One of the easiest ways to blow the family vacation budget is by dining out without doing some homework. It doesn't take long to literally eat up all your fun money, especially at some of the more expensive fine-dining restaurants on the Grand Strand.
You go out for what you think is an affordable family meal and wind up spending double and triple what you had planned. Do that three times a day and it adds up quickly, but not if you know where to go to get a great family feast for only a few dollars a head.
But it's not all about price. Value is the name of the game when you are trying to feed a family, and a diverse menu is the key to keep everybody happy. Here are five restaurants, many of them a short walk or drive from the Bay View, that fit the affordable bill.
* Big Mike's: After a week of eating greasy cheeseburgers and cheesy chili dogs, your body needs a good dose of comfort food. You can find it at Big Mike's Soul Food on 16th Avenue North by following your nose to the smell of good stick-to-your-ribs Southern cooking. Select a meat (fried pork chops, country-style steak, fried chicken, meatloaf and more) and three veggies (mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens, black-eyed peas and many more) for only $8.95 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children. Be sure to get a doggie box and enjoy another meal later in your hotel room.
* Dagwood's: This popular deli isn't particularly inexpensive, but it's the combination of a quality sandwich piled high with a large quantity of meat that puts Dagwood's on the short list. Named after the famous cartoon character known for stacking his sandwiches to ceiling, Dagwood's comes pretty close with a wide selection of subs and toppings. Serving high-rise sandwiches for more than a quarter century, Dagwood's now has two locations – the original in downtown Myrtle Beach and the second in Surfside Beach.
* E Noodles: This pan-Asian eatery provides the perfect place for a nice lunch or dinner out without breaking the family budget. E Noodles serves a wide selection of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and more, offering a diverse choice of noodles or rice covered with tasty meats and vegetables. Soups, salads and starters are also reasonably priced so your party can feast like royalty without the heavy price tag. There are two locations – one in Myrtle Beach and another in North Myrtle Beach.
* Hamburger Joe's: This burger joint serves the best burgers in Myrtle Beach and the best bang for your buck on the Grand Strand. With locations in North Myrtle Beach and Surfside, Hamburger Joe's keeps its simple – hand-patted burgers hot off the grill, delicious hot dogs smothered in chili and chicken wings in the house special Gold Wing sauce. You will want to wash it down with a cold beer, and Hamburger Joe's has cold drafts for $1 all the time. The walls are covered in $1 bills donated by customers over the years, a pretty good indication they saved a few bucks.
* Mammy's Kitchen: For more than 60 years this downtown Myrtle Beach establishment has been helping hungry visitors stretch their vacation dollars. Mammy's puts out a huge spread for its breakfast bar, including fresh fruit and all the traditional Southern breakfast favorites, for only $8.50. The regular menu is available for breakfast and lunch. Be sure to visit the original Mammy's on the corner of Kings Highway and Bob Grissom Parkway, not the knockoff on Ocean Boulevard.
(Photo courtesy: www,10Best.com)