A hungry first-time visitor to Myrtle Beach could get dizzy contemplating the endless restaurant choices, plain and fancy, tourist traps and hidden gems. Big Mike’s Soul Food isn’t exactly a hidden gem — locals know and love it — but it has the feel of a secret that in-the-know eaters keep to themselves.
It’s one of a kind, that’s for sure, a sign on the front door boasting Locally Owned, Locally Operated, Locally Cooked. The dining area is a quirky, multi-level space. The specials menu is a large, free-standing placard that a staff member brings to your table. Room tone is ebullient — the sound of happy eaters savoring a good meal in the right place.
There are plenty of burgers and sandwiches available, but the reason to come to Big Mike’s is to tuck into soul food standards that range from fried chicken and pork chops to peach cobbler and sweet potato pie for dessert.
It’s the crunchy-crusted chicken I’ll be coming back for — that and a trio of side dishes that come with it on the blue plate special. Choices include collards, yams, mac & cheese, fried okra, rice & gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and field peas. All blue plates come with a block of cake-sweet cornbread.