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By Becky Billingsley
Damon’s Grill has been known in the Myrtle Beach area for more than 20 years for its tender ribs, but there’s a lot more deliciousness to be discovered.
The original Myrtle Beach location at the south end of Ocean Boulevard is oceanfront, and in fine weather seats on the upper level deck are extremely popular. Inside, picture windows also provide stunning ocean views.
The North Myrtle Beach location faces U.S. 17, and it has a covered patio. Both restaurants have menus that appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
Appetizers start with Damon’s famous onion loaf, where sweet onion pieces are seasoned, battered and fried until crispy, and served with a spicy remoulade. A few more starters include wings, southwestern chicken and black bean egg rolls and creamy cheese and sausage dip that contains minced jalapenos and is served with toasted flatbread.
French onion soup smothered in bubbly cheese and cream-based New England clam chowder are always on the menu, but be sure to ask about the soup of the day. During my most recent visit it was corn and potato chowder, and it was full of delicious fresh vegetables.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there’s a special lunch menu that includes a “meat and three” option for a choice of meat, two side dishes and banana pudding. A few of the meats include pulled pork, fried pub fish, meatloaf, fried chicken livers with sautéed onions and gravy, pot roast, country fried steak, pork chop, baby back ribs and flame-grilled chicken breast. A few of the side dishes are slaw, baked potato, baked beans, onion straws, mashed potatoes, garden rice, fried okra and macaroni and cheese.
Sandwiches are also on the lunch menu, like burgers, crab cake sliders, turkey and bacon club, open-face roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, prime rib dip and The Steamboat, where a loaf of bread is filled with barbecue pork and topped with cheeses. Salads include Caesar, chef and Salad in the Orchard with grapes, pears, pistachios, Craisins, blue cheese and sherry vinaigrette.
At lunch and dinner there’s a fresh fish of the day special that may be salmon, mahi mahi, wahoo, black tip shark, tuna, grouper, sea bass, red drum and more. The fish is cooked on a flat grill to give it a succulent and moist interior with delicately crispy edges.
The dinner menu adds hearty entrees, like New York strip, ribeye and barrel cut filet mignon; prime rib; center cut pork chops basted in sweet chipotle glaze; fried shrimp; crab cake dinner; Mediterranean shrimp skewers in lemon rosemary vinaigrette; pecan-breaded chicken breast; and blackened chicken Alfredo. Ribs can be ordered a la carte or in a combo paired with shrimp, barbecue pork, steak, crab cake and chicken.
Desserts include deep-dish apple pie, pecan praline cheesecake, Key Lime pie and three-layer chocolate cake. A new dessert is a cookie sundae, where giant chocolate chip cookies are baked fresh and served warm with ice cream and hot fudge.
The bar at Damon’s is a busy and happy place, and happy hour is daily from 4-7 p.m. with specials like $3 house liquors, and beer and appetizer discounts. Specialty cocktails include a make-your-own mojito, and bottled and draft craft beers are served. The beers change, but expect choices like New South Brown Ale, Dogfish Head 61 IPA and Highland Oatmeal Porter.
Groups are always welcome, and the private dining room at the oceanfront location can accommodate up to 65 diners. There’s room for motor coaches to park.
Sports teams can call ahead to arrange special dining packages that can take place at the restaurant or off-site, and the package can include water sports like Jet-Skiing, parasailing and riding a banana boat. Party planning is easier with Damon’s special carryout menu that offers wing trays, pulled pork packages, rib and chicken combo platters and much more.
Damon’s Oceanfront is at 2985 S. Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, and the number is 843-626-8000. The North Myrtle Beach location is at 801 U.S. 17 S., and the number is 843-272-5107. They’re both open daily from 11 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m.