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Jul 20, 2006 08:50 PM

Ethnic in Lower DE


NC hound caught in lower DE needs ethnic fix and willing to travel. Anything Indian, Mexican, Ethiopian in Dover, Milford, etc.

Thai place in Rehoboth is pretty good. Not really looking for Italian, that's readily available too.

Price not really a consideration so long as the food is good.


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  1. My first reaction would be: Ethnic?!? In lower Delaware?! I mean, other than Rehoboth? MWAHAHAHAHA! You're joking, right?!

    Actually, I'm exaggerating horribly, but I grew up on Delmarva, so I'm allowed to make fun of it. The lower Delaware area (and most of Delmarva, really) is known for being severely culturally deprived and unsophisticated. But for ethnic food, it's gotten a bit better over the past several years. I am told by my parents, who are reliable Salisburian chowhounds, that Seaford has an excellent French restaurant called Bon Appetit, though it's a bit expensive compared to the usual stuff in this area. (My first reaction to this was, "HUH?!?!" And then, "GUH?!?!" And then, "Seaford?!?!!!! SEAFORD?!!") Other than that and Cactus Cafe (see below), that's it for lower Delaware. Unless there's something in Bethany.

    Oddly enough, there IS an excellent Indian restaurant, Shalimar, in Salisbury, MD, at 1724 North Salisbury Blvd (Business U.S. 13) not far south of the Centre at Salisbury Mall, just five or six miles across the DE-MD border. In Salisbury you'll also find an excellent new Korean restaurant called Seoul, at 1307 S Salisbury Blvd (Business U.S. 13) (northbound side) across from Salisbury University, but you'd better hurry because it'll probably go out of business well before the end of 2006, or maybe 2007 at the latest, for total lack of customers. It's authentic Korean food and that's WAY too weird for this area. They just renovated, too, presumably in the mistaken belief that they had no customers because of the decor. There's never anybody in the parking lot, but my parents and a few (a VERY few) of their friends LOVE this place. It compares very favorably to Korean places in NYC and Palisades Park in northern NJ.

    There also used to be an excellent Pakistani take-out joint called Grill Kabob Halal, but my parents think it's closed. If true, that's too bad, because the proprietor was very nice, and his food was yummy, though service was very slow. Also, there was the Greek Pita Place, a take-out joint also on Business 13, which had pretty good falafel (esp. since it was the ONLY falafel around) and gyros, etc., but I'm not sure if that's still open either. It wasn't open at lunchtime on July 3, but then, maybe they took the day off to go to the beach or something.

    Finally, there's good Mexican and Mediterranean at Cactus Cafe in Selbyville, DE, and good Mediterranean and South American at Cactus Taverna (a bit more expensive) at 2420 N. Salisbury Blvd. (U.S. 13) in Salisbury. Their specials are great.

    Cactus Cafe's cheesy web site is here:

    Uh oh, they've opened a second branch in West Fenwick. Hope that doesn't affect the quality. Still gotta be WAY better than the La Tolteca chain though (but La Tolteca isn't terrible, just uninspired).

    If you're desperate for Vietnamese you can drive all the way down to Chincoteague, VA, of all places. And if you ever happen to be up in New Castle, DE (although that's really so far north it's not even Delmarva anymore), there's an amazing little Mexican joint called Mexico Lindo.

    So, strangely enough, the few ethnic places that do exist are all actually really really good, fortunately. (At least the ones we've tried.) Unlike Annapolis, which has just one Indian place (if I recall correctly), which is horrible!

    You mentioned you're willing to drive up to Dover -- I can only tell you what's there, not if it's any good, but there's a Filipino place up there called Manila Garden, on U.S. 113 on the south side of town, just north of the Air Force Base, near the exit for Toll Route 1. I've never been there, and Filipino isn't my favorite cuisine because it can be a little fatty, but for Dover this is pretty freakin' exotic for sure. I once saw one or two tiny Thai joints on the south side of Dover on U.S. 13 (northbound side) too, between Route 10 and the Route 1 connector, but the last few times I've been through there, I couldn't spot them, so maybe they're gone. Ah, I googled this, and here it is: Thai Style, 1855 S Dupont Hwy (Route 13), Dover. That's definitely no guarantee it still exists, though. Also, lists a Vietnamese place called Viet Kieu as their Critic's Choice downstate for Vietnamese. Ummmm, that would be because it's the ONLY choice downstate for Vietnamese, surely?!?

    Oh, and: Ethiopian on Delmarva?! Yeah, sure... in my dreams!

    1. I would have to agree with the above post on lack of diversity in lower, slower Delaware. Aside from Japanese, nothing much below Dover. The (only) Mediterranean place in Rehoboth was the Camel's Hump and it closed awhile back. There is another Vietnamese place in Dover that opened recntly called appropriately "Vietnamese Restaurant" and it has good pho soup)at 266 S. Dupont Hwy (across from Target) 302/ 736-1606. Have heard rumors of an Indian place in Dover but have yet to track it down....curry out anyone?

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Thanks for the info. I agree, what ethnic there is tends to be decent. The Thai place on the avenue in Rehoboth has 2 dishes that are quite good- an eggplant and a chicken curry.
          As for Mexican, there is a place called Eldorado on 24 near Route 1 that is relatively new, but under newer management that is California Taco/Baja style. I haven't made it there yet. Also, there is Mexican out 24 near Millsboro called Quetzalteca, that isn't bad
          Right now, if I could find decent Indian I would be happy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jlwnc

            I can't imagine that any Mexican place in lower DE can top Cactus Cafe, but if so then I'd like to hear about it. Great or even good Mexican is pretty rare on the East Coast generally (which is why that place I mentioned way the heck up in New Castle DE is such a find). Although the really really great dishes at CC are their seafood specials which tend to be more Mediterranean-influenced.

            And if you're really craving Indian, then I would say that Shalimar, which is excellent, is worth the trip to Salisbury, though it depends on where you're coming from. If from Rehoboth, well, admittedly that's a good 45-minute to an hour drive. You'll encounter far less traffic if you go the back way -- Route 24 (Williams Hwy/Millsboro Hwy) to Millsboro and then continue straight ahead on 24; keep going straight and it becomes 30, and then 26, and then you'll cross in MD and it becomes 353. Despite all the numbering changes, it's a straight shot all the way into MD at U.S. 50. Then get on 50 West, continue onto the bypass around Salisbury, and then south on Business 13. And then -- yummy.

            Or, I forgot to mention before -- if you want some above-average cheap sushi (although I assume you can probably get that in Rehoboth, though I'm sure it's costlier), there's Hunan Palace at 1600 South Salisbury Blvd. (Business 13) on the Salisbury-Fruitland border, near the southern terminus of the 13 bypass. There's a few other sushi places in Salisbury these days, but oddly enough I've heard Hunan, despite being a Chinese place (and probably Salisbury's best and second-longest-lived one for that matter) may be the best.

          2. The Camel's Hump CLOSED!!!??? What a bummer! Lewes says it closed "awhile back" but it couldn't have been that long ago because I was there last summer. For the past 20 years, the highlight of any beach trip to Rehoboth was the CH's fabulous gyro salad or sandwich with lamb -- it just didn't get any better than that for lunch! However, while the food was consistently superb, they were a surly bunch and I will not miss that or their mediocre service one iota. Now -- back to the subject at hand, ethnic food in Rehoboth Beach. Hmmm. While not purely ethnic, EDEN is a fabulous restaurant and, imo, the absolute best to be found in Rehoboth Beach. It's beautifully decorated, and with intriguing voile panels draping the booths, soft lighting and seductive music, it's a tranquil and mildly exotic atmosphere in which to enjoy fantastic food that has no peer in Rehoboth Beach. Eden serves dinner only and offers quite an inventive and sophisticated Asian-inspired menu. It will not be an inexpensive meal, but you will get what you pay for which, in my experience, is often not the case in Rehoboth Beach. The slightly pricey menu virtually guarantees that you will enjoy your dinner without the inevitable selfish and clueless couple who drags their whiny, ungrateful and ill-behaved kids to dinner only to spoil yours. Having said that, Eden is no more expensive than other better establishments in Rehoboth such as Back Porch or Blue Moon, but these places just miss the mark in terms of food quality and atmosphere. Give EDEN a try -- I highly recommend it and doubt you'll be disappointed! You'll find them on Baltimore Avenue not too far from the Boardwalk.