Loading...
Bless his heart, he had sworn off commenting on the online articles. Wish he stop commenting and keep the negativity to...

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

August 18, 2018

It’s not often that we botanists, on our field trips, have to stop, speechless, and stare at a flower with jaws agape. It happened to me and my buddies recently deep in the pinelands of the Francis Marion National Forest.

It’s a not a tall plant, only about 2 feet high, and it never…

081818mysteryplant

August 17, 2018

TODAY

‘Broadway Spectacular’

The Community Pops Singers will present a”Broadway Spectacular” concert at 7:15 p.m. today at John Paul II Catholic High School, 2725 E. 14th St. The free event will feature songs from “The Music Man,” “My Fair Lady,”…

082817watermelon-1.jpg

August 17, 2018

Q I’m a 23-year-old woman living across the country from my family, and my brother “Justin” is an 18-year-old high school grad. Justin is living at home and working, and might go to university next year.

My parents just called to share that he has been caught with marijuana…

Carolyn Hax

August 17, 2018

Scotty McCreery is going to let his tour bus take him home next weekend — but not before he stops at the Winterville Watermelon Festival.

“We do a lot of things in the big cities. It’s always cool to go right down to the people. That’s what we love about [these shows]. We…

081718scotty

August 17, 2018

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

*ALPHA — An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, “Alpha” tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend. (1 hour, 36 minutes.…

081718mile22

August 17, 2018

GMA

The Greenville Museum of Art will host a curator-led tour from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday. Led by Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Trista Reis Porter, the free tour will include the museum's permanent collections and the following temporary exhibitions:

“Revisiting…

August 17, 2018

Mark Wahlberg hopes for franchise with “Mile 22”

Mile 22 – that’s the distance to safety for an Indonesian policeman being targeted by a crime lord. There, a plane is waiting to spirit him out of the country. It’s up to some low-level CIA agents to get him there.…

081718mile22

August 15, 2018

The Leroy James Farmers Market Vendor of the Week is Smith Produce.

The farm is owned and operated by Jerry Smith and his daughter Cassandra. Rashaun, Jerry’s grandson, also helps with the family business. Smith Produce Farm is located in Blounts Creek in Beaufort County. Jerry, 82, has been…

081518vendor

August 15, 2018

If you’re looking for new place to hang your hungry hat, then I have the place for you. Newk’s Eatery just opened at 516 S.E. Greenville Blvd., and it’s fantastic!

Every meal is made-to-order in an open-view kitchen. The diverse menu offers toasted sandwiches with flame-grilled…

081518hotdish

August 15, 2018

Q: I had a heart attack recently, and my health care provider is trying to get me to go vegan. I never paid much attention to my diet, but I am willing to try to make some changes. I might be able to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but I don’t see myself giving up dairy products. I love milk,…

KathyKolasa
267 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»