This story is by ABC11 Influencer Melinda Gale, read more stories by our influencers here
Housed in downtown Raleigh's "Shops at Seaboard Station"- a repurposed, historic coastal train depot- 18 Seaboard is a top-rated Triangle go-to destination for cuisine, service, hospitality and special events. Chef Jason Smith and his wife Lauren dreamed of owning a special restaurant. In 2006 they opened the doors to 18 Seaboard. Chef Smith leads a culinary group committed to serving contemporary Southern-inspired dishes with over 60% of ingredients sourced from North Carolina farms, ranches, fishmongers, and dairies.
When we (my sweet friend, Katelyn Sailor and I) arrived, the staff treated us like royalty. We found a table at the bar and immediately scoured their new offerings. The menu features inventive, elevated bar food that features ingredients from the Carolina's. Sign. Me. Up. They also offer a wide variety of signature cocktails which believe me, we also sampled.
Starting off, we grabbed the Geechie Boy Mill Blue Indigo BBQ Popcorn + Country Ham + Sea Love Sea Salt. It was like no popcorn we had ever had before. If there is anything that will get you into 18 Seaboard, it should be this popcorn. While not your typical movie theater fare, this dish (or bowl rather) is the savory snack you never knew you were missing. A bonus: it features edible flowers!
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After we polished off every piece of yummy gourmet popcorn, we settled in with Core Sounder oysters that included two of my very favorite things: pimento cheese and prosciutto! As odd as the combination sound, trust me when I say that it was delicious.
If you're not in the mood to grab multiple dishes, I highly suggest grabbing either the Blackened Swordfish Sliders or the Seaboard Burger! While I don't believe I had ever tasted blackened swordfish, trust me when I say that these sliders are not your typical fish sandwich. The burger is delicious, juicy, and comes with a side of homemade potato chips (my kryptonite).
While we were extremely full, we found a place deep inside of our bellies to make room for 18 Seaboard's signature Hand Pies. We sampled a Chocolate pie complete with ice cream! YUM FOREVER! If you ever visit 18 Seaboard, you may find me at the bar stuffing my face with ever pie they offer. They are just that good! Additionally, if you aren't in the mood for food, I highly suggest checking out their Whiskey Smash cocktail.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 18 Seaboard experience and I WILL be frequenting their establishment every day, for forever! If their bar menu is that delicious then I can't wait to try their regular offerings.
Geechie Boy Mill Blue Indigo BBQ Popcorn + Country Ham + Sea Love Sea Salt: $5
18 Seaboard Hand Pie Program, Flavors include: Chocolate + Sea Salt; Purple Sweet Potato + White Chocolate; Apple + White Cheddar: $5 each
BBQ Duck Buns + Garlic Dill Pickle + Alabama White BBQ Sauce + Puffed Farro Piccolo + Micro Chervil: $12
Core Sounders + House Pimiento Cheese + Prosciutto Maestri + Crystal Cane Syrup: $14
Blackened Swordfish Sliders + Green Tomato Jam + Green Tomato Relish + Crema: $12
Seaboard Burger + House Bacon + House Pimiento Cheese + Smoked Duke's Mayo + LTOP: $18
Melinda is an ABC11 Community Influencer. Read more of her work on her blog .