Wednesday, January 29, 2014
An estimated 1,000 hungry people kept Murrells Inlet and Garden City restaurateurs hopping Sunday night during Murrells Inlet 2020’s second annual Taste of the Inlet.
“The event was a great success and the community is to be thanked,” said Sean Bond, MI2020 chairman.
One by one many of the 20 restaurants on hand at Inlet Square Mall for the event closed up shop as they ran out of food. And the locals took it in stride.
“Next year, I won’t run out,” promised Ernest Edwards, general manager of Bovine’s, who brought 900 barbecue spare ribs to the mall.
By 7:30 p.m., there wasn’t a lick of sauce to be found.
“This was my first year here, and I saw some old friends and some new ones,” Edwards said.
Some newcomers also took top honors from a panel of judges that included Tom Mullally, chairman of Horry Georgetown Technical College’s culinary arts department and an owner of A Difference in Dining, a personal chef business; his partner in the company, Randi Ramedio; longtime HGTC chef instructor Kathleen Hassett; Lindsey McInville, pastry arts instructor at the college; and Murrells Inlet-Garden City Beach Fire Chief Norman Knight.
Bliss and chef Ernest Bledsoe took top honors for their shrimp and grits; Carolina Tavern’s wings were good enough for second place and On the ½ Shell’s bacon-wrapped scallops took third.
“There was an abundance of shrimp and grits,” said Mullally, “but the leeks in the Bliss offering made the difference.”
“The restaurants had fantastic samples for a huge crowd that enjoyed an evening among friends and neighbors,” said Bond.
Despite the attendance, people moved quickly through the entryway and headed right for the food, which also included seafood such as Crooked Floor Tavern’s crab, mango and avocado crustini, a crowd favorite.
The dessert tables also were overflowing. The mall’s own Fuzzy Peach was hopping, as was the fudge from Lazy Gator.
The event was a benefit for MI2020.