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Mar 21, 2001 09:23 AM

Rehoboth Beach Recommendations

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Will be in Rehoboth Beach in June and would appreciate suggestions for dining in the area. Thanks!

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  1. In the moderate price range, Eden Garden Cafe and the Dogfish Head brewpub, both on Rehoboth Ave.

    In the pricier range, the hottest spots change from year to year, but Chez La Mer has been very good for a long long time. The bouillabaise is great and enough for two people. Look for beach dining previews in the Washingtonian and the Washington Post. They are both good at scoping out the newest hot spots.

    In the traditional pizza department, Grotto is still the king. We tried Nicola last year and while it was good, it wasn't good enough to pry us away from Grotto. In the yuppie pizza department, Pizza by Elizabeths is very good.

    I can't help with breakfast since we stay at a B&B (Barry's Gull Cottage) that takes care of that meal quite well. :>)

    If you have a bad meal in Rehoboth, you've really done something wrong. For a small beach resort, this place has an amazing array of good restaurants.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob W.

      I agree - I have been amazed at how many really good little restaurants there are in a resort town in this area. I'm always happy to see an occasional review in the Washington papers (I can't remember seeing a review for ANYTHING in the other DELMARVA beach resorts).

      As with the restaurant business everywhere, too many of the restaurants that have really good food seem to fail. Whether it's due to their unexpected success and inabilility to manage it, or the unanticipated failure of the love life of those managing them (the latter is an amazingly high percentage in this equation here), the turnover of restaurants that seemed perfect recommendations last summer is iffy, at best, at this time of the year. It's one of those places where people who love to cook and those with some restaurant experience pair up and try. If you ask again in May, you probably will get some great and current recommendations.

      Now, the only thing I suggest is that, even though "Grotto Pizza" is better than other delivery places, it is still only slightly better than Dominoes. If you are there with your kids and need to get pizza one night, it's the better choice. If you really want great food, skip the delivery pizza.

      If you are lured into watching the sunset down at Dewey Beach, just don't eat there. Drinks with that view are worth it, though. If someone knows of a place with that view in Rehoboth, I'd love to hear about it!

      If you have any bit of a kitchen where you are staying: stop at the seafood market on the west side of Rt.1 in Rehoboth (sorry, I can't remember the name, but it's well known) - get some clams or fish or crabs and make your own feast. That Food Lion you'll pass on your right just before you get to the Rt.1 turn off to the beach is actually one of the better Food Lions I've ever been in. As you are driving down, stop at a roadstyle stand and stock up on your homegrown basics that are in season.

      And, definitely drink some Dogfish brews!

      1. re: Bob W.
        Martin Michlik

        I must disagree about the recommendation for the Dogfish Head brewpub. The food and beer are certainly good, but the service tends to be poor. You can do better.

        1. re: Martin Michlik

          Well, we've eaten there several times, and have never had a problem with the service, which is in fact quite unusual for a beach town with a lot of restaurants, where the service can be goofy, spotty, overly friendly, spacy, uninterested, etc. Our expectations for service at a casual eatery at the beach are not astronomical, and Dogfish Head has always met them.

          Sorry to hear you've had bad luck there. But at least the food and beer were "certainly good," so your visits were hardly disasters.

          But since you say "you can do better," why don't you tell us where? Same price range and type of food, please. Fair is fair.

      2. Breakfast at the Lampost on Rt 1 across from McDonalds near the outlets is near perfect. Lunch & dinner very good also, fresh fish & seafood.

        1. We have been to many places in Rehoboth in all price ranges. Favorites include the Adriatico [entrees 10.00 - 20.00], you can eat inside or out. The outside dining looks fun but can be a prob during the heat of summer [obviously the heat and humidity] but worse are the flies, so while the food is great think twice about seating.

          Jake's Seafood House [entrees 10.00 - 28.00, right across the street from Adriatico] is very good but has long lines. The seafood bisque is some of the best I have ever had, we have brought some home on occasion. Be sure to ask the server to stir the pot well when he/she scoops it for you so you get all the good stuff on the bottom. If the line is long to get in to Jake's, check the bar for seats to relax, have a drink, and wait.

          The Third Edition is another [rather new] restaurant we can rec, it is apparently a small chain of restaurants but you wouldn't know eating there. Prices are a bit different with the average cost of a meal being determined by how many side dishes you order, everything is priced separately from the salad to the veggies to the entree. Hard to describe but a nice way to do things. You MAY need reservations in the high season, we have walked right in sometimes and have found it overflowing other times. It has a nice bar and live music / dancing Thursday nights. The food is *plentiful* enough that if you are going as a group, cut back on the side orders and share. They bring the side orders in separate dishes just for this family type of sharing instead of squeezing your entire meal on one plate. We usually walk out with leftovers from Third Edition. [They give you very nice containers and a handled bag in which to carry them].

          Another good restaurant that is relatively new is the Purple Parrot [entrees approx the same price as Adriatico and Jake's]. Very bright and colorful hand painting on the inside, the owners had formerly owned the Iguana Grill [will talk about that in a minute]. Food, again, is good. I had the best fresh, almond encrusted salmon I have ever had in my life here, cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth, not a dry mouthful the whole way through. My husband's steak was excellent, too. If you go you may want to sit upstairs in the Bird Cage, but this place is very interesting no matter where you sit, upstairs or down. Only caveat is that it may not be the best place to take children for no other reason than it is more of an adult crowd here.

          I could go on and on at this price range and up but there is more. Scalawags is an outdoor "picnic table" restaurant built on a deck along the street. A great place for anybody, relaxed, casual and reasonably priced. You get a lot of finger food type items here from steamed shrimp to chicken fingers. It is all served in throw away containers. It is a strictly outdoor restaurant though so you may have breezes blowing napkins around, but it is a fun place to sit and eat and watch the evening crowds walk by.

          Almost directly across the street is The Iguana Grill where you can get anything from a Turkey Burger to a full sized dinner. This is one of our favorite restaurants in Reho as it is a converted house painted in very bright colors, and has a fun attitude. You can eat on the front porch and watch crowds, inside at tables or at the bar and talk to Frank, one of the new owners, a very personable guy. Food ranges in price from 4.00-10.00 for appetizers to, 7.00-19.00 for dinners. This is the kind of place to have a sandwich lunch, Margaritas in the afternoon, and/or drinks later in the evening. If you go and find a crowd, there are almost always empty seats at the bar to sit and wait or eat right there. A couple of the appetizers can make a light meal.

          Obie's By the Sea is another finger food type place, the only thing I'd recommend it for is the view of the ocean and boardwalk. We have sat at the bar for hours in the early season enjoying the view and relaxing. High season you can not get near the bar in the evening.

          The Frogg Pond is a dark, dimly lit, old fashioned type bar that we loved from the first time we wandered in and had the Garlic Mussels and Chicken Wings. This is a YMMV type place, we have told friends about it with mixed reactions, but we never go to Reho without catching a seat by the window and ordering our favorites, Mussels and Wings. We have even ordered these 'to go' before heading home. Prices are reasonable and the food is good for a quick bite.

          For coffee, when we are feeling petered out [no, not literally!], we hit the Java Beach House, another converted house that is located on the main street. You can sit on the front porch, inside or along the side of the house where there is a dear little fountain. This is a great place for breakfast sandwiches too, they have a wide range to choose from, along with pastries. You can sip your coffee, read the paper, and wake up while sitting on sofas or easy chairs. A civilized way to start the morning. Other places NOT TO MISS that are similar and have different coffees, pastries, sandwiches and healthy eating are The Dream Cafe, Brew Ha Ha, and the Coffee Mill.

          For breakfast we have eaten at the Ice Cream House and the All-You-Can Eat Buffet on the boardwalk. Either of these places will fill your needs. The Ice Cream House is a touch, just a touch, there's nothing wrong with the buffet, more upscale than the buffet on the boardwalk. We have also had breakfast at the Boardwalk Plaza, very upscale but a nice luxury early in the morning. I had Oatmeal and Peaches Brulee, fruit, coffee and juice. The bill was approx 10.00 per person.

          Well, I am tired of typing and have gone on much too long but this gives a few options that we have found to suit us while on vacation in RB. Hope it helps someone!