7/12/2012

Bimini's Oyster Bar and Seafood Cafe: Greenville, SC

Shortly after hearing about one of Myrtle Beaches most loved oyster bars opening a second location in the Upstate, I knew that I had to try it out first hand. The family and I headed over on a Saturday afternoon to the new restaurant that apparently is just off 385 and Haywood Road. Well, it isn't. It is tucked way back into some residential/office condos area and is very difficult to locate if you are not from around here. The parking lot was empty when we arrived shortly after the noon hour and we weren't even sure if they were open, but we proceeded to find out and sure enough, they were with a staff of two on hand. It was such a beautiful day out that we opted to sit out on the very nice deck they offer. This is about where all of the wonderful/nice things end.
Having never been to the original location in Myrtle because we are loyal to the Noisy Oyster and Duffy's, I was almost as excited as I ever have been to try this place out being only 15 minutes from home. I love fresh oysters almost more than any other food, but I am very picky about my oysters (as one should be). After a quick glance at the menu, I knew I wanted to start off the meal with an oyster shooter. Being plastered all over the place as "World Famous" oyster shooters for only $1.50 I figured I would start with one. Upon ordering my "World Famous" shooter, I asked our server what makes them so "World Famous". His response, "People like them". Obviously if you read this blog ever, you know my take on when someone calls something "World Famous" or "The Best in the World" they usually are not in my opinion. No one ever has anything to back up the false advertising statement and they usually fall flat on their feet. That all being said, this thing sucked ass. It was served in warm beer with an oyster and a jalapeno slice with some hot sauce. Apparently what also makes Bimini's shooters so famous (besides people like them), the server shakes it up for you upon delivering it. Well, I hope my server washed his hands before he did so as he just placed his bare hand on top of the shot glass and smashed it on the table. To top things off, I found myself chewing and chewing and chewing on the oyster that was in the warm beer for what seemed to be a very long time. It was one of the worst oyster shooters I have ever had and also the first one I have ever had served in beer and not some sort of clear hard liquor. Unfortunately by this time, I had already placed my food order.

The photo above was my first course, as recommended by our server, Tuna Chili. According to our server, they go through gallons upon gallons of this stuff and everyone loves it. Well let me be the first one to say, "I hated every bite of it". Just the pure presentation of this bowl made me think thoughts that one should not think about right before they are about to eat something. It had a horrible texture and the flavor was so fishy that I could only bear to eat about 5 bites and I had all I could take of this dish.
My main course, also again recommended by our server, half dozen Oysters Rockefeller. As you can see, they do not go light on the spinach. Not always a bad thing, but again, not always a good thing either. If spinach is not properly cooked and seasoned or fresh, it is no good. Urban legend says that reheated cooked spinach can in some cases cause death. Well, I'm still alive and I'm almost positive that this was reheated spinach. The oysters were fairly large, but again were chewy. Also tucked under that melted cheese and bread crumbs was more bad spinach. $10 wasted on something that I considered to be completely inedible.

The wife kept is simple as she really wasn't feeling this place from the moment we walked in and went with your basic Caesar Salad and an order of Southwest Shrimp Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch. Simple enough, but somehow they were nothing special. I think they forgot to order the frozen shrimp egg rolls and instead ordered the Southwest egg rolls from their food supplier. Not one single piece of shrimp was to be found. She was able to eat two pieces before she just gave up and I upon further inspection could not find any shrimp either.

I know that everything in a good or bad restaurant experience when it comes to the food is all in what you order, but with Bimini's, I only ordered what was recommended and it wasn't good. Maybe it is my fault for trying a new restaurant out that no one really knows about on a Saturday afternoon, but really, I expected much more. I may have gone into this experience with too high of expectations, but they were quickly shattered. To top it all off, the service was very lacking. After our meal and sitting for about 20 minutes waiting for our bill I finally had to walk into the restaurant to track down our server and then when it came time to actually pay, I waited another 10 minutes for my credit card to be picked up that I again had to proceed to the bar area inside to finally pay.

Bottom Line: I hope that my visit was just an isolated instance as I truly would like to see them turn it around on the quality of the food they are serving. Apparently they know what they are doing if they have been in business since 1985 in Myrtle Beach. I think they just need to spend a little more time and attention to the finer details on the new location and properly train the staff (mainly the cooks) that are working the slow shifts. Focus on the quality and please do not serve day old, reheated tuna chili anymore.

Bimini's Oyster Bar & Seafood Cafe on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

  1. My first visit was lass than stellar also. I ascribed it to "new place growing pains." They
    fired their chef while I was waiting on my order. a manager completed it and left the oysters off the Sampler. he made up for it by sending me an entire regular count order of them. If they manage to whip this place into the same shape as their location in Myrtle Beach,I'll become a regular. It's been three weeks since I patronized them so it's about time to test them again.

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  2. This is encouraging news Dooner. I never counted them out entirely, but our food was seriously miserable on our visits. I knew that if we gave them time and enough people writing honest reviews, the management and owners that are involved with the MB location would quickly turn things around. It sounds like they took the first step during your visit. If I can find fresh oysters that are shucked properly in the upstate, it will be a once a week stop for me.

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    1. Hi, My name is Donnie i am one of the managers here at bimini's oyster bar i check our reviews weekly and for the life of me i can't shake your blog. I am a guy who reaches for perfection as much as humanly possible. I want all of our patrons to have a fantastic time and enjoy the bimini's experience. So i would like to invite you back on my dime to give us another shot and possibly see if your review of us can change thanks for your time.

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    2. Donnie, sorry, took a break from the blog for awhile. Please email me @ Tim@strugglinghomebrewer.com and we can talk as your comment and reaction is why I am here doing this thing.

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  3. Please check out my review on urbanspoon. I feel that my subsequent visits have shown that they ARE improving. I hope you find reason to better enjoy your future visits also. Bon Appetit`

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