Myrtle Beach

 

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We weren’t planning a winter getaway this year, mostly for financial reasons – one being that we’ll be doing a three to four week bike trip to the west coast this summer, but I saw a post on Facebook about Myrtle Beach accepting Canadian money at par for food and lodging.

The next thing I knew we had five nights booked at the Admiral Motor Inn, in downtown Myrtle Beach for the March Break. They offered a thirty percent discount through Hotels.com that almost evened out the exchange rate. We scored an ocean front, ocean view efficiency room for sixty-two bucks a night (Canadian).

I hadn’t been to Myrtle Beach in over thirty years, but was impressed to see that they built a beautiful oceanfront boardwalk that runs almost a mile and a half. For folks like us who want to park the car and walk most places, it was perfect. It was ideal for strolling or getting to and from about two dozen bars, restaurants, arcades, beachwear shops and more.

IMG_2617If you are in search of upscale restaurants, giant miniature golf places, gold courses and theme parks you can find everything you want along the Kings Highway which is only a few blocks back from Ocean Drive and the Boardwalk. The highway runs for dozens of miles, north and south, along the coast.

We can easily recommend several restaurants, but I’ll limit it to two that are right on the Boardwalk and two about ten minutes away, on the Kings Highway.

Landshark Bar & Grill – As they say, you can’t miss this place. It is right under the giant Ferris wheel on the boardwalk. Our first stop there was mostly to re-hydrate after a long walk, but we shared a spinach & artichoke dip. It was nothing to brag about. The friendly young bartender let us preview the new menu that was to start the next night so we said we’d return.

We learned to try and hit the restaurants at happy hour to try and make up for the currency difference (none of them seemed to know about the advertisement). The Landshark has a great patio overlooking the ocean, but it was a bit chilly and we sat at the bar with the same bartender – a skateboarder dude. Cathryn ordered the tuna tartar and I went for the full rack of ribs.

The raw tuna smelled a bit fishy (not normal) so C sent it back and ordered a burger. By the time she got it I was half way through the scrumptious ribs. She thought the burger was okay. C can be a bit fussy in restaurants; we passed on our compliments and complaints to the dude. The place was always busy and lots of other patrons happily gobbled down their meals.

Banditos Restaurant & Cantina – This one is at the northern end of the boardwalk and might be a half step up from the Landshark. As the name suggests the theme is Mexican. The happy hour was twice as long as everyone else’s; that may have been why we enjoyed this place…drinks and appetizers at half price.

The first time there was just to share the Mexican spring rolls and a few draft beers. When we returned another day we had to have another go at the spring rolls and then a chimichanga. All the food was excellent. Cathryn was tipped off by the golfer sitting next to her about a Cadillac Margarita. It was a good tip.

IMG_2631Flamingo Grill – It’s on the Kings Highway, about ten minutes from downtown.

I can’t even describe the décor…there were at least 4 distinct styles going on that somehow seemed to blend together. It was quieter and cozier than the Boardwalk restaurants, but we also had to drive to get to it.

We started with lobster bites and a béarnaise dip for an appetizer. In one word, they were fabulous. Cathryn took another stab at tuna, this time seared, with garlic mashed potatoes. I chose the blackened rib eye.  Both meals were accompanied by a side salad and warm bread. With driving in mind we only ordered the Pinot Grigio house wine (at happy hour prices) by the glass. The male waiter was very patient and helpful.

C’s tuna was done perfect and although my steak was blackened it was still cooked perfectly. The caramelized onions on top were a perfect contrast to the pepper. We had no room for dessert and both left completely satisfied.

Kaminski’s New York Deli – It’s within a few blocks of the Flamingo Grill and is the perfect lunch stop if you’re looking for a New York style Deli sandwich. We did the splits here and shared smoked meat and turkey on rye with a side of coleslaw. The meat was like juicy thin slices of heaven on fluffy fresh bread. Excellent.

Liberty Tap Room”  – There a couple of these in Myrtle Beach and if you’re looking for a cold Craft Beer this is the place to go. We didn’t eat at the one in Broadway at the Beach, but found that they had the most impressive draft beer selection in town. They even brew some of their own.

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