As I hammer out this blog, it’s a little bit after 9 a.m. and I’m already a little bit tired.
You see, prior to racing the other idiots on U.S. 17 Bypass north to Myrtle Beach, while listening to “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on 100.3, ESPN The Team, I’d already made breakfast for three, packed lunches for four, packed up all the crap that wee ones take with them to their respective institutions, drove my daughter to Kindergarten, plopped a pot roast into the crock pot with some trimmings, took the dog out, fed him, and loaded up the truck with recyclables and garbage and hit the recycling center.
Cue The Bangles track this blog is named after…
Don’t let anybody tell you any differently – they’re just fibbing and want you to feel their pain. So, I’m telling you now – folks that say having two kids isn’t any more difficult than having one are straight-up liars.
On Saturday afternoon after trying to tame the little ones for much of the day and going on some errands and starting the process of organizing our un-organized (relatively new) home, my daughter went over to our neighbor’s house, and the baby boy and mama took naps, so I snuck out to Gordon Biersch at The Market Common for happy hour.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…husband and father of the year, I know.
But seriously, it was for research purposes.
You see, this week’s Surge cover story is about beer flights – those sampler specials that microbreweries and craft beer-centric pubs serve so you can get a taste of what their offerings are like without committing to a full pint (this is perfect for people who can’t commit).
The perfect choice for drinkers who can't commit. Photo by me.
Anyhow, it had been awhile since I’d had a beer flight, and I needed to refresh my memory…and my palate.
I tried earlier in the week at Quigley’s Pint and Plate in Litchfield, but decided against the 30-minute wait for our party of six (including two aforementioned wiggleworms) so we opted to go next door to Louis’ at Sanford’s, which I’d been curious about.
I’m deviating a bit here, but have to say a few words about the experience at Louis’. We were a fan of Chef Louis Osteen’s old place over at the Hammock Shops Village in Pawleys Island – I loved the outdoor Fish Camp Bar and my wife loved Osteen’s chopped salad.
Osteen is a big deal in the culinary world, having won the prestigious James Beard Award – it’s like the Heisman Trophy or Cy Young Award for cooking.
Anyhow, with my parents also in tow, I tried to explain to them who Osteen was, but I’m never sure if what I say sinks in, and we were seated outdoors overlooking the “lake” (a retention pond, really) at the Mingo development – which was perfect as my five-year-old daughter was occupied with feeding the turtles and other aquatic life with bread provided by our server, Chip.
The menu is chock full of interesting choices, and everything sounded good, as Osteen is known for his gourmet take on Lowcountry and Southern cuisine.
Now, down to the brass tacks of the meal: I ordered the Roast Pig Tacos with Tomatillo Salas, Watercress Salad and Kennebec Fries – quite a bit of food for $11 – and absolutely delicious; I didn’t leave a scrap on my plate.
My wife got her chopped salad, adding grilled shrimp on top, and ordered a side of Deviled Eggs with House Smoked Salmon, too. After snarfing the devil eggs down, she said she was going to share but…
I knew what my dad was going to order the moment I glanced at the menu, and I was right when he selected the half-rack of St. Louis Back Ribs, served with Sorghum Baked Beans and Slaw.
You see, prior to Osteen moving in, the place was called Sanford’s Southern Fried Smokehouse, and the smoker, which you smell the moment you get out of your car, was retained and incorporated with Osteen’s creations.
Meanwhile, my toddler son, who amazingly snoozed until the food arrived, when to town on his green beans, smacking and going “mmmm.”
Our entire bill – for four adults and two children – was less slightly less than $100 before tip, so I’d say it’s pretty reasonable for a gourmet spot. I know my parents enjoyed it and will probably want to go back when they come to visit again. And the staff was very friendly and very accommodating to our cumbersome party of seniors and tykes.
I highly recommend Louis’ at Sanford’s and hope to get back there soon as well to try some other items.
Here’s a link if you want to peek at the menu: http://louisatsanfords.com. The number is 237-5400.
BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
Alright, that was a hell of a digression…
But back on point about beer flights: Colin “The Beerman” Burch is working on our cover story about the sampler platters – as well he should, since he is The Beerman – and he sent in some photographs to accompany his story, and when I saw one depicting how the minute-sized glasses are displayed at Gordon Biesrch, I decided I was headed there for my round…of research, mind you.
You see, Gordon Biersch gives you a cheat sheet – a piece of paper with little slots for the sample glasses and you can read the descriptions as you sip.
The bartender, Jason, served me up six midget-sized beer glasses (pints for Hobbits, I told him) and placed them in order on the sheet: Golden Export, Hefeweizen, Czech Pilsner, Marzen, Schwarzbier, and the Seasonal (which is now Summer Brau, or something to that effect – I didn’t write it down).
The cheat sheet tells you about the beer, how to pronounce it and what it’s supposed to taste like, and was pretty much on the money, as it perfectly described the Hefeweizen as having “subtle notes of banana and clove.”
With an eye on the clock, I got on board for another beer flight, and ordered the Brewer’s Feast to go, consisting of a couple of Kobe beef sliders, southwestern-flavored spring rolls (incredibly good), garlic bread and humus and garlic fries, to share with my brood.
It was a glorious day as the bar’s garage-style doors were opened up and you could gaze at the Market Common passersby, and I really wanted to sit there for a while and soak up the ambiance, watch some sports on the over-hanging flat panel TVs, and indulge in some adult-sized beers.
Unfortunately that moment didn’t last, and here we are on Monday morning again, and there’s blogs to file.
But make sure you keep an eye for this week’s cover story about beer flights – it’s your ticket to the wonderful world of craft beer that’s still evolving here on the Grand Strand.
As is the Manic Monday tradition, if you read on below, I’ve outlined a few ways for you to beat the early-working week blahs, and this means getting your arse off the couch and outta the house.
It’s not quite yet pro football season, so there’s no Monday Night Football tonight, still you can channel your inner Hank Williams Jr. (yes, I know he doesn’t do the theme anymore), as various bars up and down the Strand host Karaoke.
Here are a few places that let you be the star (in your own mind) for today/tonight:
I Love Joy’s Bar
311 Third Ave. S., Myrtle Beach, Karaoke, 7 p.m. 626-1444.
Mango’s on the Beach Lounge
201 7rth Ave. N., Sand Dunes Resort Hotel, Myrtle Beach, Karaoke, 1 p.m. 449-3313.
Marlin Quay Bar and Grill
1508 S. Waccamaw Drive, Garden City Beach, Allen’s House Karaoke, 8 p.m. Free.
Pops Place Bar & Grill
511 S. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, Karaoke, 8 p.m. No cover. 448-6033.
Red Barn Tavern
2635 U.S. 17 Bypass S., Myrtle Beach, DJ Karaoke, 8 p.m. No cover. 293-8473.
Rising Starz Karaoke Club
3140 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, Karaoke with Jennifer, 8 p.m. No cover. 947-0861.
9550 Shore Drive, Myrtle Beach, Karaoke Party, 7 p.m. 449-6461.
803 U.S. 17 S., Surfside Beach, Karaoke, 9 p.m. 238-8507.
And here's a mid-week biggie...
Atlanta-based hip-hop duo The Ying Yang Twins (pictured above) are no stranger to Myrtle Beach, and the act makes a return to our shores Wednesday with a gig at The Boathouse.
The tandem is best known for its string of party hits, including “Get Low,” “Salt Shaker,” “Badd” and “What’s Happnin’” and a memorably weird appearance on “MTV Cribs.”
Local acts Shamroc ‘N’ QP, Zac Keelo and DJ B-Z are also on the bill.
The party gets started at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
And get this, party people, there is no cover charge.
The Boathouse Waterway Bar and Grill is at 201 Fantasy Harbour Blvd., Myrtle Beach.
Call 903-2628 or visit www.boathousemb.com.