One of the most amazing random finds that has ever occurred in my life is Bubba’s Love Shak, located in the gorgeous Murrells Inlet area near Myrtle Beach. Finding it happened purely by accident, as me, my wife, and a couple of our friends were out hunting for a place that would serve some cheap brew and offer a place for easy conversation. As we traveled along a road we were told may offer such things, we noticed a sign hiding among all the upper class white establishments that littered the area that looked exactly like the one to the right here.
Now me, being the expat that I am, can’t turn down a sign with the word Bubba on it in general…throw in the words love and SHAK…well, I’m in. With very little coercion, I convinced whomever was driving to choose this location, which just so happens to be hiding quite literally between to very large buildings. I mean, seriously, the front of this building is tiny. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s the only pink thing for miles, I’m sure we would have decided that the sign was a macguffin and we would head along on our way.
I’m glad we didn’t. Not only does this place have the cheapest beer we’ve been able to find in the Myrtle Beach area (which is a necessity for Wisconsinites), everything about it screams beach vacation happy times. The decor looks a tad on the TGIFriday’s side, but who really wants to sit inside and look at their decorations anyways, because the back deck is what it’s all about.
Overlooking Murrells Inlet, Bubba’s back deck is part of the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk, a fantastic little boardwalk that goes along the inlet and offers views of all sorts of amazing sea life. Of course, it would appear that the locals have transformed this boardwalk into something more of a pub crawl, as people seem to be constantly going from one bar/restaurant to the next if you visit on a weekend night. My favorite of these crawlers are the folks who bring their boat along with them, travelling down the inlet to get to each beverage dispensary.
Although I love everything about the ambiance of Bubba’s, down to the hurricane windows lining the interior, to the fact that the aptly named Goat Island is directly across the inlet from the establishment, where I’ve found this location truly shines is with the food. Offering low country seafood that trumps everything else along this marsh walk that I’ve tried so far, this place is also the cheapest. This might be due to the use of a large number of locally sourced ingredients, including creek shrimp from the inlet itself. I’ve yet to have a meal at this location that wasn’t an event to itself…and that’s saying something. And there’s not much better than enjoying a meal in the salty air with a brew in one hand, a hush puppy in the other, while watching a few goats tackle each other just a few feet away.