My wife and I have been vacationing in Surfside Beach, SC, for the past twenty-five years. We had been avid fans of Nibil's, which used to occupy the space where this new establishment is located on the Surfside Beach Fishing Pier. The Surf Diner had only opened in July, 2012, so when we saw it during our vacation in September, we knew we had to give it a try. Well, we did for dinner, and we will never, never go there again. First off, the decor leaves so much to be desired; why, oh why, would you put in tall booths, thereby blocking the ocean views. The location, right on the beach, certainly lends itself to great views of the water and beach, but these booths no longer allow that. In addition, there's a large doorway into the kitchen, but it doesn't have a door, so customers can watch food being scraped from dirty dishes into the garbage; not a very pleasant sight to be sure. It's almost like they spent the budget on the high-backed booths, and couldn't afford a couple of doors to block out the kitchen sights.
Now, on to the service -- another total disappointment. There were only four tables with customers at them, and there were five servers standing around by the cash register, talking. We were seated promptly, but then waited a great deal of time before anyone came over to our table. We placed our orders for soup and entrees, and then waited for what seemed to be forever, until our waiter brought out both our soups and entrees at the very same time. The soup was okay, but the entrees rank right up there with the worst food we've ever had at an eatery. I ordered their Fish & Chip Basket, which was by far and away, the worst fish & chips I've ever had. The fish was overpowered by heavy, heavy breading, and it was tasteless and hard. It's hard to screw up French fries, but again, theirs were the worst I've ever eaten, and I'm over sixty years old, with plenty of orders of French fries to my credit. My wife attempted to order their Tuscan Sunset Penne, but was told by the waiter they were out of it; this was at five o'clock in the evening. The waiter suggested their Baked Penne Pasta instead, saying it was very good; it wasn't. The sauce tasted bitter and like it came from a can. There wasn't any ambience to this establishment, unless you like hearing a crying baby who was in the kitchen. We overheard one of the waitresses saying the child was hers. Our waiter never came back to check on us during the meal, or to offer us refills on our beverages. In order to get our bill from our waiter, who was no where in sight, we had to ask a waitress who happened to be passing our table, to get our waiter to give us the check. At this point, all we wanted to do was to get out of there. Speaking of the check -- be very careful and aware of the pricing of items on the bill. We were alerted to this due to our observing an incident at an adjacent table, where the customers were complaining to their waitress about incorrect billing. Well, surer than heck, when we finally received our check, it was incorrect as well, and when I attempted to show our waiter and the cashier the error, I was initially met with negative attitudes; I did persevere, and ultimately they did correct the bill. This restaurant opened in July of this year, and by now you would think any kinks and other issues would have been worked out. There were so many things wrong, on so many different levels, hopefully the owners/management realize the problems and work them out quickly. It's a wonderful location, and if they make the necessary changes and improvements, we're sure they can do quite well. The ball is in their court -- it's up to them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.