After a couple of days in Myrtle Beach, we noticed our natural traveling schedule had shifted a bit. This happens every year because, of course, Max and Theo are one year older…and because sometimes we like to throw a new baby into the mix just to keep things interesting.
Something that has stayed the same over the last four years is our love of picnic lunches on day trips. Packing a lunch in the morning before we leave the campground means we will be able to enjoy whatever hike, activity, refuge, beach, or lake we are visiting without having to abandon everything when the nasty hunger monster strikes. It also means we won’t be stuck buying overpriced, underwhelming food at some soulless snack bar.
We do also like to experience the local food culture wherever we go, so that usually means a dinner or two out. This year with Wesley’s earlier bedtime thrown into the mix, we found it worked better to do dinners picnic style, with easy sandwiches and salads. It was too much to get back after a long day of activity, cook, eat, clean up dinner, and still get Wes to bed at a reasonable time. Tuna fish, watermelon slices, chips and salsa were the perfect solution to this problem. Another solution? Eating out at lunch instead of dinner.
We were lucky enough to eat at three different restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area and enjoy all of them…a minor traveling miracle. If you are in the area, each one of these places will satisfy the kids, the adults, and the budget.
1. The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co., Garden City: This lunch spot is actually a bit south of Myrtle Beach, on the way to (or back from) Huntington Beach State Park in Murrels Inlet. It is in one of those unassuming strip centers along a stretch of highway, but you can find it easily enough with Yelp.
You might wonder why anyone would try to mess with grilled cheese, but then you taste one with a crab cake on it and you think, oh–that’s why. You can get lobster, shrimp, or fried green tomatoes on your grilled cheese here and all the options pair just swell with the old bay french fries. The seafood chowder was perfect and eagerly devoured by our three boys. We must note that the service, while being some of the friendliest we have ever had, was also very slow. If you go, make sure you have time to relax and wait patiently for food. Order some soup to keep the troops in line. Request some crackers. No one should be stressed while eating grilled cheese.
2. Green Grubbin’, Myrtle Beach: This wraps and salads joint is right on the main drag (Kings Hwy) and just around the corner from the Myrtle Beach KOA. Everything is made to order, and all of the food was fresh and delicious. The boys loved their bean and cheese wraps, Jeremy had the Chef Classic, and I put together a southwestern type of thing, probably because it was warm out and that felt right. Wesley sampled from everything and seemed pleased. Max and Theo asked to return to this place later in the week. Of course the fact that Green Grubbin’ also serves ice cream may have had something to do with that request.
3. Duffy Street Seafood Shack, Myrtle Beach (north end). I’m sure this place hops at night, but it was uncrowded and laid back at lunchtime. This is the sort of seafood place where you can throw your peanuts on the floor and boy oh boy did Max and Theo get a kick out of that (Wesley didn’t see what the big deal was, since he does that at every meal). The fish and chips was delicious–meaty and crisp without being greasy. The hush puppies (of which I have never been a big fan) were a hit with everyone else.
Jeremy and I split the Shrimp Po’ Boy and the Shrimp and Grits. Jeremy loved the sandwich, but I hardly tried it because I was on a date with the Shrimp and Grits dish. They say this recipe won an award, and I am not surprised.
Yup…that’s shrimp, bacon, sausage, cheese, peppers, onions, you name it. The meal was so rich that we packed the leftovers to go, and I got four late night snacks out of that tin. Talk about a happy camper.
All three of these restaurants offered extremely friendly service, comfortable seating for our family of five, kid-friendly options (besides the ubiquitous chicken fingers), and reasonable prices for a touristed area. Most importantly they gave us great, belly-filling food that led, all three times, to long afternoons naps. That is enough for a 5-star review from this parent.
As always, let us know if you go!