Food Dude Grub Crawl: Restaurants at Broadway at the Beach
Forget about the Pub Crawl; that only ends in a hangover and short-term memory loss.
Instead, the Food Dude is leading you on a Grub Crawl around the top attractions on the Grand Strand, giving you a chance to mix dinner with pleasure on your night on the town.
First stop is Broadway at the Beach, a great place to party and shop, but an even better place to eat. With more than two dozen restaurants to choose from, the Food Dude steers you to five you should try:
Capriz Italian Feast
This new, sister-restaurant to nearby Rioz translates the same table-side service and buffet-style philosophy from Brazil to Italy.
With roaming servers who deliver large skewers of grilled meats and other Italian favorites to your table and a buffet table that's longer than a stretch limo, Capriz makes sure no one leaves hungry or unhappy.
The smell of fresh-baked bread, roasting garlic and Italian seasonings and grilled cuts of meat over open flame are enough to make your tongue beat your brains out.
Key West Grill
So what if we're several hundred miles north of America's southernmost city; you can still get a taste of the Conch Republic at this long-standing eatery.
Fittingly located next to Celebrity Square's row of bars, Key West Grill features a festive atmosphere as if you had just stumbled in from Duvall Street. Offering the flavors of the Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico and Jamaica, the menu takes a page or two from the same lineups you'll find in the Florida Key's best seafood restaurants.
To stay true to the Key West theme, ask to be seated on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Broadway. She isn't the ocean and this isn't Mallory Square, but you can enjoy a frozen drinks and catch sunset all the same.
A steakhouse and brew pub under one roof is right up Food Dude's alley, and apparently lots of others since this place has been packing them in ever since Broadway opened in 1995.
Serving an extensive menu that ranges from traditional burgers to surf and turf, Liberty has something for everyone. Especially those who enjoy the art of handcrafted beers, which are also used to marinate many of the meat dishes.
But Liberty is most famous for its active happy-hour scene from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, when large crowds pack the bar area and outdoor patio deck for the $2 house drafts and discounted appetizers that are a meal in themselves.
The "Hooters of the Highlands" has become a happening hangout since moving into Broadway last year, and for good reason.
A broad selection of imported beers on tap, a menu built for a dude's taste buds and waitresses dressed in short plaid skirts and skimpy open tops are more than enough reasons to make a man's mouth water.
But the hot servers and cold beer are only part of the equation. The food isn't going to win any awards, but it's filling and flavorful. The wings are as good or better than the other place famous for scantily clad waitresses.
The Japanese have a word for combining great food with good times, but I have no clue what it is. We Americans call it a festive night out for a nice dinner at a hibachi restaurant.
Stay seated and let the food come to your table as the talented chefs prepare your food right in front of you and entertain your party by flipping shrimp and veggies from the grill directly in your mouth.
Yamato's also offers some of the best sushi on the Grand Strand, but the table-side cooking show is the main attraction.
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