p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 7:00 a.m.

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As you can see from previous OBX posts, the North Carolina Outer Banks are awash in coffee shops. Locals need them for caffeination and a quiet reading space. Tourists need them to fuel up while traveling the banks. The great thing about the Banks’ coffee scene is that, especially the further south you go, it consists mainly of small, locally-owned shops. Every small town on the islands will boast at least one good shop. In Avon, it’s Uglie Mugs.

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Uglie Mugs multitasks as a bead shop as well, so don’t be surprised to find trays of beads and craft supplies scattered around the store, too. All the same, Uglie Mugs fulfills its coffee shop duties well, with a large menu of hot and cold drinks. You’ll see some with creative local names, too, like the Hatteras Jack latte or the Lighthouse Lift smoothie.

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About what about the ugly mugs themselves? They’re present, although most of them are for display only. They’re lined up along wooden shelves high up out of reach.

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Look at them. They’re ugly, all right. I mean that in a nice way.

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The shop itself has two rooms with a mish-mash of chairs and tables, plus a small deck outside. Other reviewers have said the shop feels like a non-touristy because of the “whatever” attitude. I’ve seen some of that myself, and I’ll gladly take it in exchange for supporting a local shop. A shop that makes very good coffee, by the way.

Ugly Mug Coffee on Urbanspoon

Out Back Kitchen | Avon, NC


[UPDATE: Out Back Kitchen is now closed.]

Out Back Kitchen (Facebook)
41934 NC Highway 12
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 305-2452
Open 8 am – 2 pm daily
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? N/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: The Outer Banks is our annual family vacation spot, and over the years I’ve scoured up and down Hatteras Island for good breakfast spots (see the List of Reviews for more). The nature of the islands means that businesses come and go, so every year brings new surprises. This year we discovered, within walking distance of our house, the Out Back Kitchen. Out Back (not to be confused with the steakhouse, of course) is situated in a small shopping plaza with the giant Food Lion grocery store. When we visited, their sign wasn’t even up yet – just a banner – but the day we left, we saw them installing one.

Out Back (so named because the owner is Australian) is a little more focused on being a bakery and a caterer than it is being a restaurant, so sometimes the breakfast food takes a back seat to the pastries, donuts, and cheesecake.

The upside is that you get to ogle (nay, even purchase) said pastries for your breakfast.

Scones, muffins, strudel, croissants, it’s all yours.

All yours. 

ATMOSPHERE: The cafe is small, hosting about seven tables, so expect to cozy up with your fellow patrons. The colors are very autumnal oranges and yellows; semi-indie music played through a Pandora channel.
FOOD: The breakfast menu itself is fairly simple – only four or five dishes total – and it features your basic morning meal items. Above is a simple dish of scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, and hash browns.
This is the Island Breakfast Burrito, loaded with eggs, cheese, and the like. Here you can see the problem with the hash browns: not enough brown.
The breakfast sandwiches are big on the menu, too. Here’s an egg and sausage on a croissant.
Here’s one with bacon and eggs. Again, notice the underdone hash browns.
A bite of a cinnamon roll. Lots of raisins. Good icing, but a little doughy and underdone.

We also tried a couple miscellaneous bakery goods, all of which were very nice. I think Out Back’s strength lies in their baked goods. We ordered a key lime pie to take home later, and it was exceptional.

SERVICE: Only two people were working the entire restaurant. The owner (I believe) bustled in the kitchen, while one server worked the counter and delivered food. They use the system of ordering at the counter, then having your food brought out. Overall, the server was very nice, but seemed hurried in keeping up with everything.

OVERALL
: There’s some hit or miss at Out Back Kitchen. The breakfast is decent, but we had to wait a while for our food, and some of the items (especially the hash browns) were underdone. The simple sandwiches and burritos were good, but there are more reliable and filling breakfasts on the island. That being said, Out Back is worth at least one visit, at the very least to try their baked goods. They have a lot going for them in that department.
Out Back Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Oceana’s Bistro | Avon, NC

Oceana’s Bistro (Facebook)
40774 Highway 12 (map it!)
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 995-4991
Open 8 am to 9 pm everyday; breakfast 8-12

Date of Visit: Friday, June 19, 2009 at 8:20 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: It seems like the Outer Banks are bursting with breakfast options this year! Most of the restaurants offer lunch or dinner specials, often featuring local seafood. But this year, as we cruised down Highway 12 toward our house, I feel like more and more of the signs boasted of early breakfasts for the vacationers heading to a busy day fishing or swimming or just generally laying out. So we made note of some of the signs, intending to come back later, and today we took advantage of a cloudy morning to visit Oceana’s Bistro.

ATMOSPHERE: We caught Oceana’s a lull, with only one table filled when we arrived, but it was soon packed by the time we got our food.

The overall atmosphere is beach casual, busy but subdued, with lots of families: mixed wood accents, different varieties of lighting, TVs with sports or CNN over the bar, paintings of beach themed stuff, plus some random pictures of wine bottles and pears. And a few leftover Christmas decorations. The whole place smells a little smoky – I often forget that not everywhere is smoke-free like Columbus. But this was eased by the blasting AC. There’s not a lot of seating: a full service bar with 12 stools, 2 big tables, 2 cafe tables, and 2 big circular tables.

FOOD: Oceana’s has a full menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their breakfast features enough variety to please anyone, with a few local touches (read: seafood). They offer different versions of eggs: steak & eggs, benedicts, quesadillas, and the like, as well as a range of omelets: the Seafarer’s, the Santa Fe, or you can build your own. On top of this, they offer all sorts of the breakfast standards: biscuits & gravy, French toast, BLTs, chicken and biscuits, muffins, and the typical range of drinks.

My eye was immediately drawn to the Seafarer’s Omelet, which is a basic omelet stuffed with crab meat and parmesan, served with a side of grits or potatoes. The omelet itself was simple: eggs, a little bit of cheese, probably some butter, and the crab. To their credit, the crab really took center stage, and I can’t complain about it. Not the most dynamic omelet, but being on vacation, I wanted seafood, and this didn’t disappoint.

Here’s a closer shot of the crab pouring out of the omelet. Mmmmm. The grits weren’t bad, either! Very light, with a good smattering of cheese.

We also ordered a side of French toast, which actually disappointed me. The bread seemed as if it had been toasted, then dipped in the batter and cooked. Or perhaps they didn’t use enough batter. Either way, the edges were crusty and hard, and I like my French toast custardy.

Breakfast Quesadilla. Also good, although my sister-in-law said it need a little more something to hold it all together. Like maybe a little more cheese or salsa or something.

Another omelet, with some different sides.

Eggs Benedict. The meat was a little salty, but otherwise good.

And the chocolate milk was good, too.

SERVICE: Our server was very nice, and the food came out quickly. But she was the only person there to handle every table, aside from some guy standing behind the bar, so it was hard to get her attention when you needed something. Again, she was nice, although she wouldn’t split checks for each table.

Here’s a picture from the men’s room. Different pairs of shows are all nailed to the wall.

And one shot of the chalkboard listing the week’s specials. Sounds like they have a good lunch and dinner menu, too!

OVERALL: Oceana’s offers a decent breakfast, although not the best on the islands. But it’s a comfortable, family-friendly place that features some local favorites (i.e. fresh seafood) as well as good versions of all your breakfast favorites. My only real complaint with the place is their logo, which features a practically naked mermaid. This was featured front and center on their menus, including, oh, the kids’ menu. It seems a little out-of-place for this type of restaurant.

OTHER LINKS:

Oceana's Bistro on Urbanspoon


Avon on Dwellable
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