Every day we have to figure out what we want to eat. Our taste buds, the weather and even our emotions help us determine what we choose to feed not only our bellies, but our souls. We often choose foods and tastes that bring back memories. I talk about this often: food and memory go hand-in-hand. We crave the foods mom made us when we were sick, the warm, hearty meals that fed us through cold winter months, and the fresh garden salads and colorful vegetables that fueled and cooled us off during hot summer months.
When I was young and visited my maternal grandparents, we always went out for a steak dinner. We started with the salad bar, a beacon of possibilities that gleamed bright. It was a mile long piled high with the most colorful and flavorful options for the taking. Then, we moved onto thick, juicy steaks paired with steaming hot baked potatoes. We ended our meal, which was more like an event, with a slice of pie that was selected from a circular glass case that turned like a carousel.
I loved those memories and you can make the very ones right here in Greenville at The Seahorse Restaurant, at 2301 Stantonsburg Road.
For the last nine years, Seahorse has been serving up delectable steaks and delicious cakes. Manger Jessica Whitehurst says it has delicious choices for everyone. “We serve good food all day long from breakfast to lunch, and dinner,” Whitehurst said. They have a loyal following of patrons who eat there a few times a week. They have comfort foods such as chicken pastry, hamburger steak and fried fish. The salad bar has more than 20 items including the glorious Watergate Salad, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, peaches, pickled beets and other favorites my grandparents would be proud of.
Seahorse serves USDA prime rib, black angus rib-eyes and has used the same steak company since the beginning. Their steaks are the highest grade of beef you can get. Owner Danny Smith, has a dedicated aging system with allows him to dry age his beef on average 45 days. This process yields steaks that are more tender and flavorful. They use very little seasoning allowing the juices to marinade and build around the steak so it’s nestled in its own savory sauce when served.
The Seahorse also offers filet mignon and a flat iron for those who like a leaner steak. Every Saturday night, The Seahorse features its “One of a Kind Prime Rib Roast.” The loins are coated with Danny’s secret rub, which is described as “a cross between a wet marinade and dry rub made with lots of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and some additional secret ingredients.” The meat is seasoned, rested four days, then slow cooked for 24 hours never getting above 135 degrees. The result is prime rib that is lusciously fork tender.
For my tasting, I started with the hand-cut 8oz rib-eye that comes out on a sizzling iron skillet paired with a steaming baked potato. “Hello beautiful steak, it’s so lovely to meet you.” This is what you will say too when you take in the heavenly aroma steaming right in front of you. It can only be described as a tender, juicy bite of nostalgia. It was buttery and smooth and melted in my mouth. You have to try it for yourself; it won’t disappoint.
Next, I tried the Shrimp & Grits. Start with large, springy grilled shrimp swimming in a big helping of buttered grits mixed with grilled onions, peppers, chopped bacon and melted cheddar cheese. It was simply delicious and in my opinion can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
My last dish was the barbecued chicken, which is a crowd favorite. Start with a half chicken that has been baked and bathed in a luscious tangy, sweet barbecue sauce. You get both white meat and dark meat in this delicious dish. If you don’t like barbecue sauce, then choose the butter garlic sauce. The chicken is the on the buffet Thursday night and you can get this as a meal with two sides on Tuesdays for $8.99.
Eating dessert at Seahorse is a must. They are known for their delectable desserts, and Mrs. Kathy Smith has been baking those beauties for years. Their cakes come in either two or four layers in an array of flavors including strawberry, Ho Ho, Hershey Bar, lemon pineapple, coconut, old fashioned chocolate and butter pecan. They also offer seasonal flavors like banana pudding cake and carrot cake.
OK, I ate a lot of dessert, starting with the Ho Ho cake, which is a rich chocolate cake with a sweet cream filling topped with chocolate icing. This cake has a flavor similar to a Swiss cake roll. Next, I tried the butter pecan cake with its moist butter spiced cake topped with a velvety spiced frosting. It tastes just like a bowl of creamy butter pecan ice cream.
With a dedicated baker in-house, Seahorse bake cakes daily, so you will always get a fresh, moist slice or full cake for your next party, event, or for me, a complete meal! Full two layer cakes are $19.99 and four-layer cakes are $37.99. Full cakes average 10-12 slices per cake depending how you cut them. Single slices cost $4.49. No matter how you slice the cake, it’s a sweet start or finish to any meal.
The Seahorse can provide food for your next offsite or catering event for up to 250 people. They service Greenville, New Bern, Goldsboro, Kinston, Washington, Tarboro and Rocky Mount and can deliver to any city within a 70 mile radius. They have an on-site private banquet room that seats up to 80 people, so you can rent the room for a party or event. Pay a small deposit and they can provide you with a buffet or limited menu.
They also offer a daily lunch buffet Tuesday-Sunday. The menu changes a little each day, but always features items such as fried chicken, hamburger steak, and home cooked vegetables. Thursday features chicken pastry and country style fried squash. Sunday is the grand buffet: shrimp, oysters, flounder, fried chicken, hamburger steak, baby back ribs, chicken pastry, and many, many veggies!
You can view the daily buffet menus on the Seahorse website and you can now order online for quicker pick-up. This is a great option for hospital workers who want to cross the street and pick up some lunch or dinner. They also are known for their breakfast buffet on Saturdays from 8-10 a.m. Enjoy favorites like scrambled eggs, homemade hash browns, homemade sausage gravy, sausage and thick cut bacon. They also serve pancakes, French toast, omelets and all the hearty “no frufru” options.
The Seahorse Restaurant is open Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Sunday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, or to place an order for cakes or on-site or off-site catering, call (252) 758-6958, or check out their website, http://www.the seahorserestaurant.com.