Myrtle Beach, the trashy Tammy

Foodstalkers is on tour!

Myrtle Beach, SC, runs with a reputation (at least among my friends) of being disgustingly, gloriously trashy. If personified, Myrtle Beach would be a lady: 65 years old , tanned well-done, wrinkly, acrylic red nails, swimsuit with net-style cover-up dress, flip flops, teased and bleached hair, cigarette hanging out of the mouth, Busch Lite in a neon green koozie reading, “BEER, It’s What’s For Dinner.”

It hasn’t always been this way. But in the past couple of decades, strip joints have cropped up like STD outbreaks. And the beachwear shops have become more and more redundant. I recall past trips and the unspeakable charades. Could there be a side to Myrtle Beach beyond the ludicrous?

Yes and no. The charades continue, but I did manage to find spots that locals and non-Spring Break (or Beach Grad) visitors could enjoy year round. It was truly worthwhile to be visiting in the off season.

Hamburger Joe’s

Definitely a noteworthy local joint. This place was pretty busy for a Friday afternoon lunch in the off-season. There are dollar bills lining the walls! Ha. So the food is great. I ordered a delectable cheeseburger (shocker, as I normally go sans formage). I topped it with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard and SLAW. Yes, slaw. I love it on a burger. Side of onion rings. And a Diet Coke for equilibrium. This place gets an A: satisfying food and a fun, casual environment. Thank you, Joe!

ah the light on a burger. so romantic. i could devour it.

romantic light on a burger. i could devour it. i did.

hamburger joe's + tamtam

hamburger joe's + tamtam

Duffy Street Seafood Shack, Main Street, Cherry Grove, SC

Steamed shrimp + fries, slaw and hushpuppies. This is my favorite standard beach food, mainly because of the Old Bay and spices in the steamer. I’m not sure what the quantity was, but it was way enough for two meals. Overall: good basic beach food, though nothing truly extraordinary. I imagine this place gets crowded during summer months with locals and visitors alike.

Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. Pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

duffy street seafood shack. we have a theme.

duffy street seafood shack. we have a theme.

The Sea Captain’s House

This place was incredibly good. I can only imagine the wait for a table during summer months. But lucky for us, we were seated right away for lunch. The house maintains its charm with quaint dining rooms throughout. There’s also a patio with bar out back—right on the beach!

The menu is extensive, featuring beachy favorites, sandwiches and a nice list of salads (for when you’re full on fried seafood). I selected another beachy favorite: crab cakes with a dill butter sauce. Oh yes. These were tender and meaty, not made of lots of filler. The breading was also nice and thin, so the flavors concentrated on the crab, and not on a crunchy cornmeal exterior. This place is a must-visit. But get there early, or plan on waiting if it’s summertime!

crab cakes with a killer dill butter sauce

crab cakes with a killer dill butter sauce

the sea captain's house.

the sea captain's house.

Just a couple more highlights:

The Killers at House of Blues!

the killers at house of blues!

the spanish galleon. you must go to there.

the spanish galleon. you must go to there.

the birthplace of shag.

myrtle beach: the birthplace of shag.


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5 responses to “Myrtle Beach, the trashy Tammy

  1. oh my!!! so many good memories! i really can’t wait to go back! my view of myrtle beach has been changed forever – you must embrace the trashy!

  2. Hamburger Joe’s is A+ and their wings are dank.
    Oh and you’ve never been to Myrtle Beach until you experience Black Bike Week.

  3. what a glorious trip! we gotta do it again sometime. let me know if you need to jump in front of any restaurants any time soon…

  4. “myrtle beach” would be holding a busch light …

    just so you know, i was reading this blog when the phone rang at my office. i was laughing so much that i had to hang up. great trip!

    thanks em!

  5. Oh Em… You know how I love me some Myrtle Beach. Sea Captains is my favorite! I think their crab cakes are some of the best I have ever had. There is also this crazy Austrian place in a strip mall there that is insane. I know. Only in Myrtle Beach would there be a delectable Austrian place in a strip mall.

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