Gut Reaction for May 16, 2013

For Weekly SurgeMay 15, 2013 

Setting the Table

I’ve always liked the interior of the building at 364 Robert M. Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, which recently became Smitty’s Pine Island Pub.

It was Pomodoro’s first, from the time its construction was completed in 2006 until it closed in January. The décor is all brick and dark woods with a large bar in the front, and it has a cozy feeling. If you want more sunlight, a dining room on the south end of the building has several windows, and so does a large private dining room (great for club meetings or parties) at the north end.

Oldies rock (Phil Collins, John Mellencamp) played at a comfortable level that allowed for conversation.

Smitty’s is being operated by Eric Smith and his sons, Kurt Smith and Gregg Smith, and Gregg says they aim to create a comfortable haven for locals with hearty food.

Down the Hatch

Gregg Smith has prior experience operating Chef Smitty’s Burgers, Fish & Fries in the food court at Coastal Grand Mall, but this menu expands on that beginning.

Appetizers are $5.75-$15 and include “Jumbo” Chicken Wings (barbecue, Buffalo, garlic parmesan, Asian, sweet and tangy), Beer-Battered Vidalia Onion Rings, Dirty Fries topped with sausage gravy and two cheeses, Shrimp Cocktail, Soft Pretzel and Pine Island Nachos.

My son and I tried the Spring Rolls, which can have Reuben sandwich fillings or contain pulled pork or Asian Shrimp. First we tried Asian Shrimp, which was supposed to contain jumbo shrimp, but they weren’t whole; they were chopped up. The two rolls, which cost $5.75, were double wrapped and the interior eggroll skin was mushy.

Gregg Smith came to our table to ask how we liked the rolls, and I told him about the mushy interior. He brought one each of the other two kinds of rolls for us to try, and I thought the pulled pork wasn’t bad. However, I don’t think any of them are worth almost $3 apiece.

We also tried the Thick-cut House-made Pub Chips, which are lightly dusted with Ranch, Cajun and Cheddar seasonings. They were OK, but next time we’ll ask for a chip dip to go with them.

Soups (Chili, New England Style Clam Chowder) and Salads (Chicken Club, Market Fresh, Chef, Side) are $6-$10. Flatbread Pizzas are $8-$10 with choices including Rib Eye Steak with caramelized onions and blue cheese, Buffalo Shrimp, Veggie and Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Chicken.

I tried a Fresh Sirloin Burger. The six choices are $9-$11 and come with fries or chips. Mine was a Pub Burger with caramelized onions, pimento cheese, Romaine, tomato and beer mustard on a “toasted knot roll.” You definitely get a lot of toppings, and those who like a dense and chewy roll rather than a soft hamburger bun would enjoy this. A few more burger choices include the Low Country topped with Italian sausage and shrimp; Turkey Burger and Veggie Burger.

Nine specialty sandwiches are $9-$11 and come with a dill pickle spear and a choice of chips or slaw. Gregg Smith says the Reuben is a big seller. Other choices are Thanksgiving Turkey on cranberry bread, Pulled Pork with Jack Daniel’s barbecue sauce, Crab Cake and Shrimp Po’ Boy.

Dinners are $11-$18. My son had Pine Island Chicken for $14, which is two thin breasts topped with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, Cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, tomato and barbecue sauce. He liked the chicken and was impressed by the portion size, but what he enjoyed even more was the side dish he selected, which was Smitty’s Barbecue Beans that contained shredded pork.

The other side dishes are slaw, fries, smashed potatoes, broccoli sautéed in garlic butter and white wine, and green beans with sausage gravy and fried onions.

More dinner choices are Pork Cutlets in “Low Country Marsala Sauce” with sausage, mushrooms, cream and Marsala wine; Pot Roast; fried seafood baskets, including haddock; Penne Alfredo; and sirloin or ribeye steaks.

Check, please

The menu says to ask the server about the day’s “fresh desserts,” but since she said they’re not made in-house we didn’t order one.

Happy Hour is from 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays when complimentary appetizers such as flat bread pizzas are passed around by servers, select appetizers are half-price, some domestic beers are $2, select import beers are $3 and well drinks are $4. Live entertainment is frequent, and the restaurant has free WiFi.

Smitty’s Pine Island Pub is at 364 Robert M. Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, and the number is 808-0880. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Becky Billingsley serves up fresh news daily at

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