By Becky Billingsley
Thursday, June 7, 2012, Myrtle Beach - The sweet sultry aroma of smoked meat wafted over strollers at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach today as the staff at Sweet Carolina's Lowcountry Grill Smoke House prepared to open at 4 p.m.
Restaurant owners Roger and Pat Digby didn't have to go far to come to work, because they also own seven other businesses at Broadway at the Beach: Tiki Jim's, Paradise, Just Horsing Around, The Stupid Factory, T-Shirt Connection, Reining Cats and Dogs and the Broadway T-Shirt Company.
Sweet Carolina's replaces a quick-serve restaurant called State Fair Fun Foods.
"Customers wanted full service for dinner," Digby said today at the restaurant 10 minutes before the doors were opened to the public, "so we're giving it to them."
Local restaurant veteran Rich Huggins is the general manager, and Trish Rensel is the executive chef. The restaurant's dramatic decor change was the work of decorator Ruth Hough. She created a comfortable and cool ambiance using dark woods with a cherry tone and forest green accents.
The natural feel of the surroundings matches a menu full of Lowcountry specialties including Fried Green Tomatoes with house-made Vidalia Onion Relish; Seafood Bisque; Spicy Chicken Gumbo; Blackened Lowcountry Shrimp Wrap; and Catfish Bites.
Four salads are listed, including Chopped Apple Salad with fresh apples, pineapple, celery, chopped candied pecans, strawberries, feta cheese and yogurt dressing.
Several seafood platters are $15-$17 and come with sides, while three smokehouse entrees (ribs, beef brisket and chopped pork) are $12-$23 and come with cornbread, garden or Caesar salad and two sides.
From the grill are pork chops and steaks, while poultry dishes include Smokehouse Chicken topped with Monterey Jack cheese, smoked bacon and barbecue sauce; and half of a marinated, smoked and barbecue sauce-slathered chicken.
Several sandwiches are $9-$12 and come with slaw, a pickle and a choice of white or sweet potato fries. They include burgers, smoked meat sandwiches, Shrimp Po' Boy and Prime Rib Sandwich.
The staff stresses all dishes are house-made, and that includes desserts like Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Bread Pudding with bourbon sauce, Key Lime Pie with a roasted macadamia nut crust, and Strawberry Shortcake topped with fresh whipped cream.
Children's meals are $5-$6, and the entree choices are Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Tenders, Barbecue Sliders and Fried Shrimp. They come with a choice of soft drink, milk or tea.
Sweet Carolina's is on the south side of Broadway at the Beach, between Yamato's and It's Sugar. It's open daily for lunch and dinner, and the number is (843) 444-5522.