Scottsdale. La Jolla. Hawaii. I’ve vacationed in all of these golf-friendly destinations and haven’t so much as picked up a club. So what did I do during this summer’s vacation to Myrtle Beach? Watch baseball, of course. Oh, and eat a lot.
My family and I spent some time in the famed South Carolina resort town this summer cheering on our younger son’s travel team at a week-long tournament. This left us with plenty of time to scout out the best gluten-free dining in Myrtle Beach.
Besides its famous beach and golf courses, Myrtle Beach has lots and lots of
pancake houses. Some of them offer gluten-free pancakes but don’t make them safe for those who have celiac disease, including my older son. But the kitchen staff at Sea Captain’s House, which also has a gluten-free dinner menu featuring salads and entrees, prepares huge, fluffy gluten-free pancakes in a separate pan.
As a coastal city, Myrtle Beach also has its share of seafood buffet restaurants. The best for gluten-free eaters is Captain George’s, where a kitchen manager will point out safe options in the buffet area or have the chef prepare fresh entrees using clean cookware. Gluten-free choices at the buffet include blackened Mahi, broiled salmon, Cajun crabs, steamed seafood, side salads and puddings and fresh fruit for dessert.
Captain George’s is located near Broadway on the Beach, a lively shopping and dining destination about a mile from the shore. Gluten-free-friendly eateries there include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville , where we shared gluten-free Volcano Nachos and a brownie sundae and our older son enjoyed a burger on a gluten-free bun), Landry’s Seafood and Planet Hollywood.
Landlubbers can get their protein fill at Tbonz Gill and Grill with baby back ribs and a variety of steaks that are listed on the restaurant’s gluten-free menu.
The best gluten-free pizza option is at Mellow Mushroom, a growing Southeast chain whose pies are made with Smart Flour ancient-grain crusts. We ordered from there twice, in fact. The kitchen staff will wash hands, put on fresh gloves and a fresh apron and only use dedicated cooking utensils and ingredients. Everything is made to order and prepared in a separate area. A screen pan is used during the baking process so the gluten-free crust doesn’t contact the pizza stone.
With two locations in the area, E Noodles offers the best local gluten-free Asian cuisine. Dishes with rice noodles and the fried rice can be made with gluten-free soy sauce. We took out an order of tasty shrimp pad Thai, pork fried rice and other noodle plates.
Besides the local, independent restaurants, there are plenty of reliable chains in the area. Outback Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s, The Melting Pot, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and Joe’s Crab Shack all have gluten-free menus.
Michael Savett is a frequent contributor to Gluten-Free Living. He blogs at glutenfreephilly.com.