Jason can put away some food! Utterly amazing he stays as trim and fit as he is - guess it's all that exercising. Retrospectively, we can say this is one consideration where his wishes for the trip were very well met. He has been extremely enthusiastic about all of his dining experiences on the trip - from grand to simple fare - but, of course, the shrimp and steak were most appreciated and enjoyed!
(4.5) Ruth's Chris – 8761 Marina Parkway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572, (843) 839-9500. We've had some very good meals at the Ruth's Chris in Myrtle Beach, but Ed thought this one was at the top of the list and Jason certainly thought it was just outstanding.
His choice for the evening was the Tournedos, done medium, topped with shrimp and béarnaise sauce, accompanied by green beans. He also ordered a side dish of mushrooms. The entrée was cooked to perfection and extraordinarily tasty - a quite memorable experience. The button mushrooms were huge and delightful in the garlic sauce with the only problem being they were forgotten when the meal was being prepared. When Jason inquired if they were coming the waiter realized an error had occurred and dashed off to have the matter rectified. They were served a bit later and a manager stopped by to apologize and announced there would be no charge for the tardy mushrooms.
At lunchtime Ed had way overindulged beyond what he would typically eat during an entire day and just couldn't face the prospect of another large meal, as tempting as it all was at Ruth's Chris. Normally his choice would have mirrored Jason's but instead just a soup and appetizer were selected, which still proved to be too much. Either on its own would have been just right. The lobster bisque with its delicious bits of lobster was absolutely wonderful. And the Shrimp Remoulade appetizer was fantastic as always - definitely one of Ed's favorites. The large, tasty shrimp are always exceptionally good quality.
(3.5) Flamingo Grill – 7050 North Kings Hwy (71st Ave. N.), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29572, (803) 449-5388. Apart from expecting that Jason would enjoy it, the Flamingo was chosen because we had taken him there when the restaurant first opened in 1986. It still looks as chic as it did then - a very timeless decor and ambiance.
Jason had the grilled lemon-pepper shrimp appetizer and Ed the she crab soup, both of which were a nice start to the meal. The house salads were pleasant enough, but not especially remarkable. Jason teased Ed about his tendency to choose rather ordinarily common dressings such as Thousand Island. Unlike the salads, both entrees were remarkably good. Jason's Filet Mignon Oscar, again done medium (he was being adventuresome - normally orders his steak cooked a bit more than that), was excellent and so was Ed's combination of Filet Mignon with fried lobster chunks which were perfectly prepared. And, of course, there had to be the Flamingo's signature red skin new potatoes which are consistently good.
Jason was happy and Ed was way overstuffed again.
After leaving the Flamingo, Ed drove to the very nearby present day Ocean Reef and Sand Dunes on Ocean Drive where we had taken Jason on a number of trips long ago. He definitely remembered.
Other Dining Experiences
(4.5) Ella's of Calabash – 1148 River Road, Calabash, NC 28467, (910) 579-6728. This was one of those non-dinner dining experiences we're very tempted to include under the category of "Significant Meals" and, if we were to do so, under our rating system it probably would warrant something on the order of 3 1/2 to 4 's. It really was exceptional dining albeit extremely casual and laid back. There's nothing the least bit pretentious about this establishment and clearly it's not resting upon its very considerable past laurels.
Ed overindulged with the large platter of fried shrimp accompanied by French fries and Cole slaw while Jason, who's consistently more responsible than his Dad, had the much healthier (non-fried) sautéed shrimp which he thought was an excellent beginning to the dining experiences for this special trip. Some folk unaccustomed to true Southern ways might easily and mistakenly think the waitress's very solicitous, extremely friendly and polite demeanor to be contrived when in fact it was not. She was a delightful sweetheart who took great care of us.
Almost forgot to mention a significant aspect of the meal - the hushpuppies were very good!
It's always rather astounding to see how Calabash has changed over the decades from a sleepy little place with a few, shall we say, rustic seafood restaurants to a bustling community with modern shops and many nice places to eat and it's even possible to find some serving things other than seafood! Will wonders never cease? Actually, if one can show some reasonable restraint in terms of constantly being surrounded by appealing places to eat, Calabash would be a really nice place to retire. Another nostalgic moment was when after leaving Ella's the road was followed on down to the waterfront where Dockside Restaurant still operates. Sat there for a moment thinking and remembering and sharing nice recollections.
(4.0) The Grill at Fat Harold's Beach Club – 212 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, SC 25982, (843) 249-5779. It's already been noted that Ms. Lulu's famously delicious and messy cheeseburgers with lettuce and tomato and a generous slathering of Duke's mayonnaise were greatly enjoyed. Good, good, good. Jason was impressed!
Though it wasn't tried, Lulu was preparing Fried Chicken Salad as the special for that day's "Lunch with LuLu". She was grilling nice looking chicken breast filets which were then sliced and placed on a generous size green salad and seasoned. Looked wonderful and there were plenty of orders for takeout being placed.
(3.5) Cafe Amalfi at the Hilton – 10000 Beach Club Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572, (843) 449-5000. As usual when staying at the Hilton and Royale Palms, each morning Ed was in the Cafe Amalfi with its splendid view of the beach enjoying lots of coffee while reading The Sun News. And as always, Carol, Mimoza, Sandra, Bogden and others on the staff, apart from ensuring there was an adequate supply of hot coffee were doing their best to tempt him with the delicious "samples" of Eggs Benedict and fruit muffins, which he steadfastly refused. After sleeping late, really late for him, Jason would arrive for breakfast. The first morning he partook of the full buffet which is quite, quite extensive with its offerings. The centerpiece of his choices was a gigantic custom made ham and cheese omelet - even he couldn't finish it all, though he found it to be very good. The second morning he showed a bit more restraint by having only the cold buffet items, but was tempted into having one of the aforementioned Eggs Benedict samples. That did provide an opportunity for Ed to elucidate a bit on the differences between Béarnaise and Hollandaise sauces, all of which Jason absorbed.
(3.0) The Wet Whistle Bar at the Hilton – Jason decided a small lunch would be nice after the walk on the beach and parking at the Wet Whistle for drinks for awhile. But small it wasn't. He ordered the Cobb Salad and couldn't believe his eyes when he saw what was delivered - it was huge! Ed remarked it had to be the largest single salad serving he had ever seen. And it wasn't all just lots of lettuce - there was a bountiful amount of tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, bacon, turkey, and cheddar cheese included. Later it was observed that when others at the bar ordered what seemed to be different salads they were all of the same massive size. Needless to say, Jason didn't go hungry.
About a week after the end of the trip and by which time Jason was back into his all too normal very early-to-rise, late-to-bed days filled with hectic pressures and demands on his time, he was asked retrospectively what one word would best overall sum up his feelings about the trip. The response was "relaxing" - that meant a lot to him and certainly pleased Ed that he truly had been able to experience something which just never happens for him these days in any consequential way.
Indeed the trip was a terrific success by any measure, well maybe except for the weather, but that was the only complaint. It was a very special time together that Ed and Jason will always fondly remember. Among all other considerations the very rareness of such opportunities ensures that will be the case. Hopefully, there will be more occasions like this to enjoy in the time that remains for them to do so.
Thank you, our readers, for taking the time to let us share our thoughts and observations about matters which may be of interest and some help to you with regard to your own travel, but also letting us share our views and feelings about things of a personal nature that matter to us greatly.
Ed and Sandra EandS@carolina.rr.com
Click on the "Photos" link below to see more pictures from the trip.