Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been getting work done to get ready to be gone for vacation with my wife for our wedding anniversary. Yesterday was 3 years of marriage for us and we decided to spend Tuesday – Thursday morning at Myrtle Beach and Thursday evening – Saturday morning at my grandparents’ house in Holden Beach. We’ve had a blast so far and I thought that I would post about the fun that we’ve had up to this point.
The Grumpy Monk
Upon arriving to Myrtle Beach and checking into the Sleep Inn at the Outlets, by the Tanger Outlets at Myrtle, we decided that we needed to find a good, casual place to eat. After a quick Google search and check with TripAdvisor we found that The Grumpy Monk fit that description well and was rated decently high for pub fare in the area.
We sat in the dining area, away from the bar as it was kind of loud with Trivia Night coming to a close, and I started to look at the various TV screens placed on the walls that were playing a looping slideshow. This slideshow turned out to be a list of their beers. All 43 drafts and God-knows-how-many-bottles with types ranging from fruity beers and lambics to Imperial Stouts and Double Porters. Our waitress, Alexis, came to the table and, after finding out that we had never been to The Grumpy Monk, proceeded to tell us about their specials and for what they were known. Apparently, as we found out, they have some of the best wings and burgers around!
I ordered the “Hangover Burger” which was a burger, grilled with their blend of spices, with lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, bacon, a slice of cheddar and an over-easy egg. It was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, hands-down. I’ve had plenty of this type of burger before and this one takes the cake. Not only did the spice blend give the burger a great taste, but the egg was cooked perfectly with the right about of salt and pepper and when I put the bun on the burger after applying the mayo and ketchup, the yolk popped and ran down the sides of the burger, giving it that magical, golden, oh-so-good-ness. I ordered the Monk Chips as the side which, as you can probably guess, were just homemade potato chips, but they applied the same spicy seasoned salt to the chips that were on the burger and that made them exceptional. To top it off, they served the chips with a house-made ranch, made with fresh cracked black pepper. One can add 5 wings to any meal for $5 extra so I took them up on this deal to give their award-winning wings a shot. I ordered the hot sauce expecting them to be like most places:
medium/mild = tastes like buffalo sauce
hot/x-hot = maybe like a Texas pete…not really hot
Extreme/Atomic = that’s the good stuff
Oh-my-b’gah/It’s nuts/Insanity = why you do dis to yoself?
Anyway, the wings turned out to be the likes of most places’ Extreme/Atomic wings where they were actually hot and had lots of flavor at the same time. Here’s what makes their wings SO good: they smoke their wings for a long time to cook them through until they’re good and juicy then they flash fry them to give them a good crunch and toss them in sauce. These wings were so good that I pushed through the feeling of being full to make sure that I didn’t waste them. That’s a tasty wing.
Eggs Up Grill
For breakfast on the morning of our anniversary, we decided to try the place that TripAdvisor showed to be the best breakfast around, Eggs Up Grill in Conway, SC. The atmosphere was like a small diner, but man was it packed. Judging by how busy it was alone, I would have said that it had to be the best around. We both ordered coffee and looked over the menu. My wife decided to try an omelette with swiss cheese, tomatoes, and bacon. She enjoyed it, but I think she enjoyed her side of scratch-made grits even more as they weren’t the slop that some diners try to pass for real grits. I, having never had an eggs benedict before, decided to order one. Now, since I am who I am, I couldn’t simply order a classic benedict; I had to order something unique. Eggs Up is known for their corned beef hash. I’m Irish, so need I say more? I ordered the Paddy O’Benedict; toasted english muffin topped with corned beef hash, two poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce and served with home fries. Well, it’s official; I like eggs benedict! The hollandaise sauce was delicious and added a creamy saltiness to the eggs and corned beef hash and the hash itself had so much flavor. It was a great way to start our anniversary for sure as the service was great and the food was flavorful and filling.
Tanger Outlets at Myrtle Beach
If you’ve never been to a Tanger Outlet mall and you…wear clothes…why you not do stuff? The Tanger Outlet mall has something for everyone, whether you like athletic or designer clothes and shoes, sunglasses, kitchen items, tools, toys, or really most of anything else. We started off the day at the Nike Outlet. Unfortunately for me, a big man, they don’t dabble much in the way of Big & Tall, so I wasn’t able to find anything there. We then made what we thought would be a pit stop at the Sunglass Hut, but it turned into a whole shopping experience for myself and the wife. Have you ever worn a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses? You should. I think it’s what those late night infomercials try to sell you as “HD” lenses because they make all the colors so vivid. One would use his/her own eyes to look at a bush or a tree’s green leaves and then look through polarized lenses and it looks more like the crisp, bright colors of an HD movie or a video game. It’s really amazing and the polarized lenses remove the harsh glare of the summer sun that leaves only the most vivid and spectacular views. That being said, I ended up with a pair of really nice black Ray Ban sunglasses with polarized lenses and my wife walked away with a pair of tortoise shell Ray Bans with polarized lenses.
We then stopped at Skechers, and my wife got a pair of nice slip-on sandals that are casual enough to wear out and about, but look professional enough for her to wear to work, so it was a win-win. Then I found some amazing slip-ons that I loved. Two words: Star. Wars.
Now, let’s look beyond the blasphemy portrayed here where Luke has a RED lightsaber and Vader is wielding a BLUE lightsaber and agree that these shoes are awesome. Now here’s the bad news. Skechers apparently made these long, no matter the size. I tried on my normal size 13 and it was WAY too long. I tried on a 12 and it fit pretty well, though it was too long as well. So I tried the 11 and my foot couldn’t fit into the shoe, but the shoe was still too long as well. Weird, right? Anyway, needless to say, since the shoes were so long and were not very comfortable because of it, I did not end up with these beauties. I can say, though, that I’m not too upset. Who screws up the color of Luke and Vader’s lightsabers?!
Finally, we stopped at DXL and were able to find a nice pair of Reebok golf shorts and a Deadpool t-shirt for me. After a morning of shopping, we were ready to head out and enjoy the rest of our day, but first we needed to grab some lunch.
TripAdvisor showed Brother Shuckers as one of the better seafood restaurants around Broadway at the Beach so we decided to give it a shot. Upon walking in, we noticed white linens on the tables and indications that this was a more-than-casual atmosphere. However, after being greeted with large smiles and hospitality while walking into the restaurant wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt, I didn’t feel so out-of-place. We looked over the menu and decided to order some of their signature O’Brother Shrimp as an appetizer. The waitress said that they were similar to Bang Bang Shimp if you’ve ever had that from an Asian restaurant, but they were more crispy and probably more spicy. The shrimp came out with a crispy breading and covered in a darker-colored, spicy sauce. They were pretty good, but my wife and I agreed that they would have been better if the breading hadn’t have been so thick. For her entree, my wife ordered the Fish and Chips. The unique thing about their Fish and Chips was that they used Tilapia instead of the Cod that most fish joints sell. The breading had a nice crunch to it, but my wife said it didn’t have much flavor.
I decided to give their Wedge Salad a shot, though I don’t like Bleu Cheese, so I asked for no Blue Cheese crumbles or dressing and asked for Ranch instead. Their ranch was house-made and was delicious. The tomatoes and onions were fresh and the bacon was nice and crispy. This was a perfect, refreshing Wedge Salad.
Overall, this restaurant offered good food and great service and if you’re in the mood for fresh fish or a great salad for lunch, you’re safe to give this place a shot.
Broadway at the Beach
We took our time getting from the outlets to Broadway, cruising the “strip” and seeing just how many things had changed at Myrtle since we were kids. Myrtle looks much less like a family-friendly beach with lots of fun activities and more like a run-down tourist trap; a shadow of what it once was.
We arrived at Broadway at the Beach and began going from shop to shop. If you’ve ever been to Broadway, you know you have to stop at either Wet Willie’s or Fat Tuesday. We stopped at the latter and I indulged in a Dreamsicle daiquiri; a mix of grain alcohol, rum, orange, piña colada, and strawberry all in one cup of alcoholic goodness. I paid the extra $1 for an extra shot of grain alcohol in a test tube, turned upside down in the drink so I could enjoy myself just that much more. The bar itself is just a little stop-in type of place with a wall full of different flavored daiquiris, beer, and a digital jukebox. It’s very simple and very to-the-point: “we will get you drunk in a way only the beach can.”
After downing the drink, we headed to various surf shops and novelty shops, we decided some of the best ice cream ever was in the cards for us so we stopped at Kilwin’s. They have an array of candies, fudges, chocolates, and desserts ranging from homemade candy apples and chocolate-covered marshmallows to homemade ice cream and fudge. We sampled a few types of ice cream; New Orleans Praline Pecan, Rocky Road, Apple Pie, S’mores, and Strawberry Cheesecake. They were all absolutely delicious, but my wife ended up with the New Orleans Praline Pecan and I had a scoop of S’mores and a scoop of Apple Pie and it was amazing. Although the ice cream was delicious, the best part about our visit to Kilwin’s was the people. Everyone there was friendly and it was obvious that they loved their craft. I spoke with them about how they made their fudge and watched them make a fresh batch and I think that may be why their desserts and treats are so delicious; it’s because of the love that they put into their work.
Walking around through Broadway there are various points where you cross the water over a bridge and have the opportunity to feed the fish below. The great thing, though, is that for 25 cents, you can feed not only the ridiculously hungry fish that gather like a plague, but you can also feed turtles, geese, and ducks who come over once they hear the click of the food machine (gumball machine) and see you throwing the food out to the fish.
We finished up our time at Broadway by visiting some more surf shops and novelty stores; grabbing a couple of t-shirts and car decals as we went. We saw that it was about 19:00 and we decided that if we were going to go play mini golf, we needed to go do it so we headed out.
Cancun Lagoon Mini Golf
This place looked to be one of the coolest mini golf places close-by so we ended up here. Upon arriving we saw a couple of huge Aztec pyramids, surrounded by beautiful flowers and shrubs with waterfalls flowing down the front, back, and sides of the pyramids. We entered through the rear of the pyramids and were told that they had three, 9-hole courses and an adult round was $9.50 for 18 holes. After completing 18 holes, you could play the third course for $2 more per person. We paid for our adult rounds, grabbed our score cards, putters, and balls and headed to the yellow course (hardest) where all 9 holes were outside in the breeze and sun. We flew through the course, putting mostly 2 and 3 strokes per hole and ended up back inside the temple to begin the red course (2nd hardest) with 5 holes being inside the temple and 4 being outside. We played through this course, again shooting mostly 2 or 3 strokes per hole with the occasional 4-stroke hole and one screw-up 5-stroke hole (ha!). At the end of 18 we looked at the time and it took us about 30 minutes to get through 18 holes of mini golf…WHAT!? As kids, it always took over an hour to get through a single 18-hole course. But I guess getting out there and being able to hit the ball decently, and not having to wait on large groups to get out of the way really sped up the game time.
For our anniversary dinner, we decided to go to Lil’ Tokyo for a nice hibachi dinner. We ordered the Filet Mignon and Shrimp combination dinner that, as most Hibachi Steakhouses do, was served with a salad and soup as appetizers with 2 appetizer shrimp, rice, noodles, and mixed vegetables. I also had a large Fuji Apple Sake and a large White Peach Sake…it was a special occasion 🙂
The chef came out and was very charismatic and fun; joking about many of the things he did by saying things like, “I screwed up on that yesterday, I guess I’m getting better!” after he flipped the bowl of shrimp tails into his hat or quickly slicing and de-veining the shrimp. He cooked my filet to a perfect, juicy medium-rare and my wife’s to medium temperature and gave us our grilled shrimp and left the table with a bow and a “thank you” and we finished our dinner, talking about the past three years of marriage and what the future would bring. We were both satisfied and tired from a long day of fun so we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.