Oak Island is definitely at the top of my NC beaches list. I love the quiet nothingness and calm that surrounds the area. The only problem is, sometimes nothingness also means restaurants come in short supply. I’m a breakfast person though, and ESPECIALLY when I’m on vacation, I don’t always want to cook that breakfast myself. That’s where Russell’s Place right on Oak Island Drive comes in.
I passed Russell’s Place several times before checking it out. Like most things on Oak Island, it is a small, locally owned, no bells and whistles kind of place. I however LOVE diner food, and Russell’s has some of my favorite.
I went to Russell’s with two small kids and 2 adults. We were there pretty early (just before 8:00) and didn’t have any wait at all. Driving by at later times, I’ve seen people waiting outside, so an early arrival might be key to avoiding a wait. This place is not big by any means, but they turn tables over pretty quickly. It is a really popular place with tourists and locals alike. I love when I can find a place the locals love too.
Everyone inside was nice and helpful. Our waiter got to us quickly and had our drinks out in no time. My oldest asked for apple juice and they served it in one of the tiny cans. Definitely old school lunch counter/diner style. I had coffee (if you’re already up and out of the house before 8:00 while on vacation you definitely need coffee) and loved the size of the mugs. These were NOT the typical tiny diner cups but more like actual mugs.
Once our orders were placed, the kids didn’t even have time to stack up all of the cream and jelly containers on the table because the food was out fast. The orders were correct, cooked nicely, and they even brought out a few extra things (napkins, silverware – because kid had dropped, etc.) without us even asking. Even with their fast turnover and quick service I never felt rushed at all.
The food was great. Let me remind you that this is not a fancy bells and whistles kind of place, but what they do, they do well. The omelettes had just the right amount of filling and weren’t so ginormous that you couldn’t finish it all. I was also really pleased with the non-greasiness of everything. I love breakfast, but too much grease can sometimes start your day off the wrong way. The biscuits were homemade, light and fluffy and the pancakes were perfect. These definitely weren’t Bisquik pancakes. They have just the right amount of sweet and cakey and were a decent size. I’m pretty sure the hash browns are deep-fried though I could be wrong. They were delicious. Lightly crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. They weren’t overly seasoned or onioned like some, but if you like veggies mixed in your potatoes, you’re not going to get that here. The bacon was crisp, the eggs were just right, and the sausage was well seasoned.
When it was time to head out, the check was waiting on the table for us, we paid at the counter ($24.50 for 2 adults and 2 kids). My taste buds were happy with the flavors and my family was happy with the service. I couldn’t help but notice the lunch special sign hanging for ham, mac and cheese, collards, and a drink for $7.29 before we left. Makes me wonder how their lunch service is…