My husband and I make several trips to Myrtle Beach each year, and I’m always looking for some place different to eat than the trips before. Usually on our first night there, I crave a simple meal of fried shrimp and hushpuppies. THE place to go for just that is the town of Calabash, NC. It’s about a half hour drive north and well worth it, but we didn’t want to make that drive the first night.
I don’t do buffets. I can’t stand all the people hovering over all the food acting like this may be their last meal. The food is always just mediocre at best, especially for the price. So we decided to try Duffy Street Fish Shack on Restaurant Row which is less than 10 minutes from our place.
Duffy Street is a locally-owned establishment that’s been around for 16 years. They have two other locations on the grand strand in Cherry Grove and North Myrtle Beach. The Myrtle Beach location opened just over a year ago. They describe themselves as a “low country & laid back” place with “fantastic food, smoking hot blues and ice cold beer.” There was no band the night we were there, but it was Sunday, so that was understandable.
We got to the restaurant kind of late, around 8:00 pm. It wasn’t crowded and we were seated immediately. Our server approached to take our drink order and we noticed a very thick accent. She then made us guess her home country. I guessed Romania but was wrong; she’s Russian. After struggling through a little more small talk, she took our drink orders. We were wondering if we’d get what we ordered because she told us she’d only been in the US for four days. A few minutes later she brought my peach daiquiri and my husband’s frozen margarita. After a long day in the hot sun, these hit the spot. But at $6.75 each, they’re a little pricy. The menu lists several tempting frozen cocktails such as a strawberry & banana daiquiri (Funky Monkey), a strawberry pina colada (Wild Willie), several other daiquiri and margarita flavors and even ice cream drinks. I was tempted to try the Ice Cream Pina Colada (coconut pina colada ice cream, pineapple chunks and rum), but didn’t, thinking maybe I would for dessert.
Duffy Street has a large menu consisting of several fresh made appetizers, sandwiches, po’ boys, salads, steaks, chicken dishes, a few steamed seafood selections and basic seafood platter selections. Prices range from $7.99 for a burger, $9.99 for a po’boy, $12.99-16.99 for the seafood platters and $19.99 for the steam pot.
For an appetizer, we chose the homemade fried pickles. (Susan, I know you are probably gagging right now.) Other appetizers include homemade onion rings, homemade fried green tomatoes, steamed or raw oysters, crab cakes and pig skin shrimp (shrimp stuffed with a slice of jalepeno, jack cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep fried) which I HAVE to try next time. Our server confirmed that the “Russian cookers” (some of the terms she used were hilarious) did indeed hand bread the pickles and other items. Our order consisted of six large spears and came with ranch dressing and honey mustard for dipping. These pickles were wonderful. I could have had another order just to myself.
For dinner, I ordered the Three-Item Combo Platter with shrimp, flounder and stuffed crabs. It came with a choice of two sides and hushpuppies. I chose coleslaw and collard greens. Other side dish choices included a twice baked potato, fries, sweet corn bread and fried corn on the cob. My platter contained eight shrimp and a large flounder filet all lightly coated with cornmeal and fried. Both were perfectly cooked and really good. The stuffed crabs contained a good amount of crab mixed with peppers, onions, spices and breading. They were pretty good too, but I could have just stuck with the shrimp and fish and been happy. I found out one thing at this meal: I don’t like collard greens. I’d never had them before and don’t ever recall a restaurant where they were an option. So I thought, I’m in the low country (sort of), so I should give them a try. Plus, the menu described them as “Just like MaMaw made” so they had to be good, right? Husband liked them, I did not.
My husband ordered the Duffy Street Steam Pot which consisted of steamed oysters, shrimp, clams, crab legs, smoked sausage, fried corn on the cob, cornbread and coleslaw. It took two servers to bring the food to our table, and it looked like we were feeding a table of six instead of two. He got two large vats of steamed goodies. I tasted the steamed shrimp with Old Bay and the crab legs. Both were cooked perfectly and had really good flavor. I also had a bite of the sausage and corn bread. My husband about took my hand off when I reached for a piece of the cornbread. He was saving it for his dessert. I just took a nibble. It was really sweet and really good. He loved everything about his meal with the exception of the fried corn. It’s just weird. It just ends up greasy and chewy.
I was pleasantly surprised with my meal. My sister had been to this location of Duffy Street last summer, and for whatever reason, she said it wasn’t very good. Maybe it was still working out the kinks of a new restaurant. So I’d been a little hesitant to try it. But try it we did and we liked it. Duffy Street is a good place to get a good quality simple seafood meal at a reasonable price. THREE FORKS.
Duffy Street Fish Shack 9924 North Kings Highway
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572-4015