Pawleys Island’s BisQit putting a new Southern spin on comfort food and drink

For Weekly SurgeJanuary 22, 2014 

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    BISQIT

    BisQit is at 10880 Ocean Highway in Pawleys Island, in the middle of the Pawleys Island Hammock Shops. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays, and the phone number is 979-2747.

Setting the Table

When Mike Benson and brewmaster Josh Quigley of Quigley’s Pint & Plate in Pawleys Island decided in 2013 to open a new restaurant called BisQit, they wisely featured a menu full of current menu trends with southern twists.

BisQit is in the Pawleys Island Hammock Shops in the former location of Roz’s Rice Mill Café. The mid-1800s building was a post office on a nearby rice plantation before it was moved to the Hammock Shops, and it was remodeled when it became BisQit.

Towering live oak trees shade the restaurant. In the middle, in the building’s oldest part, are a bar, a community table and a few two-tops. To the left is a small dining room that looks like a sun porch, and to the right is a larger porch-like addition that was added in 2009.

No matter which seat is occupied, the ambiance is relaxed and reflects a nouveau southern mentality that combines traditional flavors with modern culinary influences.

Down the Hatch

Quigley’s beer he brews at Quigley’s Pint & Plate cannot be sold at BisQit due to liquor regulations, but the menu lists bottled and draft craft beers, cocktails – including beer cocktails – about a dozen wine choices, and milkshakes that can be spiked or not. The beer cocktails are edgy, such as the $9 Estimated Prophet with Lagunitas IPA, Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine, St. Germain and bitters; or Stout Mary with Left Hand Milk Stout, Tito’s Vodka, Bloody Mary mix, Maytag blue cheese and pickled vegetables.

Beer cocktails are considered a dining trend for 2014 according to an annual trend prediction published by San Francisco-based hospitality consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Co. In the same report, the company said biscuits are an upcoming trend.

BisQit is ahead of the biscuit curve with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring huge cathead biscuits. Breakfast is served all day, and those biscuits ($3-$6.50) can be filled with fried chicken and gravy, steak and blue cheese, country sausage and pickles, chorizo, Nueske’s Bacon and more. Biscuits can also be carried out by the half or full dozen, for $7.50-$14, and condiments including honey butter, apple butter, pimento cheese, fruit preserves and bacon jam are an extra $3-$5.

A few more breakfast choices are a trio of TaQos where corn or flour tortillas can be filled with a variety of ingredients from chorizo to Belgian fries, or the Belgian fries can be ordered in a $9 dish called The Round House where they’re topped with country ham, bacon, sausage and American cheese. For an extra buck a dollop of gravy can be added. Biscuits and gravy are $4, or for $7 it can also come with fried chicken.

The post-breakfast menu features a feast for people who like pub-style foods. Some sandwiches are served on biscuits ($6-$8.50, comes with one side), such as the Country Store my husband ordered and enjoyed with country ham, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

Our son tried and liked one of the many burgers ($5-$12, comes with a side) where the meat is a combination of chuck, short rib and brisket. His was the Smokehouse burger with barbecue sauce, jalapeno bacon, pepper jack and smoked gouda cheeses and pickles, and it was topped with a thick house-made onion ring. The burgers come on buttered brioche rolls, and chicken breast or falafel patties can be substituted for ground beef.

I had a delicious lobster salad special for $9, where a generous scoop of salad crammed with meat was on a bed of field greens with bread chunks and carrot and celery sticks.

If you’re a grazer who likes finger foods ($6-$13) alongside a pint or two, during two visits we’ve enjoyed the meat and cheese board with pickled veggies, chicken liver pate and tender house-made beef jerky with red chili-soy marinade. We also had excellent crispy sweet tea-marinated wings with hoisin/red chili glaze. They were some of the best wings I’ve eaten during the previous year.

Check, please

About those milkshakes – they’re $5-$10 and come in a variety of creative combinations such as the Sweet Swine with vanilla ice cream, bacon, maple syrup and sea salt, and it can be spiked with Four Roses bourbon. A few more milkshakes feature salted caramel and bourbon, bananas and rum, Nutella and Faretti Biscotti liqueur, and tequila with cayenne pepper, coffee and chocolate syrup.

BisQit also has more conventional desserts such as coconut cream pie for $6.

BisQit’s normal happy hour is daily from 4-7 p.m. with $3 tap beers, bottled beers for $2.50-$3, wines by the glass for $4-$6 and half-price appetizers. However, through the end of January the happy hour prices are in effect all day long.

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

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