How to Master the All-You-Can-Eat Seafood Buffet

By:Kerry Egan

Date:11/5/2014

"She ate 17 crab legs," my friend said as she gazed on her 8-year-old daughter, beaming. "She didn't even touch the hush puppies they brought to the table. I am just so proud." Her daughter grinned from ear to ear.

There are many great culinary traditions in South Carolina, from Lowcountry oyster roasts to mustard-based barbecue in the Midlands and from the burgeoning haute cuisine of Charleston to hot boiled peanuts from a roadside stand.

But the most unsung, possibly the most fun, and certainly the kitschiest is the proud tradition of trying to beat the buffet at the dozens of all-you-can-eat seafood places that line the Grand Strand, down US 17 from Myrtle Beach and all the way to Charleston.

With names like "Crabby Mike's" and "The Giant Crab," you can probably guess the big draw for many patrons — crab legs, and as many as they can stuff down their gullets without the other patrons pointing and staring. And actually, none of the other patrons would probably even notice — they're doing the same thing.

But the buffets also have huge selections of other fish and shellfish, as well as vegetables, soups, salads, meats and desserts. Some also feature Italian specialties, while others offer traditional Southern favorites.

The fun, nautical-inspired decorations, which usually spill outside, too, make waiting for a table fun. Once you're seated, though, you'll be up again just as soon as a waiter brings dishes to the table. It's time to tackle the buffet.

I suggest doing a walk-through first, scoping out all your options and only then starting to pile your plate high. When most buffets have over 100 items (and many have over 150!), it pays to take a few minutes to plan your dinner. You don't want to waste your appetite on something that isn't completely awesome.

That said, the real fun of going to one of these buffets is the chance to try so many different types of food at once, without worrying that you might choose badly. Always wanted to try mahi-mahi? Go for it! Curious about grits? Get a spoonful. Dying to try fried oysters, but never had the courage? Now's your chance. Don't know what in the world that thing is? Who cares? Try some — you might love it.

Theories range on how to get the best bang for your buck at a buffet, because they aren't cheap. One mother I know feeds her kids only cheese and yogurt for breakfast, skips lunch altogether and hits the buffet at 3 in the afternoon, when many open. The protein in the dairy keeps the hunger at bay but doesn't fill them up. Another requests that the waiters not bring bread, hush puppies or water to the table until the family has gone through the buffet lines. No point in filling up on carbs and liquid when there are 12 types of shrimp to be sampled.

With just a little forethought, your family, too, could beat the buffet and leave Myrtle Beach triumphant!

Here’s a list of places to try:
http://www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/restaurants/buffet/

And for the golfer’s top five, check these out:
http://www.myrtlebeachgolfholiday.com/news/myrtle-beachs-5-best-seafood-buffets/

Related Content

South Carolina Seafood Festivals
Throughout the year, South Carolina seafood festivals offer the chance to experience the Lowcountry’s finest shrimp, oyster and crab dishes.
Coastal Flavors of South Carolina
The Palmetto State is home to a variety of seasonal seafood festivals each year full of local flavor. Discover South Carolina seafood festivals, and come to find there’s always something new to savor here.
Choose your seafood so it will be here tomorrow
The Sustainable Seafood Initiative hosts a dinner each month prepared by some of South Carolina’s best chefs to prove eating sustainable seafood is no sacrifice.

Featured Products

City of Myrtle Beach
Coast

Myrtle Beach

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Myrtle Beach, the busy hub of fun-in-the-sun in the middle of the Grand Strand's 60 miles of gorgeous wide beaches, offers a dazzling varierty of entertainment, nature, h ...

Featured products and attractions in "How to Master the All-You-Can-Eat Seafood Buffet"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Crowne Plaza Charleston
Coast

North Charleston

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
The Crowne Plaza is located at the Tanger Outlet shopping area and we are part of the North Charleston Convention Center cluster of hotels. Each of our 166 oversized gues ...
Gilligan's at the Dock - Moncks Corner
Coast

Moncks Corner

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
RV's. Located on river; fishing and boat access. Restaurant and lounge on site, open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Take out available, live entertainment on weekend ...
Canal Lakes Fish Camp/Mac Daddy's Restaurant
Coast

Cross

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Located in the heart of Santee Cooper Lakes - on the Diversion Canal. Fishing pier, fishing guide references, bait and tackle, fuel, boat ramp, and ample dockage. Restaur ...
Blessing of the Inlet
Coast

Murrells Inlet

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Join an exciting day of entertainment, exhibitions, children's activities, seafood and arts & crafts held creek-front in Murrells Inlet. Blessing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. C ...
Taste of Charleston
Coast

Mount Pleasant

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Historic Boone Hall Plantation is transformed into a sea of culinary enchantment! 50 of the Lowcountry’s favorite casual and fine dining restaurants serving sample size p ...
Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Coast

Beaufort

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Beaufort's Shrimp Festival is a favorite event that celebrates Lowcountry cuisine and incorporates fun activities for all ages. Local restaurants offer samples of Lowcou ...