Litchfield / Pawleys Island
Hold on this is a long one.
This weekend I packed up the Culinary-Passport and headed out for a late beach trip. I got a good deal on a couple of nights at the Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort. I arrived early, as is my nature, and couldn’t check in. Since it was lunch time I wandered over to Murrell’s Inlet and drove down Business 17 where I picked out the Marshview Seafood Kitchen & Bar from the multitude of restaurants on that stretch of road. Definitely a casual place. You walk up and order at a window and they give you a pager that will alert you when to visit the Pick Up window. There’s a bar if you want something other than water, tea or soda. You can sit inside or outside and you have a nice view of the marsh as the name implies. I was intrigued by the crab cake and pimento cheese sandwich so that’s what I got.
The crab cake was good and the pimento cheese was also good but honestly didn’t add much to the sandwich. The fries were hot and dusted with seasoned salt so they did their job. Overall the sandwich was good but the main recommendation for this place as far as I am concerned is sitting on the deck enjoying the view. After dining I still had a few hours to kill so I decided to check out Huntington Beach State Park.
The park was part of an estate that has a really cool house on it called Atalaya. Google it, it’s cool. Turns out it was a special weekend when they have the Atalaya Arts & Crafts festival so after a walk out to the beach to see if there were any good pictures to take I checked out the festival. The house is arranged around a courtyard which had artisans filling it and inside the three wings were more craft folk and in a separate little courtyard were some food vendors. I was still full from lunch but decided to try out a muscadine cider slushie from one of the vendors. I liked it enough to buy a bottle. I also picked up a Christmas present so it was a good side trip.
After the park I got the call that my room was ready so I moved in and then walked the property to familiarize myself with the resort until dinner time. Because I didn’t want to take any chances on missing a minute of the UGA football game I ate at the on site restaurant, Websters. They had a prime rib buffet but I wanted more seafood being this close to the ocean so I ordered the Webster’s seafood medley.
It came with a house salad served on a tile so that was different. The real food was a nice piece of flounder, a couple of shrimp, a pair of scallops, whipped potatoes and parmesan green beans. The seafood had a light, seasoned coating that tasted the same on all three but stood out most on the shrimp. The flounder was nice and mild and the shrimp were some of the best fried shrimp I’ve ever had, even if they did cut them oddly before frying them so they looked almost like Siamese twins joined at the tail. The scallops though were my favorite. They had a really nice salt water taste and were as tender as you could ask for. The potatoes and green beans were nice and complimented the seafood.
The next morning I wanted to find a breakfast place that wasn’t a chain or chain wannabe. I drove until the Litchfield Restaurant caught my eye. It looked like a locals kind of place that had been around a while. When I walked in there were only two guys sitting at the counter and three employees. Folks were chatting real friendly like and I made my way to a choice table with a stunning view of the highway. The guy running the place came over to welcome me and bring a menu. Right behind him was a smiling young lady who made sure I had coffee before coming back with more smiles to take my order. They’ve got a few interesting things on the menu that I might have tried like the Fish & Grits or the Crabby D but I was looking for something pretty standard this morning.
The sausage & cheese three egg omelet with hash browns and a side of smoked sausage did the trick. The omelet wasn’t fluffy but there was plenty of sausage and they used real cheddar cheese not that fake cheese nonsense. The smoked sausage was nothing special but did fit nicely into the biscuit for sausage biscuit appetizer. The food was good but the service and friendliness of the people had to be the reason there were at least 30 people in the place by the time I left and they were a mix of locals and tourists.
After breakfast beach time transitioned into lunch at Moe’s Original BBQ. I thought getting a sandwich and two sides might not be too much since I knew I wanted to be done in time to catch the Carolina Panthers game.
The pulled pork sandwich had to have had half a pound of meat and the sides I got, spinach casserole and red beans and rice were both generously portioned. I’m not going to lie I knew I would be prioritizing right off the bat and the sandwich had first dibs on my appetite. It had a lightly smoked flavor and the sauce was a sweet, tangy sauce that was somewhere between a NC vinegar and a KC thick sweet sauce. A dash of the hot sauce and it was very good. The spinach casserole was ugly but tasty. It was creamy with plenty of spinach plus mushrooms and onions in small amounts. The red beans and rice were initially a disappointment because I like my beans and rice to cook together for a while and this was clearly ladled over minute rice. Having said that though it did have a nice flavor with plenty of beans, tomatoes, celery and onions plus some bits of smoked sausage (low grade) and chicken. I didn’t mention it earlier but this is another place where you place your order at the counter and leave your name and they bring it out to you. You have a choice of inside seating, screen porch seating, or outside next to the corn hole pit. Folks were nice, portions were plentiful and the food was decent.
After the game I did some additional walking around to burn off lunch and a bit of driving to check out some of the other parts of the Grand Strand area of SC. Feeling a bit peckish I dropped in at the Anchor. They have a very limited menu because their main thing is their seafood buffet so that’s what I went with. I got there an hour before they closed and the only folks I saw who weren’t employees were some who were leaving (I saw them go in when I was parking) and one lady at a booth. I wasn’t sure what kind of omens those were but figured what the heck. The buffet was a three sided affair with salad and the start of the vegetables on one side, more vegetables and grains on another and the seafood & chicken plus desert on the last side. I tried not to be a pig but I did make two trips.
You’ll notice all the seafood was fried. If you wanted grilled that was on the limited menu. I powered through though and managed to try some flounder, scallops, shrimp, oysters, clam strips and catfish. I supplemented those with some mac & cheese, butter beans and something new to me, collard green rice. Oh and some hushpuppies. The seafood was all good and lightly breaded but my favorites were the oysters and the catfish. The catfish was really mild and had an almost chicken taste to it. The mac & cheese was nice too because it was simple with a high cheese to noodle ratio and not loaded with fillers and liquids and junk. Now on to the new things and I’m classifying the butter beans as new too because they were cooked with okra plus some smoked meat. I enjoyed them and they made me wish I could have shared them with my Grandfather because he would have loved them. I’m pretty sure he would have dug the collard green rice as well. There was nothing complicated about the rice, it was just what it sounded like; rice mixed with finely chopped collards. It happens that those collards were seasoned with smoked neck bones and other smoked pork. I know because I found vertebrae and pig skin in with it. Aside from being skinny & boney I liked the rice quite a bit as you can see I got some both trips. Oh and the hushpuppies were cold but not bad. As I was leaving I talked to the owner a little bit and heard him earlier interacting with another patron who came in for a take out run at the buffet and he was a really nice guy. Personally I loved this place even though it looked a little dumpy from the outside.
The last meal before heading home was at the Applewood House of Pancakes. They are a bit like an upscale IHOP. I was greeted by a very pleasant lady who let me know about some of their specials and let me know I was still in time for the early bird specials. As a nod to Fall, in spite of the fact that it was 76 degrees and as humid as, well the South, I ordered the pumpkin pancakes. At the little smile of delight the lady taking my order got she thought I’d made a good choice and it was.
You may have noticed there is no bacon or sausage in the picture. I certainly did when she dropped off the plate with just pancakes. I didn’t realize it was only the pancakes and couldn’t believe she wouldn’t have tried to upsell me and I started to ask for some but I figured it probably wouldn’t kill me to have one meatless meal. There were three dense pancakes in the stack topped with that quarter stick of butter you see in the photo and dusted generously with cinnamon sugar. I decided to taste them before adding any syrup and I’m glad I did as the syrup would probably have just detracted from the experience. The cinnamon sugar plus the pancakes sweetness and pumpkin spices were more than sufficient. The lady who was waiting on me was a petite lady who had to be in her late 60s but when she came over to check on me one time and asked “don’t they remind you of Thanksgiving & Christmas?” she had a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye like a little kid. They did have a nice taste of fall about them and I almost didn’t miss the bacon. After that it was time to hit the trail. I was happy with all the culinary choices I made during the trip and wouldn’t hesitate to go back to any of them.