Ahhh…..the sand, the surf, the seafood restaurants. I love going to the beach. On my recent weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, I consulted with Ashley about places to eat. Of course I had read all her Redneck Riviera reviews with great interest, but I also found some intriguing possibilities during my own internet research. I think she’s eaten EVERYWHERE in Myrtle Beach at least once, so that allowed us an opportunity to do a couple joint reviews from the area.
I stayed at Sands Ocean Club, home of Ocean Annie’s beach bar. I’ll write more about Ocean Annie’s as part of my review of the River City Cafe - an eatery inside Sands Ocean Club. My travel companion had one dining wish for the weekend: oysters on the half shell paired with a Bloody Mary. Lucky for us, one of the top-rated seafood places, according to Urban Spoon, was only a mile from our hotel: Bimini’s Oyster Bar.
Described as a local favorite and “best-kept secret”, Bimini’s displays the appearance of a well-loved local joint. Nothing too flashy about either the exterior or the interior but it’s friendly. The usual plastic outdoor chairs are pulled up to tables topped with rolls of paper towels. Crab-devouring can get messy.
We order the much anticipated oysters on the half shell – 6 for $5.75. They were served atop a bed of ice with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. While we ate the oysters, we saw huge buckets of steamed seafood traveling from the kitchen doors to hungry diners. I am not an oyster fan. For me, it’s a texture issue. However, in the spirit of my mini-vacay, I did manage to swallow one cocktail sauce-laden oyster. I liked it a lot better than the sip of Bloody Mary I took to wash the little bugger down.
After what I now refer to as the “Oyster Ordeal”, we ordered two entrees that we planned to share: the mixed grill and the shrimp skewers. For your $18.25, you have your choice of two fresh catches and you choose the preparation for each – we chose lemon pepper for the salmon and blackened for the mahi. Rice pilaf, steamed vegetables and hush puppies accompanied the seafood. Both fish servings were cooked perfectly. The sides were tasty as well. We succombed to friendly bickering over who would get the third hush puppy – the savory deep-fried balls of batter went so well with a slathering of honey butter.
Our second dish consisted of two shrimp kabobs over a bed of rice pilaf, priced at $8.25. These shrimp were pretty small – I’d label them medium at best. Green bell peppers were the only veggie present on the kabob which was a disappointment to me. However, the dish was cooked properly and had the lovely grilled flavor I expected. It could have been a much better dish if the shrimp were larger and some additional veggies were added to the skewers.
Overall, this was a satsifying and healthful meal at a reasonable price. It seems like fried seafood is an epidemic around the Myrtle Beach area. It was difficult for me to find restaurants that offered a selection of grilled seafood entrees from which to choose. The availability of grilled items led me to Bimini’s in the first place. I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of the eatery, especially since it was coupled with friendly and efficient service by the waitstaff. THREE FORKS for Bimini’s. I would definitely return on a future trip.
We’d passed by Bimini’s several times before while out looking for a “locals place” for some seafood. Finally a couple of years ago, we decided to try it. Bimini’s is exactly what we were looking for. It’s not just a “locals place”, other vacationers have discovered it too and it’s very popular. It’s not fancy by any means. Heck, the tables are either wooden picnic tables or those cheap white plastic patio tables and chairs you can pick up at any Wal-Mart. Drinks are served in small plastic cups and napkins are merely a roll of paper towels on the table. But who cares? You figure out that it’s not about the furniture and décor as soon as you walk in the place. Bimini’s is THE place to go for oysters. (Duh! It’s the name of the place!) It’s nothing to see servers carrying huge trays full of oysters on the half shell and pots full of steamed oysters all around the place. And several tables full of customers can be seen shucking and sucking oysters the whole time you’re there. Bimini’s is pretty loud too. If you’re there on a weekend night, you might as well forget about trying to have a conversation if there’s live music. Just sing along with the rest of the crowd if they’re playing one you know and enjoy your food.
But Bimini’s does serve more than just oysters. On our first visit, my husband got the ½ steam pot. It was supposed to contain six of each oysters, clams and shrimp plus a couple of crab leg clusters. He probably got a dozen oysters, eight or nine clams and more than six shrimp. It took him a while to eat it all, but he loved every bit of it. He also got coleslaw and hush puppies with it.
We’ve gotten the steamed shrimp on several occasions. We usually get a pound of it to share. It always comes to the table piping hot and generously seasoned with Old Bay. And it’s always perfectly cooked. My husband occasionally gets the steamed oysters if we go during happy hour when they are half price. He loves them. I’ve also had the regular fried shrimp dinner, the lemon pepper fried shrimp dinner and the grouper sandwich. All three are very good. In fact, I’ve not tried anything at Bimini’s I didn’t like, including the hushpuppies which are the savory kind, not the little sweet ones that a lot of places down south serve.
I mention Bimini’s to anyone who asks me to recommend a good place to eat seafood in Myrtle Beach. Several friends who tried it for the first time after my recommendation now make it one of their must-visits when they go to Myrtle Beach. FOUR FORKSBimini’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Cafe 930 Lake Arrowhead Rd
Myrtle Beach, SC
(843) 449-5549 Hours of Operation:
Sun-Mon-Tue 4pm – till
Wed-Thur 3pm – till
Fri-Sat 12:30pm – till
Closed Mondays Dec 1 to Feb 15