Secluded waterfront dining spot south of Myrtle Beach is a little ray of sunshine

For Weekly SurgeJune 11, 2013 

Fish Tacos are piled high with toppings at Hannah Banana's Sunshine Cabana. Photo by Becky Billingsley for Weekly Surge.

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    Hannah Banana’s Sunshine Cabana is at 1950 Wachesaw Rd. in Murrells Inlet, and the number is 357-3655. It’s open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sailing Delicious Seas at Hannah Banana’s

Setting the Table

Whether you tie up or tie one on, dining and drinking by the waterfront at Hannah Banana’s Sunshine Cabana is a deliciously relaxing experience.

Ken Spiehler is on his fifth season as the operator of the restaurant at Wacca Wache Marina in Murrells Inlet, and he created one of the most lovely secluded outdoor waterfront dining spots on the entire Grand Strand. Wrought iron tables on a sprawling deck are in comfy shade under giant tree dripping with Spanish moss, and there’s a great view of boat traffic on the river.

Customers can either come by car or boat. We arrived in our little MerCruiser, and two friendly dockhands helped tie up our craft.

If it’s too hot or raining, there’s also plenty of room inside, or you could take a seat under a covered side porch overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

Down the Hatch

Fine casual dining is an accurate portrayal of the Hannah Banana menu, with comfortably familiar appetizers and sandwiches that have upscale accents.

Starters ($6-$11) include a slightly peppery Shrimp Corn Chowder, Sweet and Spicy Meatballs, Cold Shrimp Dip, Cold Boiled Shrimp and Murrells Inlet Truffles, which are a basketful of mini-corn dogs. New this season on the appetizer list is Saucy Sausage, a “mild Italian sausage in a tasty tomato chili sauce.”

We started our meal by sharing one of eight salads ($6-$14) called Broccoli Bacon, where a generous scoop of fresh crunchy broccoli florets mixed with bacon, shredded Cheddar and Duke’s Mayonnaise is placed on a bed of crispy mixed greens. The Mr. and I loved it and ate every bite.

Entrees are $8.50-$20 with plenty of choices for whatever you’re hankering. Like shrimp? Get them fried or in a cold salad. There’s also Tuna Salad, Crab Cake Sandwich (featuring claw meat), fried oysters, a fish sandwich and Fish Tacos, which is what we selected.

It was a tasty choice, with moist blackened white fish topped with mounds of lettuce, tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro, and served with sides of sour cream and creamy slaw.

Non-seafood dishes include Italian sausage sandwich, Portabello mushroom that’s grilled and served with tomato and smoked Provolone on a potato hamburger roll, veggie burger, Philly cheese steak, French dip, hamburger and deli sandwiches including roast beef, turkey or chicken salad with pecans and cranberries.

Check, please

Hannah Banana’s doesn’t have a happy hour – Spiehler says he prefers to offer low prices all the time. More than a couple dozen beers are offered, Woodbridge wines are dispensed at $5 per glass and specialty cocktails start at $5. Our tab for one salad, one order of fish tacos, two Guinness and two Sam Adams was $46.

Two types of pies made by “Murrells Inlet Pie Goddess” Michelle Beard are Peanut Butter and Key Lime, and they’re $6 per slice.

Spiehler is proud that Hannah Banana’s is “100 percent Styrofoam free,” because he wants to do his part to keep local rivers clean. His plastic drinking cups are made of corn and are biodegradable, and his carryout containers are made of bamboo. The restaurant’s staff recycles its glass, metal and paper.

Sober rides home to and from Socastee, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, Litchfield and Murrells Inlet are available with 24 hours’ advance notice via Hannah Banana’s 14-passenger van. If someone who arrives by boat has had too much to drink, arrangements can be made to dock the boat overnight.

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

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