The Pelican, The Darj, this place has many names, but Dajio is the proper one. The word Dajio comes from “Don and Judy in Ocracoke,” and it’s the most recent name for this establishment loved by OI’s locals. It was “The Pelican” for years, known for their steamed shrimp happy hour, ring toss game and island residents. The place has been renovated a bit and the menu is more gourmet, but the vibe, happy hour and ring toss are still the same.
Steamed shrimp here are excellent, order them by the pound in a basket and pair them with an icy cold Yuengling. You can grab a table on the patio, many nights a musical act is performing. Bar tables and the counter are inside, snag a seat there and watch the drunkards try to swing the ring on a string to hanging on the hook.
An earlier arrival can get you seated in the air conditioned dining room. They offer a delicious daily brunch menu as well as lunch and dinner. The brunch dishes include apple pancakes, omelets with local veggies, a delish breakfast potato medley with purple spuds, cherry smoked bacon, French toast and shrimp ‘n’ cheese grits. All dishes are excellent, even more so accompanied by a Bloody Mary or mimosa.
For dinner apps, the Local Shrimp Nachos are a killer choice. It’s a hot update of their cold Sweet & Spicy Local Shrimp with blue tortilla chips (no longer a menu offering). The Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese needs a little somethin’ somethin’, but it’s still a great choice for comfort food. The Sauteed Shrimp with Coriander Pesto with linguine noodles instead of rice was the winner of the night, definitely a large enough portion for 2 adults. The hangover cure sandwich is definitely the Dajio Grilled Cheese which melts manchego with cheddar on top of cherry smoked bacon and green chile chutney between buttery, toasty white bread. It’s rich, and it’s worth it.
The bar scene is always hopping here, it’s closed at 1:30, 2, 3am…as long as there are patrons, you never know when the fun will end. Give Fester a wave and order a cold one.