Down Eats: Ruddy Duck Tavern in Morehead City

Down Eats

For the past decade, the Ruddy Duck Tavern in Morehead City has been offering the trifecta – good views, great people, and incredible food.

“We know what’s going to come out of the kitchen is going to be premium product,” said regular Bart Greene.

The Ruddy Duck prides itself on locally sourced ingredients and made-from-scratch dishes.

“I’ve come all the way from Arizona in an RV to eat here,” said Kate Kerlin.

If you ask the regulars what they get, you’d get a bunch of different answers — fried seafood, juicy burgers, and burritos that’ll knock your socks off, just to name a few.

But what it comes down to is local seafood that’s cooked to perfection. One of the best sellers is the fish tacos, utilizing locally caught Mahi Mahi.

Add house-made Pico de Gallo on top of the fish, served with homemade tortillas, and you’ve got a one-of-a-kind fresh fish taco.

But perhaps what the Ruddy Duck is best known for is something no other restaurant dare try — making a Reuben sandwich using fish.

“I’m not going to put sauerkraut on a fish,” said owner and chef Fabian Botta.

Botta said what started as a joke has turned into a best seller. The Ruddy Duck pumped out more than 3,000 Flounder Reuben in 2017 alone.

“People love it, so we keep serving it.”

The key is fresh flounder, fileted in house and lightly breaded and fried. Then comes the house-made sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. Melt some cheese on a freshly baked rye bread, and you’ve got the king of all sandwiches.

“Lets just talk about the bread, phenomenal. The fish is nice and flaky, perfectly fried,” said WNCT’s Josh Birch. “If you’re on the fence with trying cheese with fish, give this a shot.”

“We make it a point to say that I make everything from scratch and fresh daily,” said Botta. “It’s a big undertaking, and I’m willing to do it.”

To learn more about the Ruddy Duck, click here.

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