Snead’s latest Myrtle Beach lair provides slammin’ service and stellar eats

For Weekly SurgeFebruary 3, 2014 

Steaks are deliciously tender at Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern in Myrtle Beach. Photo by Becky Billingsley for Weekly Surge.

Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern is at 1004 Glenforest Rd. in Myrtle Beach, and it’s open daily starting at 11 a.m. The number is 903-3150.

Setting the Table

Its opening employees have come and gone, including the chef and general manager, since Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern debuted in the spring of 2013, and the changes seem to be for the better.

Not that the dining experience was bad when my husband and I had dinner there soon after it opened, but this time, accompanied by a friend for a leisurely late lunch, the atmosphere was a bit more polished. We felt pampered.

The building, which faces U.S. 501 and was built as a Max & Erma’s chain restaurant, was remodeled to become Sam Snead’s. It has a roomy bar and lounge to the right of the front door, and a door by the bar’s two-sided fireplace (half is indoors, half is outdoors) leads to a spacious patio area.

To the left of the front door are two long-rather-than-wide dining rooms, and the one on the far left has several windows and a private area with its own television that can be closed off for private parties.

The décor is tasteful – like a well-heeled country club with a bit of flair – and the main decorative items are golf legend Sam Snead (1912-2002) memorabilia. Take a moment to stroll around and you’ll see dozens of plaques, golf keepsakes and photos of the famous late golfer with presidents and celebrities, and Slammin’ Sammy in the act of making his sweet swing.

Down the Hatch

There’s a lunch menu listing soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads, quesadillas and a few entrees, but the full menu is also available during lunch hours, and almost all the dishes on the lunch menu are also on the full menu. However, some prices on the lunch menu are less, such as the classic Cobb salad that’s $12 on the lunch menu and $14 on the dinner menu.

My friend and I teed off with a rustic-looking jumbo lump crab cake for $13, and it was jam-packed with meat. The cake was served with a delicious slaw of jicama and bell pepper strips and a ramekin of slightly spicy rémoulade.

Other appetizers ($8-$14) include vegetable or chicken quesadilla, fried shrimp in creamy/spicy Thai sauce, shrimp cocktail, tuna sashimi, barbecue chicken flatbread, bruschetta and pretzel sticks served with warm cheese dip.

Soups ($5-$6) include clam chowder and onion soup made with Emmenthaler cheese, and a lunchtime soup can be paired with a small house or Caesar salad for $9. Entrée salads are $7-$17 and include iceberg wedge, grilled salmon with candied pecans and goat cheese, steak salad that’s chopped and topped with rib eye, and chopped salad with grapefruit vinaigrette dressing.

Sometimes a hungry golfer (or golf fan) just wants a burger, and the choices here are hamburger, cheeseburger or patty melt with sautéed onions on grilled rye, for $10-$11. For an extra $1.50 each burger can also be topped with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, jalapenos or a fried egg.

Prices on the menu section called The Long Course are $11-$23, and a small salad can be added for $3. These choices range from chicken tenders with fries and pulled pork or Reuben sandwiches to fettuccine Alfredo, chicken Madeira with potatoes and broccoli, house-smoked baby back ribs with fries and slaw, and oak-grilled pork tenderloin with potatoes and demi-glace.

The oak grill comes into play again with a selection of steaks ($18-$32) including filet mignon, New York strip, rib eye and sirloin. I had the 8-ounce filet, and it was exceedingly tender and flavorful. I could have added an 8-ounce Maine lobster tail for the market price, or for an extra $1.50 it could have come with sautéed onions, mushrooms or demi-glace.

The server asked if I’d like a salad with my steak, and I didn’t notice that it was an extra $3; I would have declined if I realized it cost extra. It did come with a complimentary side dish, and my loaded baked potato was crusted with diced bacon. Other side dishes are sautéed spinach, grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, roasted vegetables, yellow rice, potatoes au gratin and mashed potatoes. If ordered a la carte, the side dishes are each $4-$5.

My buddy ordered from the Water Hazard section ($15-$22; salad is $3 extra) and loved her seared scallops over cappellini with Asian vegetables in Thai chili sauce. Other seafood entrees are grilled Atlantic salmon in citrus-soy sauce, fish and chips, shrimp and lobster pasta and crab cakes. There’s also a fresh fish of the day, and when we visited it was grouper.

On Fridays and Saturdays starting at 4 p.m., and all day on Sundays, prime rib meals are available for $23-$26.

Check, please

Sam Snead’s has a couple dozen wine selections in three groupings. The Front Nine choices are $6 per glass or $23 per bottle, including Penfolds Shiraz; the Back Nine is $9 per glass or $34 per bottle, such as Willamette Valley Pinot Gris; and Clubhouse Selections are $40-$95 per bottle, including Rusack Pinot Noir. Greg Norman Estate wines are also available by the glass for $6-$9.

The full bar includes dessert wines, and we indulged in a couple of glasses of tawny port with our Grand Marnier chocolate mousse and Bailey’s white chocolate cheesecake.

Our meal of one appetizer, one tea, two entrees, one side salad, two desserts and two ports came to $93.50. It was a lovely unrushed lunch with friendly and attentive service.

Deals at Sam Snead’s include a lunch punch card where if you buy six lunches priced $8 or more, the seventh is free. From 4-6 p.m. daily there’s a special Par 3 Menu where a three-course meal (soup or salad, entrée with sides and dessert) is $19.

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

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