Located in the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island, the Full Moon Café & Grill, and Brewery, is a hidden craft beer destination on the Outer Banks. We first visited last year, and declared it a "must stop" during our vacation this year. After a tour of the nearby Elizabethan Gardens, we stopped at Full Moon for lunch. The café itself is quite small, and there actually seems to be more outdoor patio seating than indoor. We did choose to dine inside and were seated right away.
Rather than sample a flight of beers, we opted to focus on full servings of a single beer. Interestingly, we all selected beers that we did not try in our initial visit last Summer. Glasses of Lost Colony English Brown Ale for Checkered Flag, Charon Stout for Colleen, and Over Time Pale Ale for me soon appeared on our table. The English Nut Brown Ale was well done, with a slightly nutty flavor and a mild chocolate hint. Colleen's Irish Stout was equally enjoyable. The bitterness of roasted malt and caramel predominated, with a hint of smoke. The beer finished bitter and slightly dry.
The Over Time Pale Ale seems to be a newer addition to the lineup. Golden amber with a thin white head, the beer has a mild citrus aroma. The flavor leans towards grapefruit citrus, with a touch of pine. It was a well-balanced Pale Ale that finished clean with little aftertaste. I rather enjoyed it, and when my glass was empty, instead of changing beers mid-meal, I opted for a repeat pint.
I started my meal with a cup of a very thick crab bisque. Full of crab meat, and flavor, the soup was a fitting accompaniment to my first glass of Over Time Pale Ale. For the main part of my meal, and to go along with that second beer, I enjoyed a Hunter Wrap — chunks of grilled angus ribeye along with onions, tomatoes, and a white cheddar and horseradish sauce. The wrap was served with tortilla chips and a very spicy salsa. The Pale Ale was a fitting, and cooling, foil for the spice of the wrap and the salsa.
If the Full Moon Café and Brewery was just a bit closer to where we were staying in Southern Shores, I am positive we would have eaten more meals there. The combination of fresh craft beer, tasty food and fast, friendly service is hard to beat. It's become one of my favorite stops in the Outer Banks. We'll be back again the next time we're in the area.