Brent’s Best of the Beach

Four years ago, I ripped off a standard content hog of every newspaper you will find in this country. Do you know what I am talking about? Every publication has a “Best of (insert city here)” where readers are polled and asked to vote on their top choice of restaurant, bar, news personality, realtor, ice cream shop, etc. etc. Well, in 2012 I used this blog and published my “Brent’s Best of the Zoo” post. For those not familiar with Montana slang terms, “Zoo” is a nickname for Missoula.

As I have lived in Myrtle Beach for over two years now, I decided to take a stab at naming some of my favorite places and activities in town. In order to keep this blog post from getting out of control, I decided to limit it to 15 categories. Speaking of categories, I tried to choose ones that are relevant to this area and ones that I can actually speak on (i.e. I have never ate sushi before so “Best Sushi in Myrtle Beach” is not a category). So enough with the explanations, let’s get to the winners!

Best All-Around Restaurant: Drunken Jack’s

Although it is on the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet, I am counting Drunken Jack’s in Brent’s Best of the Beach. In my option, Drunken Jack’s boasts the best salad bar, the best hush puppies, and the best seafood/steaks in the area. Not only is it the best when it comes to food, it is also tops in atmosphere as well. Built to give the illusion that you are eating on a pirate ship, the place feels cozy. While you wait for your table you can enjoy complimentary popcorn while taking in the beautiful views of the water. If you want the best in scenery, personality, and food, Drunken Jack’s is for you.

This is a collage of my brother, Sidney, and I enjoying an evening at Drunken Jack's.

This is a collage of my brother, Sidney, and I enjoying an evening at Drunken Jack’s.

Best Bar: Remedies

I enjoy Remedies not just because it is a locals bar. I count it as my favorite because it is covered in televisions and because it is non-smoking. Throughout the past couple years I have gone to Remedies on numerous occasions to watch my western teams play as their TV package allows them to bring up pretty much any game. The food is excellent and the drink prices are very good. The bartenders are welcoming and treat you well the whole time you are there.

This is Sidney and I at in 2014 when we went to Remedies to watch the Montana football team play.

This is Sidney and I at in 2014 when we went to Remedies to watch the Montana football team play.

Best Miniature Golf Course: Mt. Atlanticus

Talk about the category with the stiffest competition! Myrtle Beach is covered with “Happy Gilmore” style putt putt courses. I made the tough decision choosing Mt. Atlanticus as my favorite because of how the course makes you ascend up. The holes are creative, especially the 19th ball return one, but it is the gradual climb of the course I like the most. When you conclude your 18th hole, you are high above in a tiki hut type structure looking over the whole course. Other courses might have dinosaurs, exotic animals, and pirates but Mt. Atlanticus has a view.

Sidney and I at Mt. Atlanticus in September of 2015.

Sidney and I at Mt. Atlanticus in September of 2015.

Best Ice Cream Place: Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor

This is another category with extremely tough competition. Ice cream parlors dot every corner in the Grand Strand area. But my favorite is clear cut. Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor is an inviting place with the BEST ice cream. The exterior is covered in different colors and ice cream cut outs and the inside takes on a New York Yankees theme but it is the ice cream that stands out. All flavors are fresh and the sundaes are fun and huge. You will feel nostalgia and happiness when you eat inside Meyer’s. I can’t recommend it enough.

This is me at Meyer's Ice Cream Parlor (notice the Yankees memorabilia and pink walls in the background) enjoying one of their classic sundaes.

This is me at Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor (notice the Yankees memorabilia and pink walls in the background) enjoying one of their classic sundaes.

Best Signature Activity: Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens

In Myrtle Beach you have a hundreds things to do with top entertainment options, the ocean, and numerous golf courses. However, if there is an event that stands out from the Myrtle Beach mainstays, it would be Nights of a Thousand Candles. Every December for a few weeks, the big sculpture garden in Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen Gardens, becomes a Christmas cheer destination. The event will make you forget about the fact that Myrtle Beach doesn’t get snow. Event organizers set up thousands of candles and lights throughout the gardens. You walk on paths and admire the beauty as talented people perform Christmas carols. It is a peaceful and warm way to get into the holiday spirit.

Sidney and I at Night of a Thousand Candles in 2014.

Sidney and I at Night of a Thousand Candles in 2014.

Best Movie Theater: Coastal Grand Mall (Cinemark)

A couple months ago I would have given this nod to the Grand 14 at Market Common (Stone Theaters) but the cinema at Coastal Grand Mall is now tops. The theater recently replaced all seats with electronic recliners. Now, each auditorium just has a capacity of 50 people but if you get a seat it is well worth it. The theater is always clean and you can’t beat the location considering it is attached to the best mall in Myrtle Beach.

Best Sit Down Pizza Place: Mellow Mushroom

When I was home for the holidays in Spokane I found myself at the casino. I was at a blackjack table sitting next to a woman. She asked me where I lived and I told her Myrtle Beach. She remarked that she visited there for a short time several years back. I asked her what she remembered most. Her response? Mellow Mushroom.

Yes, the pizza is that good. I highly recommend it.

Best Delivery Pizza Place: Marco’s Pizza

I like nothing more than enjoying a low key Friday night in with Marco’s Pizza. Much better than the national delivery chains (you will have to pay a little extra), you can count on fresh toppings and plenty of grease. Make sure to order their garlic sauce and you will feel like you made the best choice ever.

Best Grocery Store: Publix

The hype is real. When Publix came to Myrtle Beach I didn’t know if it would be a game changer for the grocery habits of Sidney and I. But it is. Although we will usually still go to Lowe’s which is just two minutes away from our house, we will frequent Publix if we want an out of the ordinary shopping experience. Where else can you go to get a loaded ice cream cone as a sample? Where else can you go where the baggers still insist on taking your groceries out for you? Where else can you go where the store brand is legitimately better than the premium brand? There isn’t a better supermarket option in Myrtle Beach than Publix.

Publix has a terrific line of products. Check out this ice cream flavor.

Publix has a terrific line of products. Check out this ice cream flavor.

Best Sandwich Place: Which Wich

When I tried Which Wich for the first time I immediately fell in love with the concept. You walk in and fill out your order on a brown paper sack. Your sandwich comes out exactly how you wanted it. The food is as perfect as the ordering process. The submarine sandwiches are unique in both build and taste. You will want it again and again.

Best Place to Take Visitors: Broadway at the Beach

Although Broadway at the Beach is undergoing an evolution of sorts right now, it is still a great place to take visitors. You can enjoy sports bars, frozen drink bars, Mexican bars, live music bars, and clubs. And that is just the adult portion of it. Broadway at the Beach also has numerous restaurants, specialty shops, carnival rides, putt putt, kiosks, surf shops, a movie theater, and more. Did I mention that the place is built around a man made body of water that is stocked with ferocious-looking hungry fish? Broadway at the Beach earns my designation as the “best place to take visitors” because there is something for everyone.

Sidney and I enjoying a moment at Broadway at the Beach.

Sidney and I enjoying a moment at Broadway at the Beach.

Best Place for a Date: Market Common

As Myrtle Beach is a destination city, it is filled with tourist traps and gimmicky entertainment centers. The Market Common was built as a classy lifestyle center with locals in mind. With several unique restaurants, upscale bars, designer shops, and a nice movie theater all built on a strategically designed and well landscaped property, a relaxing night out at Market Common is easy to enjoy for any couple. I can’t count all the dates Sidney and I have enjoyed out at the area.

Best Beach Area: Springmaid

The Springmaid Pier is away from all the avenue beaches that bring in hoards of tourists. But don’t think Springmaid is full of locals either. Whenever we go, the beach is never full but it is always very well maintained. With plenty of free parking available, it is the most convenient place to go to take full advantage of the beautiful beach. Don’t pass it up.

This is Glen and I at Springmaid Pier

This is Glen and I at Springmaid Pier

Best Breakfast: Johnny D’s Waffles

Go up and down Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach and you will see probably around 30 different pancake houses. Many of them taste the same but Johnny D’s Waffles is in a league of its own. From their red velvet waffle to their cinnastax pancakes to their filling skillets, nothing matches Johnny D’s in terms of unique variety and freshness. The restaurant isn’t huge and there is usually a wait but it is definitely worth it.


So there you have Brent’s Best of the Beach. Perhaps next year or in a couple years I will do a second version with other categories included. If you aren’t one of my Myrtle Beach readers, I apologize for boring you. If you are a Myrtle Beach reader, please let me know what you think of my list. Have a great week, everyone! Don’t Blink.

Enjoying Time With My Parents in Myrtle Beach

After a wonderful four full days, my parents flew back to Spokane today. I can’t express enough how nice it was to have them visit me here in Myrtle Beach. I was able to show them my life down South and let them know that I am doing just fine.

I have had many people ask me this question: “What did you do while your parents were down here?” I figured I would use this blog post to lay out specifically everything we did each day. Here we go…

Thursday, March 12:

– I met my parents at the airport as they landed in Myrtle Beach at 10:15 p.m.

– We went to my apartment as my mom got to see where I live for the first time. My parents shook off a long day of flying by eating chips and queso while my dad also sipped on some Sweetwater I.P.A.s that I bought for him.

So happy with my parents in the airport.

So happy with my parents in the airport.

Friday, March 13:

– I worked in the morning and my parents came to my office (they had a rental car) and met my superiors and co-workers. It was great fun taking them to meet roughly 12 people who I work with on a daily basis.

– After meeting the University Communication staff, I took them on a tour of campus. It was Spring Break so the students were gone but minus human activity they thought Coastal was a very beautiful place.

– I took them to lunch at Waffle House during the noon hour. This was their first time experiencing the magic of this restaurant. They both agreed that the waffle was the best item on the menu.

– From Waffle House we went to Sidney’s school, Palmetto Bays. They were able to watch part of an assembly and see Sidney’s second grade classroom.

– We went home to my apartment and hung out a little. We then went to one of my favorite neighborhood bars (Remedies) for a couple drinks.

– The three of us plus Sidney then went out to the Marsh Walk at Murrells Inlet. We ate at Drunken Jacks as we enjoyed a fabulous meal. My dad had scallops and my mom had flounder. The hush puppies impressed them a great deal.

– We rented a Redbox and came home. However, we decided to talk instead and never put the movie in the DVD player.

It was a good first full day in Myrtle Beach.

It was a good first full day in Myrtle Beach.

Saturday, March 14:

– It poured down rain this whole day so we kept to mostly indoor activities.

– I took them to the Coastal Grand Mall. My mom commented on how nice she thought it was.

– We went to Costco and Wal-Mart to pick up some items. We wanted to do all of our shopping on this day since it was rainy.

– We ate lunch at a true BBQ joint called Big D’s. It was a buffet with fried chicken, mac and cheese, pulled pork, cornbread, BBQ chicken, and more. Although it was a cool experience, my parents didn’t care for the food much.

– We went to Market Common, a really cool lifestyle center next to where I live. They had a St. Patrick’s Day celebration but most of it was washed out by the time we arrived. We did go to a trendy little restaurant/bar called Nacho Hippo and had a drink.

– We went from trendy bar to dive bar. I took my parents to my other favorite neighborhood bar, Klocker’s.

– After a brief trip back to my apartment we went to mass. I took my parents to my parish, St. Andrew, for the 6:15 p.m. Saturday vigil. It was a nice service.

– From mass we went over to Sidney’s house for a Southern meal of chicken bog. I absolutely love chicken bog and I wanted my parents to experience it. Making this whole evening sweeter was that Sidney’s parents came over to join us. It was so cool to have my parents and Sidney’s parents meet. Sid spent the whole day cooking and cleaning, doing a phenomenal job. It was a special, perfect evening.

Despite the wet weather, day 2 was good. Highlight came when we had dinner with Sidney and her parents.

Despite the wet weather, day 2 was good. Highlight came when we had dinner with Sidney and her parents.

Sunday, March 15:

– We got up at 7 a.m. and went to the beach and had a very peaceful walk. We then went on the pier and admired the view. This was one of my mom’s favorite parts of the trip.

– After the beach we ate breakfast at a place called Paradise Pancake and Omelette House. It was good.

– To walk off breakfast, we went to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. It just wasn’t my parents first time walking it, I was a rookie as well! We had a nice time strolling along and peeking into shops.

– Next we went to Broadway at the Beach, one of my favorite spots in Myrtle Beach. The area consists of restaurants, shops, and themed bars that surrounds a body of water. My mom bought salt water taffy and we enjoyed a couple drinks at some of the fine establishments.

– Later on we went to the Coastal Carolina campus for the Selection Show party. I worked the event while my parents and Sidney sat in the crowd and watched as the men’s basketball team drew Wisconsin.

– We went to a restaurant called California Dreaming. We had a very nice meal and great conversation.

– The three of us spent the rest of the evening talking at my place.

We did a lot on Sunday!

We did a lot on Sunday!

Monday, March 16:

– I hustled home after working half the day to find my dad waiting outside for me. We went inside and ate lunch.

– The three of us went to Wal-Mart (yep, had to go again) and my parents bought me a couple chairs for my deck.

– After sitting in the chairs on the deck, Sidney came over. Us four went to Shipwrecked, a Myrtle Beach putt putt course. I figured my parents needed to experience a round in the miniature golf capital of the world. I ended up winning!

– We went to Market Common and had a drink at a brand new hip place called Tupelo Honey.

– From there we went to King Street Grille for dinner. It was a very relaxing meal as we really enjoyed ourselves. I had a macaroni and cheese burger while my mom had the biggest piece of fish I had ever seen.

– We came home and all watched Jeopardy together. Sidney then went home and my parents stayed up with me until midnight.

Look at my mom's piece of fish!

Look at my mom’s piece of fish!

Tuesday, March 17:

– Sadly I said goodbye to my parents at 5 a.m. this morning.


I am so glad my parents got to come visit me in Myrtle Beach. My parents keep amazing me by their generosity and love. It was a special several days, definitely a period of time that we always remember. I love you mom and dad, thanks for everything. Don’t Blink.

My Apartment Complex Going the Extra Mile

Almost nine months ago I made a big decision based primarily off of social media research. After accepting my job at Coastal Carolina University I needed to find a place in the area to live. Well aware that I would not get to visit Myrtle Beach until my actual move at the end of April, I knew I would be making my housing selection blind. Once I narrowed down my top choices, I used Instagram hashtag searches to find out more information about my prospective finalists. After reaching out to Instagram users based on these searches, I chose an apartment complex called Alexan Withers Preserve.

When I pulled into the complex after a four day cross country road trip I knew I had arrived home. Alexan Withers Preserve is an insanely nice place with immaculate grounds, a sparkling resort style pool, and the best apartments I have ever stepped foot in. Maintenance is done constantly, a clubhouse equipped with all the amenities is available to residents, and the couches/refrigerator/gardens/television that surrounds the pool compliments the property in a big way. But all this stuff doesn’t mean anything if the management doesn’t care about the residents living inside the community. Fortunately at Alexan Withers Preserve they do.

This is the pool at Alexan Withers Preserve.

This is the pool at Alexan Withers Preserve.

This evening provided me with yet another example justifying the last sentence I wrote. Tonight I attended the Alexan Withers Preserve Resident Holiday Celebration. Please keep in mind that this wasn’t just a tacky, halfhearted attempt to justify that they did something for their residents at Christmas. Rather, my complex invited all of us to the Texas Roadhouse for a nice meal on them. I had the option between prime rib, baby back ribs, chicken, or fried flounder. It also came with a salad and a side. We sat upstairs in a private room while AWP staff members came around and mingled with the tables. Obviously the management at my complex not only cared about inviting us to a nice restaurant, they also cared that we enjoyed premiere menu items in a welcoming and warm environment. I was very thankful and impressed.

The menu we ordered off of tonight.

The menu we ordered off of tonight.

This is just one way in which my apartment has showed that they value their residents. Every month or so Alexan Withers will offer a free continental breakfast. In October they put on a Monday Night Football party. Just because my favorite team happened to be playing in the game and just because they won (Seahawks beat the Redskins) weren’t the only reasons why I had a nice time. Pizza, wings, and drinks were provided and I got to watch all the action outside on the deck overlooking the beautiful pool on a gorgeous night. This past month, Alexan Withers hosted a Thanksgiving potluck for all residents. Although I was not able to make that particular evening I thought it was really cool that they would do such an event.

My prime rib tonight.

My prime rib tonight.

My complex also does several little things as well. They sponsor charity initiatives, hold contests, and offer incentives for referrals. They communicate frequently with us residents via e-mail and social media. They do their best to put a halt to the inconsiderate people who let their dogs go to the bathroom on the grounds. Management is in touch with us and an effort that is sincere rather than desperate is always on display to keep us happy and content at Alexan Withers Preserve.

Yeah, you are going to pay a little more to live here. But that extra money isn’t just evident in the outstanding apartment units, it is also evident in the community that is fostered. Don’t Blink.

Changing My View on Kids Movies

Early Sundays are a great time to go to the movies. Here in Myrtle Beach, one of the really nice theaters next to where I live offers matinee showings for only $5. To enjoy a show at a really cheap price while at the same time winding down the weekend in a relaxing and fun way is ideal for me. The past two Sundays I have taken advantage of this option.

When you are only paying $5 to see a movie, you can kind of put your selectivity to the side. If I am spending $10.50 for a movie on a Friday evening, I want to see a heralded blockbuster hit on its premiere night. However, if you are paying half that amount on a lazy Sunday I am more inclined to take chances. This was definitely the case today.

Sitting at breakfast this morning, Sidney and I chose to see “Big Hero 6” over “Interstellar.” We chose the animated kids flick over the popular sci-fi movie mostly in part because we could bring Sidney’s nephew and niece. With their parents gone for the week, we could release some of the burden off of Sidney’s mom and dad who have the babysitting duties. Even though I am not a big cartoonish children movie fan, this seemed like the right thing to do. We brought the kids out to the Grand 14 Cinema in Market Common for the 11:30 a.m. showing.

I saw "Big Hero 6" today. You can't beat that ticket price.

I saw “Big Hero 6” today. You can’t beat that ticket price.

After watching “Big Hero 6” today, my opinion of kids movies is that some of them (well at least “Big Hero 6”) are more complex and more entertaining than your typical R-rated thriller/action movie. I was more intrigued and interested in today’s show than I was with “Gone Girl,” which we watched on Friday night. I wouldn’t even call “Gone Girl” a bad movie, either. Today’s movie was just so fresh, clever, and humorous…even if it was done by Disney and rated PG.

For those of you who don’t know, “Big Hero 6” is about a boy who invents a sophisticated robot type chip that allows someone’s mind to create magnificent structures, anything from high-tech buildings to transportation systems. Because his creation is so incredible, a villain sets fire to the institute where the boy (named Hiro) introduced his invention. While the fire raged on, Hiro’s brother went inside the building to save his professor. An explosion occurred and the brother died. The rest of the movie follows the quest of Hiro to avenge the death of his brother. With several plot turns, the villain isn’t who Hiro originally thought.

The plot of “Big Hero 6” is more developed and provides more surprises than most grown up movies. The animation is beautiful and some of the particular scenes are especially aesthetically-pleasing. It is funny throughout and the ending is great. A faint applause circulated throughout the child-filled theater when the credits started to roll. The adorable little people we were with, Harrison and Russell, enjoyed the show too. Although Russell (Sidney’s niece) said her favorite part was when Hiro’s brother died, I am sure she liked the other not so morbid moments as well.

The gang from "Big Hero 6".

The gang from “Big Hero 6”.

About 95% of the time, I would immediately write off watching an animated kids movie. However, I need to start re-thinking these urges. Films these days, especially ones made by movie giants such as Disney, are marketed towards children but are made to appeal to everyone. What makes a book, movie, TV show, etc. is a good story that is told well. While you can maybe spice it up a little by adding violence, sex, colorful language, and superstar actors if it lacks an engaging plot it will fall flat. This explains why a movie such as “Big Hero 6” triumphed while a film such as “The Expendables 3” bombed.

Don’t be afraid to watch an animated movie. Take some young people out for a fun treat and be amazed in the same way that I was. Trust me, these days you won’t be watching “Sesame Street” up on the big screen. Don’t Blink.

Thursday Night Top Five

With the weekend almost here I don’t think there is a better way to celebrate than to write another rapid topic, random blog post. Sound good? Okay! Here are five things you probably don’t care anything about.

Side of the Road BBQ: This past weekend I fulfilled my dream to eat at a hole-in-the-wall, sketchy southern BBQ joint. For the past couple weeks I have noticed a small shack-like structure on the side of the road during my commute to work. I knew I wanted to hit it up sooner than later. This past Saturday night I pulled up to True BBQ and parked in a diagonal lot several feet away. I then went up to the hut, looked at the paper menu taped onto a window, and told the girl inside what I wanted. About ten minutes later she presented me with a heavy Styrofoam container of BBQ. I came home and pigged out. I got the pulled pork plate and for my sides I chose baked beans and a dish I had never tried before called rice and hash. It was delicious! If there weren’t so many other restaurants around here that I need to also try I would say I would be back real soon.

This place was good. The sign is on the left and my delicious dinner is on the right.

This place was good. The sign is on the left and my delicious dinner is on the right.

Great Time to Start at Coastal: I joke that I carefully selected my start date at Coastal Carolina University. To start it all off my first day was on a Thursday, making it a very short work week. I came right at one of the most exciting times on campus, graduation. Then just a week after I arrived summer hours took effect at CCU, a glorious thing where we get off at 1 p.m. on Fridays. To top it off, this past Monday we celebrated Employee Appreciation Day. After a ceremony in Blanton Park (beautiful green area on campus) we were treated to a delicious lunch of hamburgers/hot dogs, chili, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, and desserts. What a great first month at CCU!

“Million Dollar Arm”: Recently I saw my first movie at the theaters in Myrtle Beach. My friend Sidney and I went to the Grand 14 Cinema in Market Common. We watched “Million Dollar Arm” and I must say I really enjoyed it. Typical Disney inspirational sports movie but the whole plot is very interesting and a couple of intriguing acting roles helped to make the movie a winner. You will laugh, cry, and root for the characters involved. A movie is always a little bit better when it is based on a true story, and “Million Dollar Arm” is.

Proof that I actually went and saw the movie.

Proof that I actually went and saw the movie.

Extreme Weather: You can’t beat the weather in Myrtle Beach. Sun, sun, and more sun….except for brief instances. Last Friday the sky opened up and we received golf ball-sized hail. In my lifetime I have heard the term “golf ball-sized hail” but never experienced it nor seen it. Although not all the chunks were that large as you can tell from the picture below some of them were. Amazing that my car didn’t get dominated. As I sit here right now the National Weather Service is warning about a powerful thunderstorm that is about to come through. Looks like a night indoors for me!

I had never seen hail this big before.

I had never seen hail this big before.

NBA Playoffs: I want to see a Pacers-Thunder Finals but most likely I will get the exact opposite. Although it was a little gratifying to see Indianapolis defeat Miami last night it is unlikely that the Pacers will win two more to win the series 4-3. I am just so sick of Lebron James. The Erik Spoelstra interviews get old too. And I won’t cheer for any team that has Birdman on it. In the west I am pulling for Kevin Durant’s team and I am looking forward to Game 5 tonight (series is knotted at 2-2) but I just have a feeling that the experience and poise of the Spurs will eventually win out. If someone made a deal with me and said they would guarantee that one of my teams would make the Finals I would definitely choose the Pacers. I would much rather see the Spurs representing the Western Conference than seeing the man behind “The Decision” and his team rep the east.


Besides the terrible writing that post wasn’t too bad, was it? Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks again for your support of this blog and please know I am always open to suggestions and criticism. Don’t Blink.