Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Making Vacation Calories Count, Our Experience with Boardwalk Beach Cafe, Cherry Grove Pier, South Carolina

The day started with a walk out to the beach here in Cherry Grove South Carolina, the first official trip since our arrival on Saturday.  My bestie and I finally made it to our respective spots side by side, under a brilliant blue umbrella.  RD, the bestie mentioned above, was breaking in his new Tommy Bahama beach chair, a jawbone blue-tooth speaker, and waterproof case for his phone.  I too had come prepared, with my straw hat, sunglasses, fruit waters and most importantly Yes, Chef , a memoir, by Marcus Samuelsson. 
We waded out into the lukewarm and choppy salty waters to the waist, for our customary ceremony of  saturating  our suits and bodies, then posting up to dry again by the humid breeze and obstructed sunshine  that this wonderful day provided.  After about 30 minutes at best, we noticed clouds and quiet fury building on either side in  the distance.  We rationalized that one will go around, the other, gone before we know it, we were wrong!  My weather bug app insisted that we "seek shelter immediately", but we felt we could squeeze out a few more minutes.  A brief and sparse shower hit, but not enough to send us packing, so we continued to bob our heads in unison to Bob Marley or some Top Forty song, I can't remember which.  Within minutes, the thunder in the distance became more omnipresent and the darkening of the sky could no longer be ignored.  The rules of engagement for a thunder and lightning storm, drilled into my head by my parents, echoed in my ears, get inside, unplug appliances, no telephones, keep away from water, stay away from windows, be QUIET!!  

The lightning strike that stretched from the sky to the ground to our right, sealed the deal, sending us scrambling to remove from the sand and lower the umbrella, cover electronics, fold up chairs, grab everything and flee, as our fellow vacation mates yelled from the third floor balcony of our condo to get our butts inside!!  We stored our gear in the back of the Jeep, luckily it was nearby and in a single level parking garage, almost directly behind us.
It was around lunchtime, and since we felt like the crisis had been averted and immediate plans for fun in the sun had been thwarted, why not try out this cafe at the mouth of the pier, just beside our unit, Boardwalk Beach Cafe on Cherry Grove Pier, where in 1964, the world's largest tiger shark on record was caught!!!  
We tempted fate once more by using the garden hose to rinse the sand from our legs and flip flops, before entering, bold I know, but somehow very necessary before entering an eatery, at least in our minds, even though our clothing was soaked throughout.  
We were greeted by a cordial staff, that offered we sit anywhere, wetness and all, which was reassuring.  We chose to stand, until we saw a deck just out back with shelter, plenty of chairs and a new view of the ocean and opposite side of the pier.  The menu offered a select, but efficient selection of bar goodies like wings, cheesesticks, shrimp etc, but also salads, fish, shrimp and chicken tacos  and entrees, sandwiches ranging from Ahi Tuna and Grouper, to Caribean Jerk and Barbecue.   We went with the Double Whammy Burger, boasting two all beef patties, cheese and bacon optional. They offered all the fixings that make burgers awesome, including but not limited to mushrooms, jalapenos, chili and guacamole.
The children's menu is very fair @5.50, offering four choices  and there's also a great happy hour ensemble from 4p to 7p, boasting discounts on bar based appetizers and spirits.  The overall menu prices range from $5.50 to $18.
The burgers were made to order and fresh.  The fries were piping hot, the pickle cool and crisp, a portion of  slaw was also included.  This meal was really two in one and I definitely used most of my 'What the Hell, I'm on vacation' cards in one fell swoop.  Indulgent-yes, worth it-yes, fighting and cheating death, fleeing from lightning storms and  pigging out with your best friend of almost 22 years- on vacation- at the beach-PRICELESS!