A Fine-Feathered Friend

December 2014
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Bobby Altman
The Flamingo Seafood Grill took flight nearly 30 years ago and still serves dinner to the beach’s brood

You know when you spot a flock of those plastic pink flamingos planted in someone’s front lawn? It’s not what you’d picture one of the designers on HGTV to incorporate into their big reveal, but they’re intriguing nonetheless.

Those pink flamingos are brazen and confident—an unapologetic classic design element that can’t dare be retrofit into any one style. And you can’t dare look away!

So is the story of Flamingo Seafood Grill on Myrtle Beach’s north end. It breathes and plumes with colorful, multiple personalities that are confident and all shout out, “We’re having fun with this and we know you will, too! Now, sit down and loosen up!”

You can’t help but do this, along with two levels of table rounds and booths and a big bar packed with locals and tourists—even on a rainy Tuesday night. Glass block windows in the foyer hearken back to the 1950s diner. The dining room is swallowed up by art deco, with pink and green neon light tubing trim, random Harleys parked here and there on the black marble floors, mounted marine life on the walls, plastic vertical blinds, checkerboard tablecloths, and art homages to ’50s legends like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Oh, and pink flamingos.

The owner duo, both named Dino, say they’re so hands-on that they designed their restaurant to please, well, themselves. And, since the Flamingo Grill has been around since 1986, I don’t think anyone would have the nerve to interfere with a makeover. The menu, too, is a smorgasbord of flavors—from Asian and Cajun to Greek and Italian influences to all-American steak and seafood.

To start, my husband and I cozied into our corner booth and ordered a glass of the house cabernet and a Greek-style calamari appetizer, dusted with Parmesan and paired with a zesty marinara dip. Portions are hearty here, and the calamari claws were meaty without being chewy.

Flamingo Grill is known to heat things up just right on their namesake grill, especially its slow-roasted prime rib—from 8- to a whopping 24-ounce side of beef —that’s aged in-house for 30 days and hand-cut every day.

We went for the sibling steaks: mine, a 10-ounce cut of filet topped with scallops, béarnaise and asparagus, plus a scoop of garlic mashed. His was the 10-ounce ribeye, paired with garlic mashed potatoes and a side of snap peas. The steaks were melt-in-your-mouth and seasoned to perfection. My scallops were plump and pleasantly pan-seared.

Flamingo Grill’s seafood section is leagues deep, including lobster options paired with grilled filets, which is where I may dive into on another visit—especially the Lowcountry crabcakes drizzled with seafood sauce and Flounder Cagney baked in herb/wine butter over a bed of Parmesan tomatoes.

We didn’t have a crumb of space in our appetites, but another time I may have to manage that more carefully to squeeze in a cheesecake crepe.

There’s a lot to choose from in food and views at Flamingo Grill. Menu offerings are varied enough to please all palates. And the servers’ tableside manners are the epitome of Southern hospitality, which goes a long way in my book and the Flamingo’s rave reviews.

The comfort food we had was good and hearty and seems to warm the hearts of many who can’t get enough of this Flamingo.