ARAPAHOE, N.C. (WNCT) - It's described by the locals as one of the best places to get local seafood in Eastern North Carolina. For the past few decades, Gary's Down East Seafood and Oyster Bar in Pamlico County has been drawing in the crowds for some real good food.
They've got it all -- from big burgers and sandwiches, to the freshest seafood you can get.
But if you ask the locals what to get, many of them will either say the shrimp or soft shell crabs.
"They're locally caught and shed right here in Pamlico County. They're normally large and they have an excellent taste," said Bobby Cahoon, a fan of the soft shell crabs.
Owner and chef Gary Hardison is known to cook up a mean soft shell crab. The trick -- they use live crabs in the restaurant that are cooked to order every time.
"When you cook a fresh crab those juices remain in it when you cook it," Hardison said. "That's the difference in the taste."
The only thing that can beat a dish with one incredible seafood component is adding a second one to the same plate.
That's what you get when you order the cozy crustacean. Cooked in a white wine butter sauce, Hardison and his team perfectly cook up local shrimp and crab, serving them next to asparagus and local tomatoes.
"The butter makes it really rich that they're cooking it in," said WNCT's Josh Birch. "You cannot beat local seafood."
"When you smell it, it smells just like the ocean. It's fresh, it's sweet and it's plump," said Charles Reilly.
For more information on Gary's, click here.