Food Dude Explores Best Country Cooking Restaurants, Buffets in Myrtle Beach

Mammy's Kitchen is one of the Food Dude's favorite spots for country cooking.
Mammy's Kitchen is one of the Food Dude's favorite spots for country cooking.

Time to clear up a few misconceptions about Dude Food. Contrary to popular belief, it's not all chili dogs and fried things smothered in cheese.

Too much of that stuff is bad for you. The Food Dude needs some home cooking without having to cook at home, and there are plenty of options on the Grand Strand.

Meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. Fried chicken with cream corn and collard greens. Barbecue ribs with corn on the cob and every Food Dudes favorite vegetable - macaroni and cheese. Makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Some call it comfort food, but I like to think of it as the perfect cure for everything from a hangover to a bad case of the blahs.

Some days a sandwich just won't do the trick. You've got to have a sit-down meal of a meat and three veggies made with every mother's secret ingredient - love.

Here are five local hot spots that know how to serve up good country cooking with a cold glass of sweet tea and a side of warm Southern hospitality:

Magnolia’s at 26th

Magnolia's on 26th 2605 North Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Ocean Boulevard is filled with greasy spoons and hot dog stands, but one of the best Southern cooking buffets on the planet happens to be hidden amid the neon.

Magnolia's serves three meals a day on its full buffet that features all the Southern classics, including the best fried chicken on the beach (sorry, Colonel).

The breakfast bar is loaded with sausage, bacon, eggs, grits, fried potatoes, pancakes and big fluffy biscuits so you can sop up the last drop.

Lunch and dinner are even bigger and broader, with a regular rotation of main courses so you can plan to visit on your favorite day. I'm partial to Pork Chop Tuesday.

There's also a soup and salad bar for the health-conscience, conveniently located to the expansive dessert bar. At least you can work off some calories on your way back for seconds.

The Shack Restaurant

The Shack 1128 Sea Mountain Highway, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Previously known as the Biscuit Shack, this North Myrtle Beach institution is under new management that might very well be your mother.

The new crew kept the spirit of the old place alive - great country cooking and friendly service - while spicing up the menu and decor. You're likely to see the same faces that have haunted the place for decades.

But the proof is in the pudding ('nanner, to be exact), and you can get to that right after you polish off a blue-plate special that will run you about the same price as a fast-food combo.

The Shack specializes in South Carolina favorites - chicken bog, fried fish, sweet potatoes, rice and gravy - and all the meats and veggies you usually have to wait until Thanksgiving to get at home.

Good news for the rowdy crowd. The breakfast is not only awesome, it's also served till 2:30 p.m. But The Shack closes after lunch, probably so everyone can take a nice power nap.

Snak Shak

The Snak Shak 5211 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Not to be confused with the correctly spelled version, this Myrtle Beach diner is also a traditional hot spot for locals who know where to find some to the best home cooking in town.

Don't be fooled by the motto: Bad food, Great gossip. It's only half-right. Locals not only belly-up to the lunch counter to get the lowdown on what's happening around town; it's also to get a taste of owner Andy Graham's hot breakfasts and daily lunch specials.

Meat loaf, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans. Chicken bog with veggies, roll and sweet tea. Those are among the busiest days at the Shak. But you'd better get there early for fried fish and shrimp Friday.

Mammy’s Kitchen

Mammy's Kitchen 1010 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

This downtown Myrtle Beach institution has been serving locals and tourists hot, home-style meals for more than a half-century, which is about how long you'll want to stay and eat off the country buffet.

From freshly prepared pancakes, eggs, fried potatoes, sausage, bacon, French toast and fresh fruit for breakfast to a wide selection of meats and vegetables for lunch and dinner, Mammy's has it all.

Just don't be fooled by the new restaurant by the same name a few blocks away on Ocean Boulevard. The real Mammy's is at the same location on the corner of Kings Highway and Mr. Joe White Avenue. Just follow your nose.

Prosser’s Bar-B-Que

Prosser's BBQ 3750 U.S. 17 Business, Murrell's Inlet, SC 29576

For those on the south side of town, Murrells Inlet is home to one of the best barbecue joints and home-cooking establishments under the same roof.

Named and famous for its smoked pork, Prosser's also has a poorly kept secret for great country cooking. The buffet also offers fried chicken, chicken bog and other smoked meats, as well as a wide selection of Southern style veggies.

After you've polished off your last bite of peach cobbler and last sip of sweet tea, sit outside under the live oaks and soak up the Lowcountry lifestyle while letting your food settle - just like a meal at grandmomma's house.


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