I noticed many of the seafood restaurants in Myrtle Beach referred to themselves as Calabash-style seafood restaurants. Being a newbie to the Carolina scene, I wasn’t sure exactly what Calabash seafood was but I knew I had to find out.
By asking a few locals I found out Myrtle Beach Calabash seafood restaurants are buffet-style eateries that offer a large selection of items, some of which have close to 200 food options. The Calabash name is inspired by a small town in North Carolina known so widely for its bountiful seafood harvest it has been dubbed “The Seafood Capital of the World.” Further, the name Calabash refers to a type of cooking in which seafood is lightly breaded and fried and typically served buffet style. The seafood is always accompanied with the ever popular side dish – hushpuppies – made with cornmeal, not flour. This is the South you know!
|The Original Benjamin's Calabash Seafood Restaurant|
I decided I would dive into the Calabash scene at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood Restaurant. It came widely recommended, and has also been featured in USA Today, Southern Living and Gourmet Magazine. Plus, if the line out the door was any indication I knew it had to be good! The restaurant has a nautical design complete with buoys, anchors and boats lining the exterior of the building, which is known by its signature lighthouse. The nautical experience continues with a greeting by a pirate at the door. Once inside the expansive restaurant, which has 11 distinct dining rooms and enough seating for 1,000, I was impressed by the large scale ship models and dry aquarium décor. And, I hadn’t even got to the food yet!
|Crab legs and a delicious plate of seafood.|