Falling comfortably into the category of upscale casual, this Murrells Inlet eatery offers a menu that covers a lot of ground, and water too.
Appetizer highlights include Fried Calamari with a Thai chili sauce, She Crab Soup, Oyster Shooters with vodka and cocktail sauce, and the seasonal Steamed Whole Artichoke with mayonnaise and drawn butter.
Salads range from the King Neptune (fried shrimp, fried calamari, fried oysters, mixed greens, tomatoes, cheese, Thousand Island) to the Mandarin Chicken (grilled chicken, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, onions, crispy noodles, mixed greens, ginger dressing) and the Mooooooooooo (grilled sirloin, tomatoes, portabellas, mixed greens, bleu cheese dressing).
Entrees are divided into three sections – Land, Sea, and Air – and each is served with you choice of Simple Salad, Caesar, or the Soup of the Day.
The first list offers items like a Balsamic Rosemary Hangar Steak with sautéed spinach and a baked potato, a 10oz Fried Pork Chop with mashed potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, and a homemade mushroom and leek gravy, and Rack of Lamb with sautéed broccolini and mashed potatoes.
Sea options include Salmon with Lemon Pesto served with basmati rice and broccolini, a Southern Giant Fried Platter with shrimp, oysters, flounder, fries, and fried okra, Lump Crab Meat Cakes with mashed potatoes and honey-glazed carrots, and Coconut Crunchy Shrimp with rice, broccolini, and a Thai chili dipping sauce.
The Air section is short and sweet, with Crispy Duck, Balsamic Chicken, and Chicken Florina, each served with rice and an appropriate vegetable.
Most restaurants would call it a day after the entrée section, but Salt Water Café is looking to cater to folks with wildly divergent appetites, so the menu continues with Sushi, Pizza, Sandwiches, and their famous Fish Tacos.
The rice roll menu features dozens of options like the Spicy Hawaiian (tuna, avocado, jalapeno, pineapple, sesame seeds, eel sauce), Chicken Roll (fried chicken, bacon, avocado, spicy mayo), and the Special Spider Roll (softshell crab, asparagus, cucumber, spicy mayo), as well the more familiar California Roll, Alaskan Roll, and Philadelphia Roll.
Options from the Sandwiches, Wraps, Paninis, and Burgers menu include the SoCal Chicken Wrap (blackened or grilled with avocado, pineapple, and cheddar cheese), a Cuban Panini (roast pork, ham, jack cheese, pickles, mustard), a Yumburger (goat cheese, chili sauce), and the Heathcliff (pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato).
And lucky is the table that craves a pizza, because options include things like the Mason Dixon (pimento cheese, tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella), Sun Kissed Margherita (sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil), and the Buffalo Chicken (fried bird, hot sauce, bleu cheese, mozzarella).
Guests looking for shelter and air-conditioning can sit at one of the wooden tables or wrought-iron bar chairs, or venture outdoors to the patio where the breeze blowing through an over-hanging live oak creates an ambiance worth experiencing.