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I wasn't sure what I was looking for when I walked into Chuck's Steak House for a late Sunday dinner.
It had been a long weekend. I had been out refereeing a paint ball event on Saturday and then played on Sunday morning, so I was hot and tired by the time l got home. After walking the dog, a shower and sitting on the porch for a spell and reading some comic books, I realized that I hadn't eaten since breakfast. Apparently, my stomach was too tired to complain much until then.
So, I hopped in the truck and headed south. I had been in a country western mood for a while now, and I had the radio tuned to the Coyote, so maybe that had more influence on me than I realized when I saw the sign for Chuck's Steak House on the southbound side of U.S. 17 on Restaurant Row. I had seen the sign before and filed it away for a future column, but something told me the future was now.
Not quite knowing what to expect, I was amazed at everything I found.
The décor was in the hunting lodge motif with stuffed animals mounted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. The walls were covered with framed prints of posters from the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. A large fireplace jutted up from the sunken dining room.
What caught my eye was there were several different environments for seating. There is a triangular bar when you enter. Down a flight of steps, there is the main dining room. Go up and there is bright and airy upstairs dining room. Another couple of tables are off in another corner and a couple more were in a library-esque section in another corner
I was seated in a comfy corner booth near the fireplace, and studied the menu, which recommended that first-time guests try the super-sirloln.
However, the tournedos of beef had caught my eye.
Now, I am not a big fan of gravies or sauces on my steaks. I gave up ketchup on my steaks a long time ago and rarely even use steak sauces. Nevertheless, the "petite filets, pan seared and served with a sauce of brandy, peppercorns and heavy cream" sounded too good to pass up. Lee, my waiter agreed with me, so I ordered the 7-ounce serving.
Lee pointed out that there was a salad bar so I went up to fix a salad.
Now, many people frown on salad bars. They feel it is too lowbrow for them, a middle class thing. Maybe they are right but I like them.
I am pretty picky about my salads, and get tired of asking the waiters to hold the onions and bring extra dressing. At the bar I am able to fix the salad the way I want, so the salad was great.
I returned to my table, and with perfect timing, Lee brought my steak and the side of shrimp scampi I ordered just as I was finishing my salad.
The scampi was excellent. I don't think I have had any better.'
But the steak was even better. You almost didn't need a knife to cut it, and it was the perfect medium rare. The sauce was spectacular and serving size was perfect, especially considering the rather huge salad I had put together.
And when I say perfect, I mean it. I finished my meal feeling full, not bloated. Moreover; when Lee came back, offering Key Lime pie for desert, I didn't feel like I was going to kill myself if I indulged.
Beside my Diet Coke, I also ordered a Frozen Alligator. To describe it, a Frozen Alligator was a milkshake spiked with melon-flavored Midori liquor. Made with real ice cream and topped with whipped cream and a cherry, it was well, good enough to make me want to stop writing and go get one right now.
So, next time you are looking for a good steak dinner, head over to Chuck's. Entrees run around the $20 mark with combo platters going to nearly $50 for the steak and lobster, but the preparation and quality are well worth the price when you visit this meaty place to be.
Chuck's Steak House is located on Highway 17 in Restaurant Row, between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach across from the Galleria Shopping Center. It is one and a half miles south of Tanger Outlet Center and the Bass Pro Shops.
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