Cruisers dropping anchor in Oriental, NC, and heading ashore for some grub now have a new option for mealtime provisioning. The VILLAGE FOOD EMPORIUM recently opened in an old blue house at the corner of Broad St. (Hwy. 55) and Church St., directly across from Town Hall and The Old Theater and between Captain’s Quarters Bed & Breakfast and the Inn at Oriental. Specializing in convenient and freshly prepared carry-out cuisine, they can be reached at 252-249-FOOD (3663) or www.villagefoodemporium.com.
Their menu offers an array of made-to-order sandwiches and wraps (Ham & Cheese w/horseradish mayo, Grilled Vegetables w/goat cheese and pesto, Chicken Salad, Seafood Salad, and Roasted Pork Loin with Chipotle mayo). Dinner entrees recently included roasted Salmon w/horseradish mustard and honey, Shrimp Cocktail, Meatloaf w/Italian-Style Tomato Sauce, Chicken with Peaches, Ginger, and Basil, and similarly flavorful fare that’s not easy to come by in a galley of your own. There’s also a deli case filled with tasty side dishes, like Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans roasted w/garlic and Parmesan, and a large cooler with other delicious options for an impromptu meal on the boat, at a B&B, or perhaps for a picnic at nearby Lou Mac Park. You’ll find freshly made salads and fresh pineapple chunks in bio-degradeable containers, and chilled soft drinks, juices and mixers. Freshly brewed iced tea is another option. A selection of hand-picked wines and beers will also be added in the near future.
Also available are loaves of freshly baked, crusty Italian bread and some of the finest cheeses you are likely to encounter on your voyage because the Village Food Emporium is the very first retailer of Artisanal Premium Cheeses in the entire south. For those not yet familiar with this company, Artisinal Premium Cheeses carry’s more than 200 types of hand-made cheeses made by talented Affineurs around the world. The cheeses are carefully aged and ripened in five cheese caves that lay underneath the firm’s Manhattan-based headquarters. From there, they are shipped overnight to retails locations in and around Manhattan and Long Island only–and now, to Oriental! Flavor starved sailors can also load up on specialty gourmet groceries and handmade gifts, including Saucy Sisters Russian Honey Mustard (winner of the 2008 World Mustard Competition), Recchiuti Chocolate, Harvest Song Peach, Apricot, and Green Walnut Preserves from Armenia, and whole bean, freshly roasted Organic coffee from Costa Rica.
Proprietor Bama Lutes Deal dreampt up her business concept after spending 7 years in Oriental on a part- time basis. Living on her boat from December 2008 to April 2009, she personally supervised the renovation process, which required new wiring, plumbing, HVAC, floors, and the building of an inviting entrance deck. Deal then proceeded to nurse back the old fashioned garden of hydrangeas, clematis, and roses had lain fallow on the property for quite some time. The result is a peaceful, welcoming and homey little spot that emits intoxicating aromas from a brand new state-of-the-art commercial kitchen. Customers can place food orders in advance by calling 252-249-FOOD (3663) or emailing BamaLutesDeal@aol.com. Or they can just drop in during regular business hours–Tu thru Sat, 11 am to 7 pm. The Emporium’s seasonal menu is updated each week, and special orders can often be accommodated with a bit of advanced notice.
To find the Village Food Emporium from Oriental’s Town Dock, simply walk or drive north along Broad St. until the sidewalk ends, then cross Church St. and look for the only blue 2-story house w/ white trim on the right. The entrance which is off to the side, sports a brightly painted orange door. Enjoy!
Bama Lutes Deal
Village Food Emporium
702 Broad St.