Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | April 19, 2014

Meet Outer Banks Jeep Rentals

Looking to vacation on the 4×4 beaches but don’t have the right vehicle to do so? We have a new jeep rental place in town, Outer Banks Jeep Rentals. They are now open and renting 4×4 vehicles from Kitty Hawk. Their contact number is 252-715-4400.

Things that make them unique:

  • Open Sundays
  • You don’t have to wash the vehicle when you are done
  • Can rent by the day vs the entire week
  • They have HUGE Jeeps where you can take off the doors and tops

PRICE:

$225.00/day between May 1st and November 1st

JEEP

Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | December 17, 2013

And the Facebook Guest Photo Winners are…

Thanks again for everyone who participated in our Facebook Fans Favorite Contest! All the photos were amazing and we appreciate you joining in and LIKING/SHARING your favorite photo!

Drum-roll please…and the WINNERS for each category are…

Kids – The Fors Family – “The horses came into the frame just as we snapped this picture of our cutie. First trip to the beach!”

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Lifestyle – The Catalano Family – “Each year we return to Carova Beach for our family vacation! Relaxation and time spent with family…doesn’t get much better!!!”

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Pets – The Straume Family – “Bane’s favorite place in the world is North Swan Beach. He loves playing in the ocean!”

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Scenic – The Rasi Family – “A group of wild horses on an evening beach stroll.”

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Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | November 25, 2013

2013 OBX Vacation Memories Photo Contest – ENDS DECEMBER 16TH!

It’s that time again…Facebook Photo Contest FUN!!!

A huge THANK YOU goes out to all those who submitted their favorite vacation photo from their 2013 vacation. We had a ton of fun looking back at them and seeing all the smiles and amazing memories captured this past year. These photos all capture the magic of Outer Banks Vacations!

The categories this year were as follows: KIDS, PETS, LIFESTYLE, and SCENIC. Twiddy & Company has voted on our favorites, which you can find featured in our 2014 Vacation Planner (click here to request one). Now we ask for YOUR help in the public portion of the contest! Browse through each category on our Facebook photo albums, and LIKE your favorite photo from each category. For those of you that submitted a photo, don’t be afraid to SHARE your photo via Facebook so that all of your friends and family can vote! LIKE’s will be tabulated on Monday, December 16. The winners of each category will receive a special, Twiddy gear prize package!

Click the links below to enjoy this year’s photos and vote for your favorite in each category:

View all KIDS Category Submissions Here

View all PETS Category Submissions Here

View all LIFESTYLE Category Submissions Here

View all SCENIC Category Submissions Here

Thanks everyone and looking forward to seeing your favorites!

Introducing the 2014 Vacation Planner Featured Photo Contest Winners:

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Kids Winner

Pets Winner

Pets Winner

Lifestyle Winner

Lifestyle Winner

Scenic Winner

Scenic Winner

Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | November 5, 2013

History in the REMAKING

Thursday, October 24th was another historic day in Corolla, NC! The watch tower, built off the original plans of 1878, was set on top of the US Lifesaving Station. Take a look at this awesome video one of our awesome sales agents, Chandler Spawr captured! Thanks for sharing, Chandler.

Read some history on the historic US Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station here.

 

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Posted by: Bailey G | August 23, 2013

Wine & Swine – Fall Event on the OBX

If you answer any (or all) of these next four questions with a ‘yes’, then we have just the thing for you! Love wine or craft beer? Love BBQ (eastern NC style, of course)? Love live music? Love the Outer Banks? Well, Twiddy & Company is sponsoring the Wine & Swine festival that will be presented by Currituck County and hosted at Whalehead in Historic Corolla. This all-day, family friendly fun will be on September 5th from 11:00am until 7:00pm at Currituck Heritage Park. And did I mention the best part? It’s FREE ADMISSION!

The foodies out there will find the best of North Carolina BBQ, seafood, and many other delectable pork dishes from some of the best establishments on the OBX and from other parts of the state!  For the wine and beer lovers, there will be multiple craft beer vendors and local wines.

Enjoy the sounds of a few great bands while you’re embracing whole hog heaven. Performing at the event will be Out ‘n the Cold, The Crowd, Ragin’ Cajuns, and John Burns. Heck, there will even be a cornhole tournament with cash prizes!

The event is free so be sure to come by and enjoy great food, drinks, music, and one heck of a good time! We’ll be there and hope to see you too!

For more information, check out the Wine & Swine website!

Posted by: Ev | August 2, 2013

Twiddy & Google Sitting in a Tree…

Over the years our small business has changed and evolved but one thing that has remained the same at Twiddy & Company.  The importance of relationships.

Corolla Lighthouse & Banner

Not only the relationships with our customers but the relationships with our business partners as well. In one particular instance we’ve been lucky enough to formulate a great relationship with the fine folks at Google. Our relationships in and out of the office with the smart folks at Google have given us a number of opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and as a company.

Our most recent opportunity was with the Google Analytics team. Senior Specialist with Google Analytics, Ashish, gave us the opportunity to work with Google Analytics Project Manager Linus on the development of their Real-time API for Google Analytics. You can read more about the implementation on the Official Google Analytics Blog and the actual case study pdf here but we wanted to take some time to say thank you to the wonderful team at Google. It isn’t everyday that one of the most powerful companies in the world takes time to work with a small family-owned business and empowers them with the tools and technology to get better everyday. It is almost like one day we were driving a beat-up pick-up truck and the next day we woke up in a Bugatti. So Ashish, Linus, Jim, Aditi, Thank You from everyone at Twiddy & Company we look forward to many more years of wonderful relationship.

*And a special thank you to Joe Akinc of the Twiddy “Web-Boys” for his hard work, initiative and Wu-like programming on the Real-time API. We tried to think of the proper song to play when the case study went live and think our man GZA says it best on Liquid Swords “Energy is felt once the cards are dealt, With the impact of roundhouse kicks from black belts.”

 

Posted by: Bailey G | July 12, 2013

Fan Favorites for Outer Banks Dining

Food…one of the driving factors in every vacation. Well, for me at least. When I travel, I’m always researching, Yelping, and asking friends that have visited before where to eat. And something tells me I’m not alone there. Whether it’s every night, or just that one evening where nobody feels like cooking. Going out to eat on vacation is a staple.

So the other day we asked our friends on Facebook where their favorite place to eat was during their Outer Banks vacations. It’s such a great list, we had to compile it in one place and share with the rest of the OBX lovers out there. So without further ado, here are the best Outer Banks restaurants, according to Twiddy & Company guests:

  1. North Banks Restaurant & Raw Bar
  2. The Blue Point
  3. The Colington Cafe
  4. Steamers Seafood, to go
  5. Bad Bean Taqueria
  6. Blue Moon Beach Grill
  7. Bacchus Wine & Cheese
  8. Duck Donuts
  9. Duck Deli
  10. Sunset Grille
  11. Tortuga’s Lie
  12. Owens’ Restaurant
  13. Kill Devil Grill
  14. Coastal Cravings
  15. Pigman’s BBQ
  16. Mike Dianna’s Grillroom
  17. Outer Banks Brewing Station
  18. Roadside Bar and Grill
  19. Red Sky Cafe
  20. Corolla Village Barbeque
  21. Black Pelican
  22. The Thai Room
  23. Lighthouse Bagels

Our suggestion…print these off and try to cross off as many of these local establishments on your next visit(s) to the Outer Banks. You won’t be sorry you tried the amazing local fare of the OBX. Bon appetit!

Posted by: Bailey G | June 27, 2013

OBX Fireworks Displays on the 4th of July

What better way to celebrate our country’s Independence Day than at the beach, on the Outer Banks? Spending the day with family and friends, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, then settling in at dusk to watch the patriotic tradition of an amazing fireworks show.

In order to help our visitors enjoy this holiday during their vacation, here is a quick rundown of when and where you can celebrate!

Enjoy the Town of Duck 4th of July Parade – 9:00 am on July 4th – http://www.townofduck.com/duck4thofjuly/

Whalehead in Historic Corolla Village – the celebration begins at 5:00 pm and the fireworks will begin at dusk http://www.whaleheadclub.org/event/421286-21th-annual-independence-day-celebration

Or if you’re visiting the southern beaches, there are some options too. Nags Head Pier will have a fireworks display starting at 9:25 pm at Milepost 11.5. The Town of Manteo will have a fireworks display over the Roanoke Sound at 9:30 pm. And in Hatteras, Avon Pier will launch fireworks at 9:00 pm.

Wherever you celebrate, enjoy the time with friends and family. Happy 4th of July everyone!

In Honor of Father’s Day, we thought sharing a good ‘ole Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce and Pork Recipe might be the next best thing for Dad if you can’t get him to the Outer Banks for a beach vacation! Enjoy! Go to Recipe.

Tied-and-Rubbed-Butts

Tied and Dry Rubbed Pork Butts

early-smoking

Early Smoking of the Pork Butts

late-smoking

Late Smoking of the Pork Butts

resting

Pork Butts Resting Process

pulled

Pulled NC BBQ…YUM!

Eastern Carolina Dry Rub (rub on pork 12 hours prior to cooking) Use generously.

  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sop Sauce for basting the meat. Mop the meat 3 to 4 times in the final four hours of cooking.

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

Carolina Red Vinegar Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot dried red chili flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The Pork Cooking Process:

  • Start with a large pork butt, also known as Boston butt or pork shoulder, bone-in or boneless will do.
  • Trim off any visible fat, some cuts are already trimmed. It is important for bark formation that the fat is trimmed. The bark is the tasty crispy seasoned outer skin of the finished BBQ.
  • If using boneless, then tie up with twine to retain their compact shape during cooking.
  • 8-12 hours before cooking, apply half the rub recipe to the pork butt. Make sure to pat the butts dry with a paper towel before rubbing. Once rubbed, refrigerate in a garbage bag or zip lock until cooking time.
  • Get your grill or smoker ready for smoking.
  • Select your smoke wood, for authentic eastern Carolina smoke flavor – use Oak and Hickory. No need to soak the wood.
  • Remove 3 Tablespoons of the remaining rub and save for the sop sauce.
  • Before adding the meat to the smoker, rub with the remaining rub.
  • Add the pork butt to your grill and smoke at 225 to 250 until an internal temperature of 190 degrees. If anyone would like more info on setting up grills to smoke and stay in the 225 to 250 range for 18 hours (and even overnight while you sleep), email Andy below and he is happy to help!
  • This should take approximately 18 hours. Be patient, as it take the meat some time to go from 175 to 190 as the tendons break down. Never remove the meat before it reaches 190, as the texture and flavor will not be the same as authentic slow cooked pork BBQ.
  • Prepare the sop sauce and do not forget to add the 3 tablespoons of rub to the sop sauce.
  • Mop the sauce onto the meat 3 or 4 times during the last 4 hours of cooking. You may also flip the butt over for the last four hours.
  • Remove the meat from the smoker when it hits 190. Wrap in foil and place in a cool oven or empty cooler to rest for 2 to 4 hours. The meat will soften up and sit in its juices during this time, it is critical!
  • Pull the pork and serve with vinegar sauce. Mmmmm.

Recipe by Twiddy Sales Agent, Andy Tucker, Pigologist, atucker@twiddy.com

Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | May 16, 2013

An Afternoon in Corolla with Outer Banks Restaurant Tours

Yesterday afternoon a couple of us were lucky to tag along for the Corolla Outer Banks Restaurant Tour with Terry Bell! It was a fabulous day and we learned so much that we didn’t know before about the local restaurants right here in Corolla. I have worked in Corolla for just about 8 years, so that is pretty impressive!

We kicked off the tour at Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe and lets just say, name a flavor and they have it! And who would have thought they all would be delicious! As we walked in, a fresh batch of kettle corn was popping…yum did it smell delicious! The flavors ranged from white cheddar popcorn all the way to watermelon and decadent Corolla Crunch (caramel corn with almonds and cashews). My favorite was between the jalapeno cheddar, old bay and the s’mores! It was awesome because they even let us take a sample bag home of our favorite…I went with s’mores which is caramel corn with melted milk chocolate, chocolate covered graham crackers and marshmallows….YUM!

Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe

Next stop on the list was Mike Dianna’s Grill Room and boy were we in for a treat! We were greeted by Mike Dianna himself who put on an amazing cooking demonstration, along with a refreshing glass of white wine, right in front of our table! We were the only ones in the restaurant and boy was the experience one to remember. He gave us a little history about his restaurant which was amazing! He has been in the same location for over 16 years and all the wood that they use on their wood grill is cut right here in Currituck! Can’t get much local than that. They make all of their sauces in-house and they only bring in the freshest, natural cuts of meat. They get as much of their seafood as local as they can, as well as their produce! It was amazing to listen to his story and actually get to see him cook for us! Click this link for a quick vine video showing him in action: vine.co/v/bEh5FqbpO3p.

Mike Dianna's Grill Room

The sauce was made from scratch with cilantro, orange juice, a little rice wine vinegar and finished with some cream. He then heated up a skillet in front of us and added some sautéed garlic and shallots deglazed with white wine. Then, he added some succulent oysters and sweet corn! All with some crusty bread to make sure we got up as much of that cilantro sauce as we could. Believe me, it doesn’t get better than this! It was absolutely delicious. Great atmosphere, great local owner, amazing homemade sauces, and the food can’t get much fresher or local than Mike Dianna’s Grill Room!

Third stop was a new restaurant located in Monteray Plaza (near the Corolla Food Lion) called Salt Water Grill! We were greeted by their owner who was born and raised in North Carolina! He wants to bring a local flair to the restaurant by getting as much as he can right from North Carolina. It was a very relaxing atmosphere with decor that made you feel like you were in a beach house. He was inspired to make it a place where you can have intimate conversation with family and friends to reconnect over a delicious local meal with a glass of wine or beverage of choice. Made you feel at home! We were lucky to get a private tour of the kitchen by one of the amazing chefs. He gave us a little background about himself and took us by all the stations of the kitchen area. He then showed us and went into great detail on how they seasoned and prepared their signature pork belly, which is one of their signature appetizers. He started with the rub, which was really interesting to watch. Instead of ground spices, they start with the whole seeds and have a very time intensive process on how they get the best flavors from the spice! They use this spice mixture to rub down the pork belly. He then went into details on how they press the pork belly and how it is a 7 day process! Let’s just say whatever they do, they do it right! Boy was that pork belly tender, delicious, and packed with so much flavor. The house braised pork belly was served with a homemade country potato salad and a blackberry-bourbon barbeque sauce! Another cool thing is instead of simple french fries, they serve homemade zucchini fries which are prepared individually and take a lot of time in doing so! They were out of this world! They are made with hand-cut local Currituck County Zucchini, a house parmesan breading made with panko and served with a delicious honey-habanero aioli. Another cool thing about them…they are served in paper bags bringing in that southern flair! Definitely check Salt Water Grill out. They will be serving lunch as well.

Salt Water Grill

Next up was Bambino’s Little Italy located in the Corolla Light Town Center across the street from the Whalehead Club. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! We were greeted by their owner Matt Broughton who served us a delicious pinot grigio. We then got to meet and talk with Chef Randolph! He first brought us a delicious appetizer, which was a fried green tomato and one juicy red tomato, topped with a cheese curd and finished with some microgreens, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. YUM, YUM, YUM!!! Best Fried Green Tomato I have had and his take on the caprese salad was out of this world with it! Next, we were welcomed with
a seared U10 scallop with a light pasta dressed with olive oil and diced, local asparagus! Unbelievably delicious. To top the visit off, which was hard to do, Chef Randolph brings out his version of strawberry shortcake (which includes a sauce made from roasted, local strawberries)…oh my, DELICIOUS!!

Bambino's Little Italy

Last stop ended at Bacchus Wine and Cheese, located in Monteray Plaza (near the Food Lion in Corolla). If you love wine, cheese, chocolate, delicious and unique sandwiches, then this is a must! We were welcomed by one of the owners’, Kim. She had an amazing cheese spread ready for us with all kinds of delicious cheeses that were paired with 5 different delicious wines to try. My favorite was a red wine that went perfectly with a delicious fig chocolate we got to have with it. Definitely a great place to relax and spend the afternoon.

cheese-bacchus

Terry was an awesome hostess and we had such an amazing time! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves food and wants to find a fun, new way to experience the local cuisine that the Outer Banks has to offer! Thank you Outer Banks Restaurant Tours, couldn’t have been any better! Can’t wait to bring my family and friends on their next OBX visits!

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