Loading...
BYH to the complainer in Farmville who did not like Lime Bikes and as a result of that, the town lost something that...

D.G. Martin: Basnight continues to serve

DGMartin

D.G. Martin

Loading…

D.G. Martin

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Former state senate leader Marc Basnight’s restaurant near Manteo evokes two of my favorite things: politics and people coming together for good food.

Working on a follow-up to my book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries,” I am gathering material about local, family-owned restaurants along U.S. 64. The highway connects Murphy near the Tennessee line all the way to Manteo and the waters of the Atlantic. It passes through 22 counties and extends more than 600 miles.

Not far from where U.S. 64 ends at the Atlantic Ocean is Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, an important gathering place. Basnight was one of the most powerful legislators North Carolina has ever known. The good things he did, especially for this remote coastal area, continue to be appreciated.

Today he and his crew are serving the public in a different way, with offerings of fresh caught yellowfin tuna, broiled and fried seafood platters, shrimp and grits, and soft-shell crabs. Among other highlights are fresh vegetables and salad greens, many grown on site in gardens visitors can inspect. The cornbread is so sweet, warm and moist it would make a meal for me on most days. And desserts feature a classic Key lime pie.

Basnight’s is a high-end establishment, more expensive than most other places I will suggest along U.S. 64. But even with the higher prices, a stop here is worth even more than you pay. Like the other restaurants I feature, it is an important gathering place for locals and visitors.

When Basnight was leading the state senate, he was an environmental champion working especially to protect and enhance the quality of the state’s waters. For a short time, I served as interim director of the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund, created and generously funded thanks to Basnight. The payoff has been incredible. Grants from the fund have helped clean up blighted waters and conserve nearby lands.

It was not a good idea to get in Basnight’s way when he was on a mission. Once, a fish house on Ocracoke Island was struggling to survive and it needed funds to make critical improvements. Basnight called a group of state agencies together to secure funding. The Clean Water Fund should provide a grant, he said. Looking me squarely in the eye, he asserted the fish house could demonstrate how its activities could be conducted without disturbing the adjoining waters — a valuable demonstration project.

I responded that I could not make an immediate grant. Under the fund’s rules an application would have to be prepared and considered by the board. Then, unwisely, I gave my opinion that it was not the kind of project the board would approve. After a huff, Basnight pressed other agencies to consider the need. One director had more flexibility and quickly secured the funding. The fish house was saved, but no thanks to me.

Soon afterward, a friend told Basnight that I was doing a good job at Clean Water. “Well, maybe,” Basnight replied, “but he might be a little too clean for Clean Water.”

All that aside, every North Carolinian owes Basnight a generous thank you for his ambitious and successful efforts to make North Carolina’s environment cleaner and better.

In 2012, Basnight announced that he is suffering from a debilitating condition, Lou Gehrig’s disease or something similar. Today, he cannot come out to greet customers as he once did. Still, every time I am close by, I will drop by his restaurant, sit by the window, look out on the sound’s clean water and toast Basnight’s achievements.

If you have favorite family-owned, country-cooking, local restaurants along U.S. 64 or other North Carolina highways, share details with me at nceateries@yahoo.com

 

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs at 11 a.m. Sundays and 5 p.m. Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. Thursday’s guests are LaHoma Smith Romocki and Cindy Waszak Geary, authors of “Going to School in Black & White.” Sunday’s guest is Mark de Castrique, author of “Hidden Scars.” Visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

October 19, 2018

Director David Gordon Green got his start with art-house dramas but is perhaps best known for the baked humor of "Pineapple Express." So it's apt that, despite plenty of gore, his version of "Halloween," the latest sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 slasher film, sometimes feels like a horror movie…

FILM-HALLOWEEN-REVIEW-ADV18

October 19, 2018

Dancer Rebecca Colenda has leaped and twirled on stages across the globe, but this weekend it is her turn to come back to where it all began.

The Pitt County native will dance a principal role in “The Scarlet Cord” on Sunday at Winterville's Reimage Church. Colenda, 25, who had her…

101918goballet-4.jpg

October 17, 2018

Certified Angus beef, appetizers, and hand-crafted sandwiches and salads are just a few reasons why people love Angus Grill in Winterville. Now you can be even more excited because they have opened a new location in Greenville at 201 S. Jarvis St. Conveniently located within walking distance to the…

20181010_125153.jpg

October 17, 2018

Q My doctors wants me to try the Mediterranean diet. He said I could have some red meat. How much is some? KP, Winterville.

A We recently visited President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s library and museum. I was intrigued by his physician’s diet prescription for the president in 1944. It…

KathyKolasa

October 17, 2018

Q My doctors wants me to try the Mediterranean diet. He said I could have some red meat. How much is some? KP, Winterville.

A We recently visited President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s library and museum. I was intrigued by his physician’s diet prescription for the president in 1944. It…

Kolasa, Kathy

October 14, 2018

I was a proud Boy Scout and Scout leader but had lost touch with the program.

However, my youngest grandson’s excitement over having just been signed up for Cub Scouts happened to open a window on some truly monumental changes in the Scouting world. Like me, you may have missed them.

The…

Bob Garner

October 14, 2018

Last month’s flooding from Hurricane Florence brought such bad news to New Bern and its neighboring cities, towns and communities.

There is a little bit of good news for New Bern this month.

The town’s best-selling author, Nicholas Sparks, is releasing a new book, “Every Breath.…

DGMartin

October 13, 2018

I was standing along the suburban Washington waterfront a couple of years ago when a Spanish galleon showed up, proving once again that if you wait long enough, everything comes full circle.

This is especially true in the gardening world. Houseplants, embraced by hirsute, plaid-draped baby boomers…

GARDENING1

October 12, 2018

Imagine, if you will ...

A mermaid,

A crocodile,

A flock of yellow birds,

An island, 

and Tinkerbell

In a prequel to the famous story of Peter Pan.

“Who doesn’t want to know where Peter Pan came from?” said Patch Clark, director of ECU’s Loessin Playhouse production of…

101218peterandthestarcatcher-2.jpg

October 10, 2018

A shout-out to all who will join the 2018 Holiday Challenge!

I was happy that Pitt County folks participated but disappointed to learn that in 2017 Pitt County was down to 287 participants. We usually have more than 300 join in this free fun that benefits personal health and wellness.

 The…

244 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 25
        Next Page»   Last Page»