** Note, 6/1/11: Sadly, the Krazy Krab has closed
Unless someone tells you exactly where to stop, the unbeaten path will whir right on by. This is probably true along almost any US four lane highway in a pocket of space between more major towns and cities.
In this instance the highway is US 17 and the pocket is the stretch between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown, South Carolina. This formerly unbeaten path has actually become fairly beaten. Strip malls, albeit fancy ones, have sprung up south of Myrtle Beach almost clear through to Pawleys Island.
So even though the building is small and pink and looks like something from a child’s fairytale, you still might miss the Krazy Krab. You may think the Krazy Krab sign doesn’t quite go with the whimsical sweet storefront. Or does it?
Pawleys Island is a lovely beach resort community which at some point acquired the label of being “arrogantly shabby.” Five years ago when I first discovered the Krazy Krab, with it’s crazy sign with the “K”s and pink playhouse, it was owned by Jeanne Elrich, the glamorous and kind French mother-in-law of a co-worker, who was known throughout the land for her she-crab soup and bread pudding.
I thought it fit the local paradox: Jeanne and her quirky pink storefront set on a stretch of highway that was becoming packed with high falutin’ strip mall stores selling Rolexes, Herend porcelain and Lily Pulitzer was definitive Pawleys.
That was a few years back. No less interesting now, but like everything else the Krazy Krab has changed. Since 2009 the establishment has been owned by South Carolina native, Ginny Callum, a former produce seller. “French specialties” is still painted on the window, but now fresh produce is stationed around the premises in a seemingly haphazard but artful manner, adding something new back into the mix.
Ginny willingly calls upon Jeanne for special orders for longtime customers, but in the day-to-day operation of the small establishment, she has made it her own. There may no longer be she-crab soup, but there are quiches and heavenly crabcakes. “I use Jeanne’s crabcake recipe and add my own special ingredient,” she says.
The menu changes with the season and includes a wide variety of quiches, and items such as tomato pie and zucchini torte. Ginny likes changing things up and seems to thrive on special orders, as well as suggestions for what to include on the menu. Most of her business is from word-of-mouth. “We have people who come all the way from Myrtle Beach to pick things up,” she says.
Yeah, that would be me.
12161 Ocean Hwy.
Pawleys Island, SC