At River City Café, cups are ads for all the Divine Group's eateries. Paper towels (right) and unlimited roasted peanuts (left) are hallmarks of River City Café.
The Divines own a network of restaurants in Myrtle Beach and its environs. My “Tasting Team” (that is to say, my family) and I have made two of the Divine establishments regular stops on our South Carolina beach trips.
Of the group of Divine Fish House, Bovine's, Bubba's Fish Shack, Longhorn, Latitude 22 Island Bar & Café, Wahoo's Raw Bar & Marina, River City Café, and Ultimate California Pizza, we have repeatedly visited the two latter; and if these two are any indication, we would also enjoy the others.
River City Café's cheeseburger platter.
River City Café has two locations — 404 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, and US 17 (Business) in Murrell's Inlet. We go to the beach location because it is nearer our hotel. The eatery there has atmosphere to spare. You can dine out on the porch of the frame structure (which resembles an old, weathered beach cottage), or you can sit inside. Either way, your eyes can feast on entertaining displays of worn car license places, antiquish advertising signs, and other “fun junk.” While you study the menu, you can try to restrain yourself from filling up on the unlimited baskets of free peanuts. Meanwhile, music blares, just as music at the beach should.
River City Café's chili dog with mustard, onions, relish, and cole slaw.
The star attraction food-wise is the excellent hamburgers. Big, big! (A child-size one would be a plenty if they would serve it to adults.…) Anyway, the meat is high quality, the fixings good. You can get interesting toppings, too, such as peanut butter, chili, or blue cheese.
River City's Reuben.
Numerous other sandwiches are available, including a Reuben (see separate article), or a garganutan chili dog. Salads and beverages round out the menu. The fries and onion rings are fair (they tend to be over-fried), and I like the cole slaw, as it is not too sweet.
We have yet to find a cheery, helpful waitress there, but the food and ambience keep drawing us back.
Roasted chicken pizza arrives at the table.
It so happens that we have had pleasant waiters and waitresses at Ultimate California Pizza, which also has delicious food and more than 100 pizza toppings from which to choose! We go to the UCP on 25th St. There is one at 1502 North Kings Highway, in Surfside, too. In fact, there are six in all.
The UCP we patronize has shiny-chrome-retro-funky decor. Very cool! Better yet is the chow. Last visit we enjoyed a fine “family salad” which outstanding blue cheese dressing while awaiting our pizzas. Our teen boys opted for a roasted chicken pizza, while my husband, daughter, and I ordered our favorite — shrimp pizza with a rosemary/whole wheat crust, “Ultimate Red Sauce,” garlic, basil, oregano, more rosemary, and mozzarella cheese. Accompanied by the good house Cabernet Sauvigon, this is a platonic meal.
Shrimp pizza and Cabernet Sauvignon at Ultimate California Pizza.
Some of the pizza toppings you can get at different UCP's are pretty zany — dill pickles, sauerkraut, water chestnuts, apples, coconut, walnuts. Wow. Worthwhile sandwiches and exciting salads are also available. This place even sells Coca-Colas (as does River City Café)! Lots of eateries only offer Pepsi. You can guess our family preference. A nice selection of beer and wine is also served at most UCP locations. This is a reliable dinery — imaginative, well-prepared food. Not too fancy, just fun.
River City Cafe's roasted peanuts are irresistible.
In Myrtle Beach, even the peanuts take on the local character.
A beach bum drops by River City's porch to sneak a freebie snack.
Copyright © 2002–2006 Patricia B. Mitchell.