By Becky Billingsley
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, Surfside Beach – 2012 marks 30 years the Litton family has been making food and beverage lovers happy in Surfside Beach, and new renovations and a new family chef on board are making everyone even happier.
This hub of activity on Surfside Drive has two parts: inside and outside, and both have eclectic charm.
Inside is a mammoth bar where locals gather regularly for camaraderie, refreshment and frenzied sports-viewing; a few umbrella-topped picnic tables (yes, inside) and many tables and booths. Be sure to look up and check out dozens of antique farm tools on the ceiling.
Outside is a pleasant sunken beer garden surrounded by an incredible outdoor kitchen ringed in stone, a stage with a colorful mural backdrop of football emblems, and a roomy outdoor bar with an overhang roof. The stage has a screen, and there are more outdoor TV screens where football fans gather to "bleed blue and gold" for the West Virginia Mountaineers and other teams.
This is where Dave Litton has turned out a lot of great food over the decades, and now his nephew, Chef Ty Litton (formerly of Nalu’s) is helping add flair to a menu full of appetizers, entrée salads, sandwiches, pizza and daily specials.
On a recent Friday I met two friends for lunch, and the day’s $5 lunch special was three Steak Tacos. They ordered that to share along with an appetizer of Jalapeno Poppers ($8 for five) that came with mixed berry port reduction, for dipping.
Their tacos were in soft flour tortillas, and on the side was a generous pile of fresh diced tomatoes and chiffonade lettuce. They loved both dishes, and all of us thought the Steak Tacos were an incredible value.
My appetizer was Fried Rangoon ($8 for five), which is like a mini fried pie filled with braised beef, cream cheese and julienne vegetables. It was rich and delicious, especially with the roasted red pepper dipping sauce.
For my entrée I selected the Teriyaki Chicken Wrap off the menu ($8) and thoroughly enjoyed the blend of tender chicken chunks, bell peppers, onions, lettuce, fresh tomato, aged provolone, pine, sesame seeds and sweet teriyaki aioli. After eating four of the Rangoon (I gave one to my friends), I couldn’t finish even half of the wrap, which is fine because that meant I had a great lunch the next day.
Before I tell you about the rest of the menu, let me share a couple more of the Sundown specials.
Every day from 7-11 a.m. there is a $5 Hangover Special with two eggs, homefries or grits, toast and a Bloody Mary. My friends have had it before, and they said the Bloody Mary is a big one, and it’s tasty.
On Friday and Saturday nights there are Prime Rib and Filet Mignon Dinners for $15.
Menu choices are mostly $6-$10, and a few standouts I’m eager to go back and try include the Low Country Burger topped with barbecue (yes, as in pork), white Cheddar, fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes and fried pickles; Fried Green Tomato BLT; Caprese Portabello Sandwich; Fish Taco; Classic Reuben on marble rye from Benjamin’s Bakery; Spinach Salad with fresh berries, candied nuts and goat cheese; and Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad.
Our extremely friendly server said Sundown is known for its Prime Rib Philly Dip served with jus and horseradish cream, and I want to go back with a girlfriend to split the Ladies Plate with hummus, pita, pimento cheese, veggies, house-made chicken salad, crackers and Peppadew peppers stuffed with goat cheese.
Children’s meals are $5 (sliders, wings, grilled cheese, fish bites, Capt. Crunch chicken fingers, mini corn dogs) and come with a pickle spear and a choice of fries, chips or sweet potato Tater Tots.
Dessert is decadent! For $2 each, take your choice of a fried candy bar: Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Baby Ruth, Twix or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
When you pay your bill, your server will give you a numbered ticket. Hang onto it, and come back after Friday to see if your number was drawn. If it was, and you’re there by the Wednesday deadline, you just won yourself $100.
The slogan at Sundown is, “Another Satisfied Customer.” I am.
Sundown Restaurant & Sports Pub is at 810 Surfside Dr. in Surfside Beach, and the number is (843) 238-1240. It’s open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.