If you know anything about me and my little family, you know that we have a serious love affair with Myrtle Beach. So serious, in fact, that I cry every single time we come home. We would pack up and move there in a heart beat, and definitely will some day. Since Breezy’s diagnosis with food allergies, we’ve been around 6 times. You can read all about last year’s trips here. Our beach days usually go something like this: wake up, go to the beach all day, then go out to eat for dinner. With a little research (Thanks Allergy Eats!) and an abundance of restaurants, we are able to totally rock (more) Myrtle Beach with food allergies!
Last year, we discovered a fabulous restaurant at Broadway at the Beach named Capriz. This “Italian Feast” eatery had some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had. The only nuts on the menu are dessert items that are kept separate from everything else. I had dreams about their amazing blackened chicken Alfredo, margherita pizza, pan fried chicken in lemon butter sauce, and garlic steak medallions all winter long. Breezy kept talking about how she loved their grapes and white mac and cheese. She said it had shell pasta “because of sea shells since it was by the beach”. So, it was only natural that the very first place we wanted to dine on our trip was Capriz. We were so excited when we were quickly seated at our table (which was odd, because this place was always crowded last year) that we didn’t notice that they had changed things up a bit since our last visit until our server informed us of such. Last year they had a card system that let wait staff know when you had finished the first course (the yummy salad bar), and wanted the main course brought to your table by flipping your card to green. You would flip it to red when you were finished. The server let us know that the buffet was no longer brought to the table, but you had to get up and get it yourself this time. No big deal. We can get up and get our own food, but when we bellied up to the buffet we were terribly disappointed. The “Italian Feast” had basically turned into a pretty boring salad bar that you could find in almost any buffet in America, and didn’t have any of the delicious salads it had the previous year. The “main course” was now just an all you can eat pasta bar with very few meats, all of which were bland and forgettable. We left extremely disappointed, but it was on to the rides next!
Luckily, our disappointment with restaurants ended with Capriz. We went back to my husband’s favorite: Angelo’s Steak and Pasta. Known for their “greatest steaks in the universe” this place does not disappoint on that promise, and their Italian buffet is anything but forgetful. The only nuts on their menu are in their desserts, and I loved that we had a sever that took food allergies seriously and double checked the ingredients of their heavenly, buttery garlic rolls, which were confirmed as safe. Hubby finally talked me into actually getting my own steak this time instead of the buffet, probably so I wouldn’t steal bites of his, and there are no words to describe how tender and juicy they are. No A1 needed, that’s for sure. Their Italian style green beans are so mouthwatering, you’ll wonder if you’re really eating a vegetable. Breezy actually wanted pepperoni pizza this time, and she dubbed it “the best pizza she’s ever had!” We could eat there every night of the week.
Every time we visit Barefoot Landing there are two must-do’s on our list: I have to stand and watch the turtles in the lake for a bit (I just love them), and we have to go to Wild Wing Cafe‘. We don’t have one locally, and sometimes you just need to eat buffalo chicken dip for dinner. The only nuts on their menu are in the desserts which are kept separate from everything else. Breezy gets her usual chicken and french fries, the hubby gets his wings in two different sauces (he loves that they do that), and I stuff my face full of buffalo chicken dip for my dinner. Don’t judge me.
Another chain restaurant we frequent is a favorite with almost all food allergy families: Red Robin, located near the Coastal Grand Mall. We don’t have one of these locally either, so when we find one we must go. Red Robin sets the bar for chain restaurants in terms of food allergies. I mean, just check out their allergen menu! Undoubtedly, it’s best one I have ever seen! Even with the greatest food allergy menu of all, it wouldn’t mean much if their staff wasn’t educated, but they are. They so are. Breezy ordered a hamburger with no bun and the fruit salad, and cleaned her plate. Their food is delicious and it so comforting to know that it’s safe because they take food allergies so seriously.
Ten years ago, when hubby and I first started vacationing at Myrtle Beach together, we started a tradition of going to the boardwalk arcade. We have continued this habit with Breezy, as her and her daddy both love some skeeball. We like to go early in the day when most of the crowds are still at the beach. I hold my breath and follow her around with a pack of wet ones the whole time. But, she has a blast and that’s all that matters.
The hostess, server, and manager were all very knowledgeable with food allergies. As soon as I even brought them up the server explained all about how they avoid cross contamination with the desserts and salads, the only items on the menu that “may contain nuts”. I was shocked and surprised that terms such as “cross contamination” came out of her mouth, and I immediately just wanted to tuck her in my pocket and take her home with me. We even overheard our server and the manager at another table taking every precaution possible to accommodate someone with celiac disease, and I’m pretty he was able to order gluten-free beer. Our food was delicious, and we will most definitely be putting this place on our list of must-dos every time we are in Myrtle Beach.
After we got our bellies full, we headed back to our hotel to spend the rest of the afternoon down on the beach. My hubby and I joke that we’re really becoming old because we crave something sweet after nearly every meal. Ice cream places are a dime a dozen in Myrtle Beach, but each and everyone I’ve found is unsafe for Breezy. It, also, doesn’t help that an ice cream truck seems to come by our hotel on average of once an hour. We’ve had to get creative with summertime treats at the beach. Our preferred treat of choice are PhillySwirl Swirl Poppers. We love all of PhillySwirl’s products, but I love this particular product for the beach because if they start to melt down on the beach (where I love to enjoy them – with my feet in the water, of course) they’re not going to drip all over you thanks to their push pouch. These Italian ice pops are free of peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, dairy, and gluten! We make a special trip to a grocer slightly far away just to load up on these.
Sadly, our last day approached all too quickly. It almost always ends on a Tuesday, the same night Broadway at the Beach hosts their fireworks show, so we always say “we’re going out with a bang”. Broadway is a cornucopia of restaurants, and we were determined to try a new one. Señor Frogs has been there since the hubby and I started going together 10 years ago, but we had never tried it. We were under the assumption that it was more of a “club-like” atmosphere (and is at night), until this particular day when there were several small children leaving the restaurant with balloon hats on their heads. Of course, Breezy immediately proclaimed that she wanted one. We gave the giant menu outside of the restaurant (I love this about Broadway – nearly every restaurant has this so you can see what they have before even walking in) a twice over to look for peanuts or nut products (none on the menu), and the hubby went in to interrogate the staff while Breezy and I waited outside. When he came out a few minutes later he quickly said “it’s safe – just some “may contain” in the desserts”. I never second guess him. He’s usually more strict on food allergies than I am, not that I’m lenient. So, in we went. We chose to sit outside on the deck overlooking the lake where Breezy could watch the Wave Rider boat go back and forth. There was a DJ inside that played (really loud) music, played family-friendly games, and you could even sing karaoke. Even outside on the deck, we had to almost yell to place our order to be heard. Hubby and I ordered some Mexican food, and Breezy ordered fettuccine Alfredo. I don’t know if she loved her food or her balloon hat more.
Sorrowfully, we packed up the next day, and jumped on the interstate headed northbound home. I won’t name names, but there is a certain fruit stand that we used to always stop at (pre-Breezy) to get their amazing homemade ice cream on the way home. We were in need of a bathroom break, and knew it was coming up on our drive. I decided to Google it, and their website said they had “dairy and nut free options such as sno cones”. We still had our guard up, but decided to stop anyway. Long story short, we “rested” and ran like hell back to the truck. The teeny tiny ice cream stand, where they also kept the sno cones, seemed way to small for there to be any way to keep their nearly 15 different nut flavors of ice cream from them for the stand to call them a “nut free” option, or “dairy-free” for that matter. The place was crawling with many, many people eating ice cream. The cherry on top was the lose nuts everywhere in their fruit stand next to it, including hundreds of bags of peanuts hanging from the ceiling! We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Aside from that one little bump in the road, we made it home safe and sound, and we’re already counting the days til we go back. Thanks to wonderful sites like Allergy Eats, we were able to try a few new restaurants this time, and still have several to try next time. Two things are for certain. I’m always going to cry when it’s time to come home, and there with always be even more Myrtle Beach with food allergies.