Having been a part of the Broadway at the Beach family for over a year now, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen has settled in nicely without fading into the background. Just last month the celebrity herself was in town visiting the restaurant and signing copies of her cookbook for fans. The impressive building definitely continues to garner the attention of visitors, from the bright and welcoming store downstairs to the airy and bustling upstairs restaurant.
The colorful shop with sparkling décor and nice kitchenware that welcome guests on the first floor might momentarily distract hungry customers from their true purpose of stopping in. A representative tends to stay by the entrance for this purpose and to direct those who plan on eating to the check-in desk.
Depending on how busy the restaurant is upstairs, guests will be given an estimated wait time and encouraged to shop while waiting. Otherwise they will be welcomed to head immediately up on the escalator, where another host will greet and sit the new party.
Once seated, people tend to notice right away the size of the menu, which seems to be disproportionate compared to the size of the restaurant itself. However, once the server arrives, they explain the way an experience here is laid out. Each group will peruse the list of entrees and choose three to be served to the entire table. The sides are served likewise, with guests allowed four choices there. And at the end of the meal, each person is served dessert.
While some may consider the prices steep for this family-style spread, patrons are encouraged to request refills of their favorite dish, until they have eaten their fill. So if everybody at the table devours the Southern fried chicken, they can just ask for more and it will appear minutes later. The sweet candied yams and gooey mac and cheese sides are popular and often asked to be replenished. Desserts are served individually but can also be brought time after time.
All three meals are served in this manner, with food being brought to the table until you couldn’t possibly eat another bite. It is important to keep in mind, however, that like a normal buffet restaurant, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen does not allow any take-home boxes. For some this may feel like a balancing act when trying to eat your fill without leaving a massive amount of food.
Service here is all about Southern hospitality, and given the style of restaurant, the food does arrive in good time. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is an experience, one all about family and food. The only possible way you’ll leave this restaurant not completely filled to the brim with tasty Southern comfort food is if you chose to.
If you go
What: Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
Where: 1202 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach
Hours: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily
Information: pauladeensfamilykitchen.com, 843-945-1072