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Seafood House Buffet in Surfside Beach is a winner

Most Myrtle Beach vacationers are repeat offenders: they come here every year for the activities and attractions that have appealed to families and couples for decades. However, some things have a tendency to become mundane, even when a person is on vacation. One of those activities is dining out. Naturally, seafood is highly popular along the Grand Strand, making it difficult for one restaurant to distinguish itself from another. This is particularly true when it comes to buffets. Myrtle Beach has an abundance of such establishments, all of which state that they are “the best on the beach.”

In reality, they are all something....but the phrase I would use is not the “best.” Rather, I would have to say most buffet restaurants in the area are really, truly, definitely....not bad.

Well, “not bad” isn’t exactly what you are looking for when you waited all year to go on vacation. People come here with money to spend, and nobody wants to go home and brag to their friends and neighbors about this “okay” meal they had at the beach.

Fortunately, there is one restaurant in the area that will not elicit responses such as “Eh, another seafood buffet...big deal.” That restaurant is the Seafood House in Surfside Beach.

Everyone knows that certain establishments outshine their competition, and Seafood House is in that category. Whenever I have the pleasure of dining there with my husband, the first thing I notice is an attentive staff. Arguably, it may just be my pet peeve, but I hate to walk into a restaurant and feel as if I'm interrupting conversations among coworkers in order to be shown a table. The moment you walk into Seafood House, you're the star of the show. You are greeted by several people, including an adorable mermaid swimming around in her own private lagoon, after which you are promptly seated.

Last night, our server, Tina, greeted us and said “diet Pepsi, right?” A good memory for a staff member who serves thousands of people all summer long! In fact, it was that moment that I thought to myself “Self, it's time to do a review.”

The next thing that almost all patrons find pleasing when visiting Seafood House is the fresh salads. We started with shrimp salad, chicken salad and pasta salad, all of which we could have easily filled up on if we weren't already familiar with all the delectable treats to come on the hot food bar. The same could be said about the delicious soups that you couldn't ignore if you tried. My personal favorite was the she-crab soup, but no one is ever disappointed with the clam chowder, and the bread and croissants were fresh and warm.

Because there are no bad choices on the hot buffet, my strategy this time was to sample a bit of everything. I started with the stuffed mushrooms, which were not over seasoned or under seasoned, something that cannot be said about this particular item on most seafood buffets in the area. The oysters Rockefeller simply melt in your mouth, and the lobster crusted tilapia rivals that served in fine dining restaurants. Seafood House may even make you change your mind about breaded fare, particularly if you try the scallops. Simply put, you taste more scallops than breading, which is another art that most restaurants never seem to master.

The crusted cod drew me back for seconds, as did the shrimp Creole, and for those who are partial to fowl, the chicken Marsala was beyond delicious. I could not quite distinguish what it was that made it better than chicken Marsala in other restaurants, but I hope the recipe is never changed. This was also the case with the salmon, which was the last thing I sampled before I had to cry uncle. It was very flavorful, without being overpowered with lemon, garlic or any of the other garnishes many restaurants have a tendency to overdo.

For the proverbial individual who always gets dragged to a seafood buffet even though he or she is not wild about such fare, Seafood House offers delicious choices such as stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese, pizza, sirloin tips, mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken Alfredo, and even steak.

My husband always has an easy time choosing items at Seafood House: he has she-crab soup, a taste of the aforementioned salads, and crab legs, crab legs, crab legs. The latter are always as fresh as can be, which is another way Seafood House edges out its competition. All seafood lovers have spent money for less-than-fresh crab legs at least once in their life, and it is not an enjoyable experience. Patrons will never have to worry about that when they visit Seafood House.

As far as cleanliness, I have never seen a buffet more well-maintained. We all know what a disaster buffets can turn into at establishments that overlook spills and messes or are understaffed during busy kind of makes you lose your appetite. However, at Seafood House, each time you visit the buffet it looks as clean as it did when the doors opened for the night. As a final tip, those who like saxophone music should definitely visit on the weekends when a talented fellow named Nate creates a fantastic musical ambiance for diners.

I wonder if I can convince my husband I need to do more research for another Seafood House review? Perhaps tonight?