Friday, September 30, 2011

Provision Company: The Return

Last October I blogged about this place called the Provision Company located in Holden Beach, NC that we just fell in love with.  This year when we made the trek back down there, we knew this was going to be one of our top three places to return to.

Every year we visit Myrtle, we always take a day to drive northward a little ways into North Carolina to visit Holden Beach, a more quiet family beach that holds a special place in our hearts and fond memories of past family vacations.  And every year on our way there, we make a shopping stop in Calabash.  Superking dreads it but he tolerates it for me.  There's one shop in particular called Callahan's.  Its huge, practically taking up an entire block of town, which is saying a lot considering the town of Calabash only consists of about two main streets, Callahan's being at the corner of both.

Callahan's at Calabash

Half the store is filled with your typical tourist beach gifts like T-shirts and mugs and home-made fudge.  But the other half is all about Christmas! Everything you can possibly imagine an ornament for, they most likely have it.  I like to do theme Christmas trees (this year its going to be candy) and this is where I start picking up my decorating ideas. Never too early to start planning! ;)

crossing the bridge over the canal from the mainland to Holden Beach

and there's the ocean

Anyway, enough about about a juicy shrimp burger on the beach??

beautiful serene Holden Beach

we saw like 2 people there

Thats one of the specialties at Provision Company.  Its completely awesome! I had it last year and couldn't resist getting it again.  Superking decided to go simple and get half a pound of steamed shrimp. This place is very down-to-earth...plastic forks, paper plates, styrofoam cups, even plastic chairs and wooden tables.  The food is great and the atmosphere so peaceful. Even though this time we came, the place was packed but everyone there was just relaxing, having fresh locally caught seafood, and enjoying the gorgeous beach weather.

they collect license plates on the wall

view of the canal and a shrimping boat from our table

full of people, all open-air, no windows

After we leave the Provision Company, we have to make a stop at The Scoop, the best little ice cream place there.  The ice cream is good but nothing special.  What makes this place great is the people, the location, and the memories.  Its not the beach, especially Holden Beach, without The Scoop.  We each get a scoop (peanut butter for Superking, spiced pumpkin for me) and a little bit of home-made fudge to take home for gifts. Ah, another perfect day at the beach!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Croissants Bistro & Bakery

This was the most adorable little eatery we visited in Myrtle Beach.  Finding decent breakfast places down there is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This place was so good we went back a second time later in the week!

Croissants Bistro has a casual elegance like you just stepped into a sitting parlour of an old southern home of a close friend.  They have a contemporary little bar area and a luscious pastry counter and the whole atmosphere just exudes southern charm.

And the food...definitely a cut above anything else you'll find in that area. The first time we went, Superking ordered traditional eggs benedict which came with a piece of country ham on top of a croissant, served with a little fruit salad and bacon.

I ordered the omelet with shrimp and boursin cheese which also came with a croissant, fruit salad, and a ramekin of cheesy potato casserole.  Everything was marvelous and so beautifully presented.  And the service was very friendly and attentive.

The second time we went there, Superking gets two eggs-to-order (fried over-easy) with bacon, fruit, and potato casserole with a slice of toast.

I got the eggs benedict on a croissant and topped with a crab cake.  Every bite is amazing and comforting.  Perfectly cooked, perfectly presented.  It almost felt like we were at a fancy bed and breakfast.  We could've gone back there for breakfast every morning!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Mellow Mushroom at the Ice Cream Parlour

One night in Myrtle Beach we wanted to go for a low-key cheap dinner.  Whats more low-key and cheap than pizza?  But the problem is that we've been a little spoiled with pizza by The Don's, a local NoVa pizza joint run by a friend of ours.  Their pizza is the best! For us, thats the only take-out pizza we eat.  So to find another pizza worthy of our tastebuds, is quite a feat.

The Mellow Mushroom is an interesting and unique little place.  They serve salads and subs as well as pizza but pizza is their main gig.  And they offer many unique toppings on their pizzas such as broccoli, feta cheese, tofu, jalapenos, bbq sauce, red potatoes, and tzatziki sauce and of course all the typical cheeses and meats and veggies too.

We ordered the Funky Q Chicken pizza...topped with bbq chicken, mozarella and cheddar cheeses, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, and bbq sauce.  It was very rich and tasty.  A little bit of sweet, a little bit of smokey. A lot of flavor.

In our opinion, The Don's still wins hands down. But The Don's can't come to Myrtle Beach with me so the Mellow Mushroom is a good away-from-home option.  And incidentally, there is a new Mellow Mushroom coming to the Adams Morgan area of DC in the very near future! So go check it out!!

After we had Mellow Mushroom pizza we stopped at Kirk's 1890 Ice Cream Parlour for dessert.  It was jumpin'!

Its got an old-timey flair to it and the ice cream is hand-scooped.  There's even a couple old-school video games for the kids.  

Superking got peanut butter cup ice cream and mine was butterfinger, both in a waffle cone dipped in chocolate and peanuts!!  It was so creamy and sweet! It was probably the same ice cream you could've bought in the store but the atmosphere is so quaint. And really, do you want to scoop your own ice cream into a cone? I think not.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Habibi's Cafe and Market

It was much to our surprise when I discovered an Arabic restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Technically I think it was Lebanese and it was a cafe/market.  It looked like a little ethnic grocery store with a kitchen.

There were only a couple aisles but they were packed with all kinds of Arabic foods...olives, olive oils, grape leaves, nuts, beans, grains, cookies, candies, and many other things I didn't even know what they were. There was also a freezer case filled with meat including whole sheep heads and refrigerator cases with cheeses and other dairy products and drinks.

We picked out a couple Lebanese sodas. It was actually a non-alcoholic malted beverage, one with peach flavor, the other raspberry.  Very sweet and bubbly and perfect for lunch on a hot day!

We decided to order a Vegetarian Plate and a Kabob Combo Plate to share. This way we get to try a little of everything.  Both plates came with fresh warm pita bread, hummus, and baba ganouj topped with olive oil and a red spice (perhaps paprika?).  Hummus is made from chickpeas and baba ganouj is made from eggplants. I've had baba ganouj before and wasn't very impressed.  This baba ganouj however was amazing! I could've eaten it all day long.  The hummus was awesome too.  Both very creamy and spicy (not hot-spicy but spice-spicy).

falafel plate

The veggie plate came with 5 falafels which are ground chickpeas rolled into a ball and fried. These were very crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.  The combo plate had chicken, beef, and lamb meat.  All of which was very juicy and tender and flavorful.  My fave was definitely the lamb!

kabob plate

Each plate was also served with lettuce and tomato and a tabouleh salad with some kind of spicy red sauce on the side.  Tabouleh usually consists of a grain called bulgur, tomato, cucmber, parsley, sometimes mint, garlic, onion and seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.  One of my Arabic friends made some for me before that was pretty good.  This version seemed to have a lot more parsley in it.  It was a little tangy and vinegary but very tasty as well.  Its served cold and its very refreshing to have with the hot meat or the spicy sauce.

very pretty murals painted on the walls

We found out from the owner that this place had been open for three years and is the only place like it in all of Myrtle Beach.  Us white folks definitely got a few stares from the Arabics coming in and out of there as we were the only white folks around.  And I'm sure they don't see too many others venture in there too often either. But the owner was very friendly and open to share his story with us and welcomed us back.  He seemed very appreciative of our business and our adventure to find them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lulu's Cafe

Just driving around in Myrtle Beach one day we passed by a little cafe called Lulu's that looked fairly new and seemed full of people.  We looked it up online and found some good reviews so we thought we'd take another chance and check it out for breakfast the next day.

there was outdoor seating but we arrived during the only 10 minutes of rain we had the entire trip.

We've mentioned before how difficult it is to find decent non-chain, non-buffet restaurants in Myrtle Beach.  If you're searching specifically for breakfast, its even harder. But we were able to locate two such breakfast gems on this trip.  The first being Lulu's, a 1950's style diner. Having opened only six months ago, they serve traditional American meals with a flair of Southern hospitality.  They also serve lunch and sometimes dinner, depending on the day and time of year. I hear sometimes during the summer they even stay open 24 hours!

With its cute kitschy 50's decor, you instantly feel transported back in time.  Bright colors mixed with black leather and chrome and an inviting little bar area.  The food wasn't anything particularly unique but it was very tasty and hot and served with a smile.  One thing kind of unique and funny was that everyone had a different mug for their coffee.  It was as if someone went through their kitchen cabinets at home or stopped at a flea market and randomly grabbed whatever mugs they could get their hands on. 

this mug was too hot to handle...literally... we requested another one

I had to have their biscuits and gravy, something I haven't had in a very long time.  It was super yummy! The soft buttery biscuits hiding underneath a mountain of creamy, peppery sausage gravy. So warm and comforting!

Superking went for the simple plate of two eggs sunny-side up with a couple pieces of crispy bacon and toast with a side of hot grits. Again nothing fancy or special but very tasty!

Its so nice to find a place like this at the beach.  Good food that's well-prepared and presented.  An adorable homey atmosphere.  And friendly helpful staff. Can't wait to go back for a visit next time we're in town!

look at those fluffy grits in the middle! Yumm!