The first part of this post goes out to Ryan. Biscuit. Bisquick. Best friend since a long freaking time ago. He is the person who inspired my morning adventures on the first full day in Myrtle Beach.
Imagine this. I’m running along South Kings Highway, the main drag of town, at a stupid-early hour in the morning. Along the way, I pass old people, other runners, and a few individuals just making it back from last night’s festivities. As I plod along, taking in the scenery, I see a place called The Donut Man. “The Donut Man?”, I thought to myself. I had never heard of such a place! My mind already spinning, I take no more than three steps further and see a Krispy Kreme! Now, we all know Krispy Kreme. But, how many of us from the northeast are really able to indulge in their fine product all that often? Not I! Anyways. I keep on running, with thoughts of glazed donuts fueling me at this point. Five miles in, it’s time to turn around. As I round the corner, I see… a cute little shop called Lulu’s Donuts. Come on. It was fate. Ryan and I’s tradition was going to continue in Myrtle.
To give you some background, I’ll tell you a little bit about our last trip to the beach. To make a long story (kind of) short, on our way to Hammonassett Beach early this summer, Ryan and I stopped at a food truck conveniently located on Route 81. This food truck belonged to none other than a company called Redneck Gourmet Donuts. Upon arrival, we spent about 15 minutes painstakingly picking out five (freshly dipped and hand filled) donuts, which we brought to the beach to eat. As we ironically sat on our towels, in our bathing suits, eating donuts, we decided that this was a tradition that must continue. Well, it has.
When I finished my run, I promptly headed back out to The Donut Man, Krispy Kreme, and Lulu’s Donuts. I know, I know. Krispy Kreme isn’t all that new, but still, I needed a control for my experimental taste test!
First up, The Donut Man. From what little research I’ve done, it looks like this place is pretty exclusive to the Myrtle Beach area. On the inside, though, it looks like a typical fast food restaurant. From here, I ordered one of my usual favorites: a blueberry cake donut. Amazingly, from first inspection, it actually looked like actual blueberries had been baked in. I’d find out if this was true later at the beach.
Next, Krispy Kreme. Here, my choice was an easy one. Sure, I could have gone with kreme filled, chocolate covered, blah, blah, blah. But, I simply went with the classic: the glazed. When getting to the register, the woman asked, “Would you like it hot, and freshly dipped?” I’m sorry, is that even a question? And better yet, do people actually say no to that question?
Last but not least, Lulu’s Donuts, the most local of the three. Upon walking in, you could tell immediately that this was a homegrown, Mom and Pop business. On the wall were pictures of your options, which matched a display case in the front that had one of each kind. There were candy bar flavors, cereal flavors, fruity flavors, you name it. I went with good old Lemon Head. After paying, the cashier says, “Just hold on a minute, it’ll be brought out after it’s been dipped and decorated.” Oh. Hell. Yes.
At the beach, I dove in.
To be honest, the results will make me seem like a wimp. The winners were:
- Taste: The Donut Man – I’m convinced there were real blueberries up in there!
- Texture: Krispy Kreme – That thing was so fluffy, it was pretty obvious it had been made just that morning.
- Decoration – Lulu’s – While my donut was on the plain side (even though the yellow was a pretty color), you can see that overall, there are some pretty creatively decorated donuts coming from that place!
Okay, so I wasn’t all that decisive when judging, but I promise, I was a tough critic! Hands down though, the best part of the whole experience was sitting on the beach and seeing the reaction on the faces of the two girls sitting next to me. They must have stared intently at me, the crazy lady eating donuts and then writing notes after each bite, for at least 5 minutes. I should have offered them my leftovers. Next time, next time.
For dinner, we found ourselves at Broadway at the Beach, a local tourist shopping destination in Myrtle. After considering our options, we decided to dine at Key West Grill.
Trying to fly outside of my comfort zone, I went with the catch of the day! (Surprisingly, there were like eight “catches of the day”, which makes me question their actual catch date, but oh well.) Ironically, despite my efforts to be adventurous, I went with the salmon, which I had them make “havana” style – seared with plantain and pineapple chutney.
The salmon was cooked well, but was a bit spicier than I expected, especially considering there were plantains in the chutney. Still, pretty amazing.
At this point, I thought the foodie adventures in Myrtle were over. After struggling to find an open ice cream joint at a beach-y, tourist-y, vacation spot, of all places, I figured Myrtle had shown us all it had to offer. That was where I was wrong. The next morning, on a whim, we drove out to a little bakery I had been reading all about in preparing for our trip: Croissants Bistro and Bakery. When you walk in, you can tell immediately why this is a well liked eatery. The staff is all about that southern hospitality and the case (as well as it’s contents) are super appetizing.
I ended up getting the Almond Joy Brownie Bar. Oh. My. God.
This thing had a fudgey brownie layer on the bottom, a coconut pastry cream in the middle, and a thick chocolate ganache top layer. Then it was artfully decorated with almonds to top it off. It was served cold, but it surprisingly only got better as it melted a bit after sitting in the car for a little. So, I guess I have two pieces of advice here… brownie bars are the way to go, and letting your baked goods sit in the car is also a solid choice? Don’t quote me on that.
After that pleasant surprise, it was time to leave Myrtle, and head to our next destination: Savannah! So until then, stay tuned, and stay hungry.