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Revisit: The Flying Melon Cafe


During our recent Outer Banks trip (you can read part 1 and part 2 of the culinary highlights), we spent a day on Ocracoke Island. Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I refer to it as one of our happy places. It’s a small village on the southern end of a long island that’s mostly National Seashore, which means a casual vibe, small town feel, and unspoiled beaches. Last year, we discovered the newly-relocated Flying Melon Cafe on the day of its re-opening, and on our return trip this year, we were eager to bring the rest of the family along to experience their brunch.

On arriving, I noticed the above framed note on the wall. Very cool!


Overall, we had another superb brunch. They were able to accommodate our large group, and food came out quickly. The brunch menu highlights southern flavors and seafood. Here, for instance, we see a shrimp po-boy with hand-cut fries.


Or my grillade and grits. Grillade is a New Orleans preparation of seasoned and seared (usually) beef, often ladled with a rich gravy on a bed of cheesy grits.


New Orleans-style French toast, aka battered and fried French toast. More like a donut, and therefore awesome.

Even Flying Melon’s take on a NYC specialty is well done, with house-smoked salmon and bagels.


Or what about these dense sweet potato pancakes?

photo 1 (1)

Flying Melon gets high marks for their plating, too. Take a look at the shrimp mash, with potatoes, shrimp, sausage, poached eggs, and hollandaise.

photo 2 (1)

Even their basic breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and toast was well done!

photo 3And finally, the fried green tomato BLT. Just beautiful.

I guess this ranks as a “Sorry, just had to share!” post, but no apologies here. We’ve enjoyed our visits to Flying Melon (as well as nearby Dajio Restaurant). It’s a colorful and welcoming breakfast that utilizes the best ingredients they have around. If you’re traveling the Banks and visit Ocracoke (which you should!), make Flying Melon a brunch stop!


The Flying Melon Cafe | Ocracoke, NC

The Flying Melon Cafe (Facebook)

181 Back Rd. (map it!)
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-2533
Open Tues-Sun, 9a-2p for brunch (dinner served 5:30-9p Tues-Sat)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Thursday, June 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

The Flying Melon on Ocracoke Island has been on my radar for some time, ever since Leslie, owner of the excellent Books To Be Red, suggested it. The cafe used to be located in a small space, a stone’s throw back from the main road through Ocracoke. But we never made it there because we discovered the newer Dajio Restaurant, which offers a very colorful and flavorful breakfast that mixes island cooking with Kentucky fare. However, on our most recent visit to the island, Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I happened to stop in to Live Oak Coffee for our first coffee of the day, and one of the employees told us of the excitement over Flying Melon re-opening for brunch in a brand new location that very morning. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it. While it was still too early for brunch, we wandered the island a bit, then stopped for a second coffee at Ocracoke Coffee Co., conveniently located just across the street from the new Flying Melon location. At 9 a.m. sharp, we joined the handful of people on the front porch and were ushered in when the doors opened.

To give you a sense of how freshly completed the new space was: we noticed the owner up on a ladder hanging signs out front, while construction workers finished the roof and other projects out back. All of the hard work has resulted in a stunning location, beautifully painted and decorated. Gorgeous lighting fixtures. Tall ceilings. Bright light from the windows. The wooden floor is made from a reclaimed factory floor.

There wasn’t quite the rush we expected, but the restaurant filled steadily. We were ushered right to a seat.

The brunch matches the beautiful layout of the space. This is one of the more photogenic breakfasts I’ve encountered in recent months. Since we were sitting on a barrier island in the middle of the Atlantic, I just had to have something with fresh fish, so I chose the fresh local fish mash. The fish was a Spanish mackerel (there must have been a big haul, because everyone was serving it) plated over redskin potatoes, asparagus, and a light hollandaise. It was surprisingly light. The fish was cooked just right, the potatoes and asparagus were tender, and the hollandaise was very good, although used sparingly and in need of a little more seasoning. But it was overall a winning dish.

The Mrs. choose the bacon and scallop omelet, with a side of grits and a fresh biscuit.

The omelet was packed with a generous helping of perfectly cooked scallops, plus a mix of sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers. We couldn’t quite detect the bacon, so maybe it was forgotten, or maybe the omelet fillings were cooked in bacon fat. Fortunately, the bacon flavor didn’t overwhelm the scallops, which could easily happen.

Are you kidding me?! That’s a true Outer Banks breakfast, if there ever was one.

The restaurant space itself still had that newly-renovated smell. The entryway puts you in the bar area, facing a tall wooden spiral staircase.


Again, look at the beautiful lighting and bright colors.

Over the bar hangs this magnificent chandelier.

Wooden painted rooster cut-offs add a colorful touch. They divide the space while keeping it open and airy.


We can now confirm that Ocracoke has at least two very worthy brunch options, between Dajio and Flying Melon. The new space is beautifully appointed and decorated, and the brunch menu matches it with fresh dishes in artful presentations, using local ingredients and at a very good price point. We’re looking forward to brunching here on Ocracoke again next year!

Flying Melon on Urbanspoon

Ocracoke Coffee Co. | Ocracoke, NC

Ocracoke Coffee Co.

226 Back Rd. (map it!)
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-7473
Open Mon-Sat, 7a-5p; Sun, 7a-1p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

Yes, it’s another post about coffee on Ocracoke Island! On our recent overnight stay on the island, Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I enjoyed a morning of watching the island come to life. We usually visit just during the day, so seeing the sun rise over the harbor was a new experience. We had to make the most of the morning hours, so we stopped at not one, but TWO coffee spots… and that’s before we actually went to brunch. We’re dedicated, folks. Our first stop was at Live Oak Coffee, which is a newer shop on Irvin Garrish Highway, the main street (NC Route 12) through the island. After a little wandering we also found the more established Ocracoke Coffee Co. on the literal back road (called Back Road) of the island, and it was humming with life.

It felt like we found the social center of the island. Both locals and tourists came and went. We’re pretty sure we saw the owner hanging on the front porch. The shop has a big porch plus a broad tree-covered front yard packed with benches and chairs. If you have a day of island fun planned, Ocracoke Coffee is there to help set the tone.


In addition to all of the coffee, espresso, and smoothies you could possibly need, they also have fresh cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, and pastries.


The interior of the shop is cozy and beach-themed. Expect a little bit of traffic going in and out, especially on a beautiful morning when everyone’s gearing up for a fun day.


Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I made our second breakfast out of a soft apple cinnamon muffin and a couple double shots of espresso. All excellent.


The espresso was good to the last drop.


If you want to feel the pulse of this lively island, Ocracoke Coffee is a good place to start. Relax in the yard or on the porch with an espresso or iced coffee. You’ll appreciate the back road find and the close community found under the trees.

Ocracoke Coffee Co on Urbanspoon

Live Oak Coffee | Ocracoke, NC

Live Oak Coffee

271 Irvin Garrish Hwy (map it!)
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-0115
Open daily 6a-5p
Accepts cash & debit/credit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

On an overnight stay on Ocracoke Island with Mrs. Bfast w/Nick, we found ourselves brunching our way around the island in the morning. You need good coffee to start the day, and it’s nice to say that Ocracoke has a few good options to choose from.

Our first coffee stop – yes, our first – was right down the road from our hotel, on the main street of the small island village. We were automatically drawn to Live Oak Coffee because of their use of scrumptrulescent on their signage. (If you don’t get the reference, watch the SNL video here.)

This is the second season for Live Oak, and there’s still a small sense of the shop getting on its feet. But the high quality coffee and all the snacks and accoutrement are there.

They also have the coffee shop seating and wifi if you need a break or a study spot, plus the comfortable chairs inside and out front if you’re just lounging with an iced coffee. Nothing says relaxing on the island like sitting in big wooden Adirondack chairs while sipping a cold iced coffee. Also note that Live Oak serves responsibly-sourced Counter Culture Coffee.

So now you know: if you’re staying on the island and need to get your morning jump-started, just walk down the main drag until you find Live Oak!

Live Oak Coffee on Urbanspoon

Dajio Restaurant | Ocracoke, NC

Dajio Restaurant
305 Irvin Garrish Highway (map it!)
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-7119
Open Mon – Sat, 8 am – 9 pm (breakfast served 8-11 am); Sundays bar only is open
Accepts cash and credit cards
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N

Date of Visit: Monday, June 21, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: Dajio is a recent addition to the village on Ocracoke Island, taking the space occupied for years by The Pelican. With a nice central location in the village, right on the main drag of Irvin Garrish Highway, plus an inviting decor and outdoor seating, Dajio fits nicely into with island’s relaxed and colorful vibe.

The name itself (pronounced “DAH-gee-oh”) is an acronym for Doug and Judy in Ocracoke. Like many who have set foot on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, owners Doug and Judy dreamt of living and working there, and Ocracoke Island’s particular charm drew them in after years of owning restaurants. They bring with them years of Kentucky cooking, and their restaurant’s real charm is in its blend of southern and island flavors.

ATMOSPHERE: Dajio fits the island atmosphere perfectly. Their seating includes the front room of the house itself, a deck to the side, and a wooden covered shack. The restaurant is easy to get to by foot. There are only a few parking spots out front, but the village isn’t huge, so you could easily park at the official lot down by the ferries, and then walk up. Be advised: Ocracoke summers can be hot, and some sections of the patio will be in the sun. Yet the patio itself feels secluded from the street with a big brick wall and large trees.

Inside is bright and cool, with a refurbished-house type of feeling.

FOOD: Dajio has a small but specialized menu, organized simply as their Scrambles & Signatures. Each category features only five items, so Dajio has ten major items on their breakfast menu. I always take comfort in this. I would much rather see a restaurant do a small amount of things really well rather the “Cheesecake Factory Syndrome.”

Even though Dajio has only ten primary dishes on the menu, each one comes with a choice of two sides:
House Potatoes
Cherry Smoked Bacon
Sage Farm Sausage
Country White or Wheat Toast
English Muffin
Homemade Sweet Potato Biscuit
Fresh Fruit

We visited Dajio with a big group, so we got pictures of a lot of variations.

Another nice thing about their food? It’s colorful. Breakfast can be a pretty bland-colored meal, but Doug and Judy and company manage to punch up the color here. Pictured above are the Carmelized Apple Pancakes with sides of the sausage and toast. Awesome.

Eggs Blackstone, with sides of potatoes and the sweet potato biscuit. Some of our party weren’t sold on the biscuits, but I liked ‘em. They were flat and dense, and only lightly sweet.

Look at these potatoes! This is what potatoes should be. Great colors, well seasoned.

Turkey BLT scramble, with sides of the sweet potato biscuit and fruit.

Standard scramble, with fruit and sausage.

More Eggs Blackstone, with fruit and sweet potato biscuits.

Big Fat Greek scramble, with bagel.

Eggs Blackstone in progress.

Veggie scramble, with potatoes. Look at those big pieces of avocado and asparagus!

Shrimp and Grits, made with local shrimp and served with manchego cheese grits. Simply delicious.

With some sausage and potatoes.

And finally, my dish. I had to try the Hot Brown Strata, essentially a lasagna-like version of the classic Kentucky dish. I’ve had hot brown in Kentucky before, and had to take the opportunity for more. This one layers turkey, tomatoes, bacon, eggs, with a white cheese sauce. It was really great. I also liked the sausage (good seasoning) and the sweet potato biscuits.

All in all, we were really delighted with Dajio’s food. Some items were a little better than others, but overall there’s a lot of colorful and creative things to try.

SERVICE: Our service was good, although our server was definitely stretched thin by the big crowd. And this was even on a mid-morning Monday. But she certainly handled the group well enough. The food came out pretty quickly, even though it felt a little longer as we were sitting in the hot sun.

OVERALL: Our day trip to Ocracoke Island one of the highlights of our annual visit to the Outer Banks, and that’s been brightened all the more by Dajio’s arrival on the island. Doug and Judy have made good use of a central location, and they’ve taken island standards like seafood and grits, and ratcheted them up a notch with Kentucky influences. The result is a very colorful and delightful experience, and we look forward to it again next year.


Dajio on Urbanspoon

Avon on Dwellable

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