Restaurant review: The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood is far more than just a buffet

It’s a dreaded question I get asked all the time. “Which is the best seafood buffet in the area?” They’re everywhere. The bummer is that I never had a good answer. Many offer loads of mediocre food. That was until I ate at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood in Myrtle Beach on restaurant row, which showed me how great a buffet experience can be.

Locally owned by the Howard family, Benjamin’s holds 1000 guests and is the largest restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Within it is far more than food. It has 11 dining rooms and three handicap accessible areas. It’s classified as an antique nautical museum and houses the largest collection in the southeast! The theme runs from the floor clear up to the ceiling and a simple walk around proves to be very interesting.

The Original Benjamin's Calabash Seafood

The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood

The restaurant houses many fantastic artifacts.

The restaurant houses many fantastic artifacts.

The sea theme runs throughout the restaurant.

The sea theme runs throughout the restaurant.

It goes from floor to ceiling.

It goes from floor to ceiling.

One thing you’ll notice is Benjamin’s large collection of model ships. They employ an in-house model ship builder named Jimmy Frost. The models, from huge to small, are all built by him. You can even visit his workshop and see his latest projects. He prides himself on his attention to accuracy and detail.

Have a look around at all of the model ships.

Have a look around at all of the model ships.

They're built with a keen eye for accuracy.

They’re built with a keen eye for accuracy.

You can visit the modeler's workshop and see his latest projects.

You can visit the modeler’s workshop and see his latest projects.

Get up close and have a look!

Get up close and have a look!

The detail is amazing!

The detail is amazing!

Some ships are huge and others, like these are small.

Some ships are huge and others, like these are small.

While waiting to be seated, there are two more areas that keep everyone happy. For those wanting a nice breeze and view of the beautiful intracoastal waterway, check out the outdoor porch which features rocking chairs, ceiling fans, and easy access to the bar.

Outdoor waiting area offers comfortable seating and a lovely breeze

Outdoor waiting area offers comfortable seating and a lovely breeze

Views of the Intracoastal Waterway on the outdoor patio waiting area

Views of the Intracoastal Waterway on the outdoor patio waiting area

If you have wee ones, Benjamin’s has a fantastic kids’ Nautical Experience. In it are fish tanks, a ship, hand-painted mural, television, and loads of fun. Guests can wait for their table in this area. During busier times, there will be a staff member down there doing activities!

The kids' area is huge!

The kids’ area is huge!

All aboard!

All aboard!

kids4

Don’t forget to bring your camera for this adorable photo op!

kids3

Even the smallest guests at Benjamin’s have a place to play!

kids2

Would this area be complete without an aquarium? Here fishy, fishy, fishy.

The Original Benjamin’s is a South Carolina Certified restaurant and gets a large portion of the food they serve from area sources. The buffet offers 170 items and truly has something for everyone. If you’re eating healthy, there are plenty of plant-based and low-fat options. Landlovers, have no fear. There are plenty of non-seafood choices for you including beef, chicken, pasta, and much, much more. And for those of you who love seafood – you’ll be in heaven. It’s available in a ridiculous number of varieties.

And while that's all very cool, it'll be the food that brings you back time and time again.

And while that’s all very cool, it’ll be the food that brings you back time and time again.

For those who loved fried foods, there is an entire wall of food offered in the “calabash” style. What does that mean? I had to ask, to. It means lightly breaded and deeply fried. The food prepared in this style is crisp and delicious. For those who love steamed seafood, head straight for the crab legs. If you’re unsure how to crack and eat them, ask your server for help. I did and got a lesson!

One piece of advice – go hungry! You’ll want to arrive ready for a basket of Benjamin’s hushpuppies and leave room at the end for their dessert bar. Everything is baked on premises.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not a buffet person, but Benjamin’s changed me. Not only was everything was fresh, but there were choices to please everyone in my family. Plus, it was an experience. We spent a lot of time taking it all in. I can’t wait to return.

Adults are $29.99 and children ages 5-12 are $12.99. This wouldn’t be a true MyrtleBeachforFamilies.com review if I didn’t have a discount, so here it is. On the Benjamin’s website, there is a coupon for $4 off the buffet that doesn’t expire until March 2015. Just make sure you read the fine print as there are time restrictions.

For any questions, give them a call at (843) 449-0821.

Happy dining!

Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.

About Melissa Byers

My name is Melissa Byers and I've been a Grand Strand resident for 13 years. I love living and raising my family here! We're all about the events, activities, discounts, RVing, travel, and crab cakes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

buy facebook likes
%d bloggers like this: