by VICTORIA HENLEY
When you head to Myrtle Beach, here are some restaurants you should check out.
Just one sip of Duplin Winery’s sweet, crisp, and refreshing wines make it very clear why Duplin has consistently won some of the nation’s top awards for excellence in wine making, famously garnering praise from top media outlets and celebrities, including the queen of the finer things herself, Martha Stewart.
Step inside the charming, elegant, rustic winery and browse the exquisitely curated gift shop before making your way to the tasting room, where you can expect to experience up to 10 pre-selected Duplin wines, which include homemade gourmet crackers (whipped up fresh daily), house made pineapple and (mild) habanero dip and a glass of wine following your tasting, which you can either enjoy in the tasting room or out on the patio to the tune of live music from a talented rotating roster of local musicians. (Check website for all upcoming music and special events.)
A beautiful Duplin Winery glass is included in the tasting.
Our bartender, Sue, was very knowledgeable and personable, engaging with the crowd and providing fun facts about the company’s history throughout the leisurely tasting.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND
While selecting favorites from an extensive menu of exquisite wines is a somewhat impossible feat, a few of the wines were especially delicious, including Sweet Caroline (featuring a gorgeous, deep reddish hue and a velvety, sweet undertone), Pink Magnolia (medium, sweet, fruity…comparable to a classic rose with a slightly bolder flavor), and the ice cold, refreshing Pink Cosmo wine slush beverage, which is made with Pink Magnolia and is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
You can also pair your wine of choice with scrumptious, house made cuisine from the onsite bistro.
PHONE: (843) 663-1710
LULU BUFFETS NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
The little sister of singer, Jimmy Buffet, Lucy Buffet, born and raised on the Gulf Coast, brings her love of food, fun and family to Lulu Buffets Restaurant. Offering festive outdoor dining and an extensive menu, featuring creative takes on all the seafood classics you could hope to eat on any beach outing, a trip to Lulu’s is a vacation in itself.
Lulu’s is set apart from many casual eateries by the fact that all of the food is chef prepared and to say the portion sizes are generous would be an understatement.
Selecting just a few items to highlight from Lulu’s impressive menu was almost as challenging as the ropes course next door.
Cadillac Margarita. (On the rocks: a smooth top shelf Margarita. Margarittaville Gold Tequila, DeKuyper 03 and Lulu’s special margarita mix)
Loopty Lu, a LuLu’s original. (Margarita like Last Manfo Tequila, Deep Eddy Lemon, Lemonade, sweet and sour mix and a splash of grenadine)
The bartender, McKayla Snyder, did a superb job concocting our drinks of choice; and Lynn, a self-proclaimed “Sweet Tea aficionado,” gave the classic southern beverage her seal of approval.
Props to head server, Jennifer, for taking outstanding care of us throughout our visit and serving up well-selected food pairings and southern hospitality with a smile.
Lulu’s famous seafood gumbo: The Roux is hand stirred until your arms fall off
Sista Lous She Crab Soup: Lulu’s version of a South Carolina classic.
Smoked Tuna Dip: Fresh. This tuna has never seen the inside of a can.
A Mountain of Okra: Deep dried southern style with a side of LuLu’s Ranch Dressing.
Fried Green Tomatoes: Award winning and served with Lulu’s Wow Sauce.
Tacos: Served with crispy chips and salsa: Pork, Shrimp, and veggie. Three soft corn tortillas and jack cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, pickled red onions, and cilantro slaw, island black beans and mojo sauce.
Krissy Kreme bread pudding: Bread pudding with a twist. Served with a warm, rich, vanilla custard sauce. Ice cream can be added upon request.
PHONE: (843) 491-5011
SENOR FROGS AT BROADWAY AT THE BEACH
Festive, outrageously fun, and conveniently located to dozens of shopping and entertainment attractions at Broadway at the Beach, Senor Frogs offers a festive atmosphere, guest DJ’s with daily opportunities for “Dance Offs” with other fun loving guests, and complementary (tips appreciated) table side balloon animals (Jessica was the balloon animal artist at the time of our visit). You can always expect consistently great food and a rousing good time at Senor Frogs, and although we might expect nachos, cheese, refried beans and all the standard Mexican fare on a visit to a popular chain, we asked Senor Frog’s resident chef, Salvador Capinteyro (aka “ Chavo”) to whip us up some healthy options. What we got was a delicious pairing of appetizers and entree that complemented each other beautifully, and of course, who can forget about drinks and dessert?
Elena’s Mystery Drink: Made exclusively by master bartender and self proclaimed, “Foodie”, Elena, this drink is only available at the Myrtle Beach Broadway at the Beach location. Elena will not divulge even one ingredient in her special concoction; however, the jewel tone glow and fruity tropical blend will certainly have you coming back for more.
Bahama Mama: Anejo rum, coconut rum, banana liquor, orange and pine apple juice with a splash of grenadine. Served on the rocks.
Hurricane: Rocks, vodka, rum, gin, tequila, amaretto, pineapple juice, and a splash of grenadine.
Chicken Tortilla Soup: Traditional Mexican recipe rice, pulled chicken topped with Chillu lime, tortilla strips, fresh avocado, Pico de Gallo, Padilla chili, Queso Fresca and a side of sour cream and lime.
Chicken taquitos: Crunchy corn tortilla filled with chicken, fresh guacamole, topped with sour cream Pasilla sauce, shredded lettuce, fresh Pico de Gallo and Queso Fresca.
Shrimp Cocktail Trio: Featuring artful presentation and explosion of flavor, the Shrimp Cocktail Trio includes jumbo, high quality shrimp garnished with jalapeno mild sauce, chopped mango, and pico de gallo.
Veggie Bowl: Mexican Rice, refried beans, three-cheese blend, grilled veggies, fresh pico de Gallo, homemade guacamole, queso fresco and a side of chipotle ranch dressing.
Chocolate mousse: (special cake with homemade chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream, Marzipan , Ferraro Rocher chocolate candy, and waffle straws.)
PHONE: (843) 444-5506
DAVE AND BUSTERS:
Dave and Busters’ story is one of a classic American Dream.
In the 1970’s, Buster opened a restaurant known for its tasty food and great service. Meanwhile, another entrepreneur named Dave opened up a place for entertainment, where adults could go to unwind and have a little fun.
Upon noticing that people were rotating between their two establishments, these visionary businessmen joined forces, and Dave and Buster’s was born.
Following the successful opening of their first store in Dallas Texas in 1982, over 110 locations were established, offering food and beverage, paired with fun and games.
While Dave and Buster’s has always offered high quality traditional bar food, the company name has arguably always been more synonymous with arcade games than dining. Recently, that has changed as Dave and Buster’s has completely revamped their menu, with a vast and exciting array of options that rival any fine dining restaurant.
Strawberry Watermelon Margarita: Sauza Hacienda Silver, DeKurper Triple Sec, watermelon puree and strawberry infused ice cubes.
Caribbean Luxe Patron Lit: Patron Reposado Tequila, Grey Goose Vodka, Bacardi Superior Rum, Grand Marnier, mango purée, sweet ‘n sour and cranberry juice.
Jamaican Mai Tai: Appleton Estate Signature Rum, Aper, Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Pineapple Juice, mango purée, and Q ginger beer.
X-Rated Passion Fruit Mega Mojito: X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Bacardi Superior Rum, mango purée, sweet ‘n’ sour, mint, lime and club soda.)
Dave and Buster’s also offers a wide variety of great non alcoholic options including flavored teas and lemonades as well as a killer sweet tea.
Shrimp Scampi Flatbread: Garlic shrimp, mozzarella, Parmesan, roasted tomatoes, and baby arugula.
Roasted Cauliflower: One of the healthiest food options you’ll find at Broadway at the Beach, the roasted cauliflower appetizer features chimuchurri with a mint lemon drizzle.
Kale Caesar Salad (baby kale and arugula, romaine, grape tomato bruschetta, shredded Parmesan and Caesar dressing, all artfully topped off with a Parmesan crisp.
Fire Grilled Atlantic Salmon: Center-cut Atlantic salmon, Louisiana spices, Cajun butter, seasonal vegetables and jasmine rice.
Parmesan Chicken: Garlic Parmesan panko crusted chicken, mozzarella, Alfredo, linguine and grape tomato bruschetta basil.
PHONE: (843) 945-3500
OFF THE COAST BAR AND GRILL
Located inside the FunPlex, Myrtle Beach’s newest destination for adrenaline pumping entertainment, Off the Coast Bar and Grill offers an indulgent menu that features an upscale twist on “Theme Park Food” that is sure to satisfy everyone in the family.
Enjoy all your favorite deep fried guilty pleasures (paired with some surprisingly healthy items as well) in a breezy outdoor dining environment, while taking in all the dazzling and festive lights at the FunPlex.
The Shark Bite: Featuring a rich fruity blend, a deep ocean blue hue, all topped off with a plastic shark- a fun souvenir that you can take home to remember your dining experience- that releases a bright red cherry amaretto “bloody” mix right into your beverage. You cannot go wrong with the Shark Bite if you are looking for a unique and completely original beach drink.
Long Island Iced Tea: An expertly concocted libation featuring lemon juice, gin, tequila, vodka, triple Sec, white rum and a splash of cola, this drink is a classic accompaniment to a leisurely dinner at the bar.
Combo Platter: Although not officially listed on the menu, the friendly, laid back, and extremely accommodating staff at Off The Coast can customize most orders to suit all your needs and cravings. When we requested a customized sampler of all the most popular appetizers, food and beverage director, Nicole, didn’t bat an eye, bringing out a starter plate, featuring piping hot coconut shrimp with a sweet side sauce, Mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara, deep fried pickles, and potato skins topped with melted cheddar and mozzarella. We highly recommend ordering a combo platter to experience a variety of Off the Coast’s offerings, and be sure to tell them I sent you.
Vegan Burger: Bursting with flavor, and a heart- healthy alternative to its beef counterpart, this vegan burger is a welcome and unexpected menu offering at a laid back beach bar, topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, and served with a side of thick, freshly cut french fries.
Churros: This traditional South and Central American dessert is crisp on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, and deliciously dusted in a flavorful sugar and cinnamon powder. You can also add vanilla ice cream on the side if your sweet tooth so desires.
PHONE: (843) 286-5934
Quickly gaining notoriety for food that is, at once, photogenic, scrumptious, and filling, Drift is a premier restaurant in the “foodie” district of Myrtle Beach, specializing in breakfast, brunch and lunch. You’ll find yourself surrounded by atmosphere that is so aesthetically pleasing, it may as well be a photography studio, so get ready to whip out your smartphone for some Instagram-worthy photo ops during your lunch or brunch date with the girls. A perfect spot for business meetings or corporate gatherings, Drift has garnered an impressive number of local “regulars” as well as tourists, many of whom have undoubtedly read Drift’s online five-star reviews. Drift knows how difficult it can be to eat healthy while traveling, so Carlos, (owner/manager) and the chefs remain committed to offering only the best quality, and freshest, ingredients possible for a meal that will leave you feeling fully recharged and energized.
Fizzical Colada: Champagne, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, fresh nutmeg, and a splash of dark rum.
Drift Bloody Mary: Made with Deep Eddy Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix.
Chargrilled Octopus: Lemon vinaigrette, garlic infused olive oil, smoked paprika and tomato confit.
Salmon Cakes: Mild and flavorful, featuring mixed greens, capers and lemon vinaigrette.
Mango salad: Spinach, diced mango, piquante peppers, chopped bacon, goat cheese, red onions and candied pecans.
Wild Caught Salmon: Blackened or grilled salmon topped with garlic aioli sauce and five grain quinoa mixed with wild mushroom blend and spinach.
PHONE: (843) 310- 3339
Victoria Henley is host of Backstage Pass on IHeart Radio/FCB Radio and a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”