A disastrous date in the mid-1990s could have ruined my entire evening if it were not for Rosa Linda's.
As he droned on, trying to convince me that he was a wonderful catch, I lost myself in the comfort of Pollo (Spanish for "chicken") Rosa Linda: a juicy chicken breast adorned with fresh avocado, sour cream and a delectable homemade cream sauce.
I can't even remember that guy's name now, but Pollo Rosa Linda is forever seared on my mind.
Imagine my elation when Rick Baumann, owner of Murrells Inlet Seafood, told me Rosa Linda's is back.
Rosa Linda's at 3415 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet opened on Cinco de Mayo in the building that once housed Hoof-N-Finz.
Linda Favata opened the place in 1980, bringing her Tex-Mex magic from Texas, and Rosa Linda's became a local favorite.
At the eatery's peak, there were three locations - North Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach.
The Texan family sold the Murrells Inlet location, and they decided not to continue the Myrtle Beach spot. In 2003, Rosa Linda's closed its last location in North Myrtle Beach after losing its lease. Now, members of the Favata family are back in the food game.
Jason Favata, also known as Jake, is the general manager and owner, while his younger brother, Sam Favata, rocks it out with local bands, bringing live music to the spacious outdoor stage. Sam Favata is also responsible for Rosa Linda's social marketing and booking the eatery's entertainment.
There is something here for carnivores and herbivores alike, including gluten-free desserts. The Pollo Rosa Linda, which is No. 4 on the menu, costs $14. Other menu items include a variety of quesadillas, including one with goat cheese and black beans, and a house margarita that is $3 all day. The quesadillas start at $8.
If you go, you will dine in down-home surroundings, dominated by wood tables and orange cream walls and with accents of soft greens and browns. It's the kind of place to go for fun and chill with family and good friends.
Lou Favata, the dad of Jason and Sam, said he is just helping out and letting the sons run the show. Their mom, his ex-wife, has retired from the restaurant business. His sons' stepmom, Connie, is a server there.
Pollo Rosa Linda, we have a date. And this time, I'm meeting you solo.
Hours are currently 4 p.m. to midnight daily. However, once staff training is completed, Rosa Linda's hours will be from noon to midnight.
East of Chicago reopens
I love comebacks, especially if they involve food.
East of Chicago, at 3910 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach reopened April 25 after having been closed since Nov. 1.
Shawn Roth, general manager, shuttered the eatery to trim its size and make other changes. It has gone from 19,000 square feet to about 14,000 square feet. The changes were made to make better use of space and become more customer-service conducive.
While the renovations were underway, the Roths opened a free-standing pick up and delivery store Jan. 6 at 3901 Unit M on Dick Pond Road in Socastee, which they have since closed April 30.
The Myrtle Beach menu is vast, with five different pizza crusts, for example, offered on the buffet: thin, pan, crispy, sheet and deep dish. Prices vary.
Hours at the Myrtle Beach location are 4 p.m. to 9p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. After Memorial Day, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Call 448-3335 for the Myrtle Beach location.
Contact JOHANNA D. WILSON at 626-0324.