Gut reaction for Jan. 10, 2013

New tavern’s menu is small, but rocks you like a hurricane

For Weekly SurgeJanuary 7, 2013 

Hurricane Maggie’ Bar & Grill s is at 7710 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, and the number is 497-5000. It’s open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Setting the Table

Hurricane Maggie’s Bar & Grill has a triple layer of ambiance, and each one is appealing.

Downstairs, the main dining room looks much as it did when the restaurant was previously known as For What It’s Worth, with booths, cocktail tables and an L-shape bar. That’s where bartender Jeremiah Goff will relate fascinating facts about his liquid wares, such as Virgil Kaine Bourbon infused with ginger from Johns Island, or the seductively floral St. Germaine elderberry liqueur that is similar to ice wine, but much less expensive.

Upstairs is a lounge with a handsome pool table, another bar and a comfy living room grouping. The third space is a rooftop patio beyond the lounge with wrought iron tables and chairs. This is where, in warm months, Hurricane Maggie’s owner/partners, Rick Brown and Sheila Younger, plan to have beer dinners and more.

Younger serves with a broad smile, and Brown cooks. The restaurant is named for Younger’s mother.

Down the Hatch

The dining menu is not lengthy, but it is tasty. Brown, who is just as friendly and outgoing as Younger when he has time to come out of the kitchen, has an affinity for grilling.

Even wings on the appetizer menu ($2.75-$10) are grilled, and he cooks them to a pleasantly sticky caramelized point. The Mr. and I tried teriyaki wings (other choices are mild, hot, category 5, blackened, garlic/Parmesan and barbecue), and they were plump and moist, served with a generous amount of blue cheese sauce (yes, you can opt for Ranch) and jumbo-size, ice-cold and exceedingly crunchy celery sticks.

We also sampled and enjoyed Hurricane Shrimp, which are two-biters fried to golden crispiness and coated in a mayonnaise-based Asian chili sauce that is not spicy.

A few other appetizers are Steamed Shrimp, Mac and Cheese Bites and Hurricane Maggie’s signature Buzzard Dip, which is a gloriously gooey and spicy mixture of sausage, hamburger and cheese served with tortilla chips.

The rest of the food menu is a choice of five sliders: Beef, Crabbie Pattie, Grilled Chicken, Veggie or Philly Cheese, and they come with house-fried chips. They’re $7 for two except for the crab, which are $10 for two; if you want fries instead of chips that’s an additional $2, or $2.50 if you prefer onion rings.

I tried the crab sliders and liked them just fine – especially the mayonnaise-based pink Crabbie Sauce on them – but I would suggest cooking them a little crispier, because they fell apart easily. My husband loved his Philly Cheese Steak sliders, which had so much meat it was falling out of the soft fresh rolls.

That meat is purchased locally from Beach Meat Packing Co., and breads are from Benjamin’s Bakery in Surfside Beach.

Check, please

Hurricane Maggie’s has many specialty drinks, from the Flaming Woody (a shot of Early Times Fire Eater Cinnamon Whiskey dropped into a pint of Woodchuck Cider) to the Diamond Tini with Maestro Dobel Tequila, lemon, DeKuyper Razzmatazz Liqueur and silver sugar.

Draft beers are quite the eclectic assortment, such as Goose Island Honker’s Ale and Terrapin Hopsecutioner. Happy Hour is from 4-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays with $4 select martinis, $3 for the bottled beer of the day and other discounts.

There’s frequent live music later in the evenings; this is a popular spot for the late-night service industry crowd. Smoking is allowed upstairs, but not downstairs.

Becky Billingsley serves up fresh news daily at MyrtleBeachRestaurantNews.com.

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