A Beach, A Marsh, Fire & Smoke
Surprise, surprise, the first thing we had to do on our first morning at Myrtle was to make a visit to one of the local breakfast joints (now admit it you have missed reading about our breakfast outings, haven’t you?) – The Eggs Up Grill, another place we have visited in the past. Besides having decent food, I have to admit that I love their T-shirts (not enough to buy or wear one though)! We both had their homemade corned beef with poached eggs and home fries. Although the hash seemed more salty than usual, it was very good.
I had seen an ad for a Marsh Walk in nearby Murrell’s Inlet so after breakfast we decided to take the short drive to see what that was all about. We had driven through Murrell’s Inlet before but didn’t remember anything about a Marsh Walk. I guess I expected some type of nature walk – although it was pretty with lovely views of the salt water estuary/marsh it seemed more like a riverfront restaurant walk. Probably a pretty hoppin’ place at night since many of the places have outdoor seating and live music but not so much in the morning.
As we walked along the boardwalk we noticed a small island a short distance from where we were standing with animals on it. At first I thought the island was populated with horses but as we walked closer I could see that what I thought were horses were actually goats. We could also see several peacocks strutting around as well. The goats were having a great time romping and butting heads with each other and climbing on top of a small wooden structure. I stopped to ask a woman who was watering the plants along the boardwalk about the goats. She told me that the goats couldn’t get off the island (guess they don’t like to swim) so they stay there all summer but when the weather starts to get cold around November they are moved (a challenging operation to be sure) to a local farm. Apparently the owner of Drunken Jack’s restaurant located on the boardwalk (and the owner of the goats) goes out by boat with feed for them each day. Fun watching them romping and playing!
As we walked by one of the boats, a guy standing on the bow suddenly started to reel in a fish. Boy what a struggle! It must be a tuna for sure! Nope, guess not – we heard him telling his buddy on the boat that he thought it was some type of bass. Suddenly just as it was close enough to be pulled in, the line snapped. Darn! Guess he’ll have a tale about the big one that got away over dinner that night.
After our leisurely stroll, we headed back to the state park. Funny we spend the summer on the water so why did our first visit to the beach that afternoon seem so exciting. Can’t explain it but it was! We love the water but are not beach people – sitting in (and covered with) sand, slathered in sun tan oil, for hours at a time, baking in the sun is not our idea of a good time. But taking a walk along the water is a totally different story.
As we walked to the beach from our campsite, we saw some pretty interesting accommodations! On one site was this huge green monster. Turns out that this was a Mercedes Benz L-series truck that was bought and converted into an RV by a couple in Germany. According to their website which is written in German but translated to English by Google (be forewarned it is a little difficult to read), since 2004, they have traveled all over the world in it – Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. For their latest journey to North America, they had to have it shipped via a tanker to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Wish we had a chance to talk with them but the next day they were gone.
Not too far away on one of the tent sites were the smallest trailers I’ve ever seen! Apparently these are ideally pulled by a motorcycle. Better than a tent I guess – no set up required so a lot less work and probably weather proof during bad weather but boy, it must be pretty challenging folding yourself up to fit inside. Too claustrophobic for my taste!
It was a pretty warm day with temps close to 80 degrees so it was awesome walking the beach. Each day as long as the weather was good, we would take a walk and sit on the pier watching the fishermen and birds. Awesome!
And while we were there, on Wednesday, October 29th, we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. Twenty one years – whoosh, how the time has flown by! Seems like just yesterday that my soul mate and I had just started dating! I hope the next 21 years don’t fly by as fast!
Last year in all the hubbub with selling the house, helping Rob’s Dad with the sale of his house, putting the boat to bed (these all sound like reasonable excuses right?) and getting ready to travel, I totally forgot our anniversary – Rob had to remind me that night. What’s with that, you say, isn’t it the husband who usually forgets, not the wife?
I was determined not to forget it this year. For that reason and being the foodie that I am, I spent some time trying to find a special place to celebrate. It didn’t take long. One of the top 10 restaurants in Myrtle Beach listed was Fire & Smoke, Myrtle Beach’s first gastropub featuring, according to their website, “sophisticated high quality food and hand crafted cocktails without the pretentiousness of being labeled fine dining.” Sounded interesting!
Every reviewer raved about the food there and suggested reservations. So I made a reservation at 6 p.m. Located in a strip mall on 79th Ave, you wouldn’t know that this place even existed. Turned out reservations weren’t necessary on this particular night – when we walked in no one was there (although by the time we left the place was full). Trey, our waiter, introduced himself and started to explain the name of the restaurant (they have both a wood grill and a smoker thus the name), the food and extensive draft beer menus. Hmmm, how does peanut butter porter sound?
Instead of all main entrees, they have an unusual assortment of appetizers, plus “small plates” which Trey explained were more than tapas (usually only 2-3 bites) but smaller than their “comfort foods revisited” entrees. So what he recommended was for us to order an appetizer or small plate, eat that, revisit the menu and order something else. Based on the reviews and Trey’s recommendation, we started with the Duck Confit Nachos which were six blue corn tortilla chips topped with duck confit, tomato jam, manchego crema and pineapple pico. No salsa or guac on these but oh, my, were they good!
For our next choice we split an order of their house fried pickles. They arrived in a big cone shaped metal serving dish – yikes can we eat all those? Thin sliced pickle rounds, lightly battered, served with a buttermilk herb dressing. As we chomped away, both of us wondered how good they would be reheated as a leftover. HA! That was a waste of time as suddenly we were at the bottom of the bucket. Like chips, they were so addictive.
Moving on to the small plates, we split an order of Memphis Style Ribs, dry rubbed and hickory smoked Compart Farms Duroc pork ribs with a blueberry BBQ glaze served with apple jicama slaw. The ribs were very meaty, very tender and delicious.
By now, we were getting full. Although we would have liked to try more of their dishes (maybe we can come back), we decided to fast forward to dessert – it was our anniversary after all. Trey told us about the desserts – Key Lime Pie, Brie White Chocolate Cheesecake, Salted Caramel Cheesecake and Chocolate Stout Cake. We decided to try the Brie White Chocolate Cheesecake. Totally yummy and quite different from the usual cheesecake selection you find in restaurants.
Wow, what a meal! After paying the check (which was notably lower than expected), we waddled out of the restaurant. What a wonderful anniversary! Can we do it again next year?
The Green Monster and little trailer were quite a contrast. Interesting.
Your anniversary dinner was also interesting. Great photos of each entree. Happy Belated 21st.
Happy 21st Anniversary! Sounds like you had a great meal! Hope to get together soon!
Happy Anniversary! What a lovely day…beautiful walk, wonderful meal with the best company in the world! Wow…so there are others who are not beach people!! I always say, I love the beach…if there just wasn’t so much SAND! LOL Of course, the day Paul inadvertently got sand in our snack of salami rolls while waiting for a lift off at Cape Canaveral might have just pushed us over the edge!
Happy Anniversary, and best wishes for many more!