Location dined at: 2900 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577-3016
Type of Restaurant: Buffet Style
Cost: Between $20-$40 per person (including kid’s meals)
Website: bennettscalabash.com (currently down with 404 error)
On a recent excursion to the East Coast with the kids (14 years old and 6 years old), I happened upon this place by my daughter’s (the 14 year old) request. We had driven 2 hours to get to the coast, had just spent a few hours at North Myrtle Beach in the water and were getting hungry. This having been my first trip to Myrtle Beach, SC I had no idea where to eat, though there were many restaurants to choose from. My daughter saw the sign “seafood” and started pointing and screaming. She is a seafood lover just like her mother. My son, at this point, was only interested in ice cream. So, it started the deal. If we walk in and there isn’t ice cream, we walk out. I am not a fan of buffet style food, but my family is so I have eaten at quite a few buffets. I must say, this one topped the list!
Like all buffets, the atmosphere was thrown together with gimmicky decor. Most people there were in sweat pants or other very casual attire, talking loudly and eating as much as they could. The wait staff was EXTREMELY friendly, though tipping at 25% for someone to clear my table of a few plates and smile at me (on an $80.00 bill) was a hard pill to swallow. The bathrooms were small and nothing special, but functional and generally clean. It did make us quite comfortable since we weren’t dressed to the nines. We had sand stuck to our legs and feet, sunburns from the beach and frizzy hair from the ocean breezes. We felt quite at home eating in there without having to go get cleaned up first.
The menu served much more than just the buffet, though with the price of the buffet, we didn’t adventure outside of that this trip. They had every seafood imaginable available and after seeing the buffet, I was not disappointed. The place was packed at 5:00pm on a Saturday when we decided to eat. Although busy, the buffet tables were always full with freshly cooked seafood (which you could watch the cooks with an open window right over the buffet table) and everything clean and in it’s place, i.e. no cross contamination.
I was quite amazed at the variety! They had oysters, clams, crawdads, crab legs, squid, tilapia, seabass, salmon, crab cakes, crab salad, lobster alfredo fried shrimp, baked shrimp, sauteed shrimp and much much more. They also had a full fresh salad bar AND a Southern home cooking table which had ribs, corn bread, collard greens, fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, pork chops, corn on the cob and much to do of the same foods. EVERYTHING was delicious! The kids and I fit in just fine eating as much as we could like everyone else. The hushpuppies were to die for!
The price was high, but I can say with certainty that this place had better seafood than any Red Lobster I had eaten at and for the price, I definitely ate my money’s worth and more. I did partake of the dessert table, but the desserts were processed and not very good at all. I didn’t finish mine, instead went back to have a few cold cocktail shrimp with sauce for dessert. My son ate ice cream. And that was it. Lots of ice cream. Which made it hard to pay $20 for a 6 year old to eat 3 bowls of ice cream that equalled maybe $3.00 worth of ice cream from the local store.
My daughter on the other hand, ate a little bit of everything, and then a little bit more! Before we were leaving she was begging me to bring her back (and you’ll come to find out she is a picky eater).
She will get her wish! Next week, my buffet-loving parents and husband are all going to be in town together and I have decided to take all of them to the coast to eat at Bennett’s. My parents are driving 15 hours from Michigan to us in South Carolina and my husband is flying in from Florida. They are all more than willing to drive 2 hours more to eat at this restaurant based on my reviews. I know they will love it!
If you are in the North Myrtle Beach area and have a few dollars to blow, I highly recommend this place. The food is delicious, but don’t expect 5 star accommodations, just 5 star tasting food!