Loading...
Bless your heart to City of Greenville for installing safety post in intersections , so people cannot cut into on...

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

December 16, 2018

“The real mystery after half a century,” Wyndham Robertson says, “is why life at the top of large American corporations still seems so overwhelmingly male.”

Writing in The New York Times on Nov. 29, the Salisbury native and Chapel Hill resident remembered when, 50 years ago,…

DGMartin.jpg

December 16, 2018

In 2003, there was no way Richard Wilson could afford the $5,000 booth fee at the Philadelphia International Art Expo, one of Philadelphia’s largest African-American art shows in the country at Temple University.

He negotiated with the organizers and purchased half of a booth for $2,500…

12xx18richardwilson-1.jpg

December 16, 2018

Today is one of the 10 best days of the year to read all the "Ten Best" lists of the year.

"The Ten Best Movies of the Year," "The Ten Best Books of the Year," "The Ten Best TV Shows of the Year," "Top Ten Children's Names of the Year," "The Top Ten Design Trends."

So what if you haven't even heard…

JimMullen

December 15, 2018

Singular: “Wasp.” Plural: “Wasps.” Right?

But that plural form of the noun is hard to say, and it sounds kind of silly to me: “Waspeses.” I’m reminded that there are other ways in which these words are pronounced. For instance, I’ve heard it…

121518mysteryplant.jpg

December 14, 2018

The 23rd-century world of "Mortal Engines" looks great: a fabulous and richly textured steampunk dystopia of haves and have-nots straight out of H.G. Wells. Populated, on the one side, by people in frock coats festooned with gold braid, and, on the other, begrimed laborers in goggles and grease-…

FILM-MORTAL-REVIEW-ADV13

December 12, 2018

Q Is the push to take probiotics just another fad or is there a good reason to take them? AD, Winterville.

A You may have heard me suggest eating yogurt with active cultures if you are taking an antibiotic to help avoid diarrhea -- I’ve been saying that for years. But there is lots more…

Kolasa, Kathy

December 09, 2018

Texas Roadhouse located at 720 Greenville Boulevard next to Cracker Barrel in the Shoppes at Greenville Grande has Texas sized food and spirit. The restaurant is as big as Texas too with plenty of space with a down home country feel. Come in and be met with upbeat sounds of top country music and a…

Steak Display Case.jpg

December 09, 2018

A Stokes resident and retired public school teacher recently published a novel based on a larger-than-life friend engaged marijuana smuggling in the 1960’s abd 1970s.

Life and Times in the Sierra Madres: An American Smuggling Story is written by Michael Biondi. It was published in November…

Michael Biondi

December 09, 2018

 

In the Spring of 1986 I was invited by the deputy chief of staff for Vice President George H. W. Bush to a meeting with the vice president in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House. At the time, I was a young executive in the U.S. Department of Commerce working…

David Edgell

December 09, 2018

“There should be an historic plaque in Chapel Hill honoring George Bush.”

On the day after the former president’s death, Chapel Hill lawyer and chair of the town’s historic district commission, Bob Epting, was making opening remarks at a public seminar on preserving historic…

9780812979473.jpg
178 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»