There is nobody more anxious than I to see a formidable restaurant in Carolina Beach . Yes we do have very nice restaurants but you know a special restaurant, one that you would travel to just to eat there because it's so special..................................Well I thought I had found it in "The Tangerine Carribean Grill "granted it didn't start out so great it got a REALLY low restaurant grade in its first few weeeks of opening but it was explained in an article in the Star-News that it resulted from "a plumbing problem" and then the article went on to to further exonerate the restaurant by saying Kyle McKnight although lured by big city venues chose to chef at this restaurant.
Well Mr. McKnight was chef at "Savannah's" in Wrightsville Beach a side of Wilmington that is a mecca to a number of fine dining or shall we say "in" restaurants and was highly lauded for his endeavors. My husband and I found the Sunday Brunch to be exceptional and high quality dining. SO it was with great anticipation that we ventured today to have lunch at "Tangerine's Carribean Grill"
OMG, it took many moons to revamp this restaurant / variety store/ayce restaurant to the establishment that now houses the orange colored building that reflects its name.
When we walked in we were pleased to see how cute the place was decorated we then had about another 10 minutes to reflect on this because no one was there to greet us or show us to our seats. Most of the bar stools were taken but the restaurant was mostly empty. Someone finally approached us and we were seated.
The waitress was sweet and brought our drinks pronto. We ordered the Calamari and blood orange sweet and sour sauce and it came in a timely manner.
The Calamari was okay but the sauce was an enigma it had no flavor but you could feel the sting of the spice on your tongue.......................................
I didn't find anything appetizing on the entree menu so I ordered an appetizer the "lump" crabcake with "vooDoo" sauce and mango salsa.
My husband ordered the broiled "Grouper" sandwich with "voodoo" sauce which came with fries and a jicama slaw.
We were so looking forward to this which made it that much more disappointing (excuse me but I have to burp yet again)
Where was I? Oh yes the entrees............ again I felt I had lost my taste buds everything was bland except for the crabcake which was extremely fishy............I was wondering why my husband wasn't saying anything then he finally said "You want to taste some of my grouper sandwich" and I said "Only if you take a bite of my crabcake" we exchanged taste tests and before we could comment the waitress came over and asked how everything was. I'm not a poker face so I said "gee this crabcake is really fishy tasting' Her rehearsed reply was " Yes we have gotten complaints that the crabcake is fishy tasting in the past but it's beacuse the chef wants to showcase the crabmeat and not mask it and so there is very little fillers" and then offers "Would you like tartar sauce?"
As a person who has enjoyed many a five and four star restaurant along with my husband in Wilmington as well as around our country and internationally to be told I just didn't know that it was all about the crab and needed to drown it in tartar sauce (which eventually was brought by our waitress and was not the classic sauce but inundated with spices and not in a good way) was to me extremely patronizing.
The crabmeat was about the farthest from "lump" that you could get and was "why" it was so fishy. IF it was lump crabmeat then by all means then you never mask it's sweet taste with fillers but this crabcake needed all the help it could get.
My husband's Grouper sandwich was again tasteless and more like mystery fish than anything else........................By the time we got to our house minutes away from the restaurant my husband had a reaction to "whatever" ( maybe it was the "voodoo" sauce that they didn't "do" so well)and I had bad indigestion.
How disappointing! I can not believe that this is the same chef that created all those wonderful dishes at Savannah's it's just too much of a stretch.
Carolina Beach deserved better than this and I say good riddance if this restaurant doesn't make it.