Not to be missed in Wilmington?
All of the chains that I have tried such as the Melting Pot and Sullivans have been overpriced disappointments serving mediocre food (with the exception of a decent but expensive steak at Sullivan's).
There is this place that opened just over the PA line that may be of interest since the chef there has a good resume:
If anyone has tried it, please feel free to post!
I haven't tried this one yet, but perhaps someone else can give us some input, it is located in the Independence Mall and is not far from your hotel:
There is also a Fondue restaurant in the same shopping center:
Has anyone tried these?
Well, there's a great steakhouse on Concord Pike... slightly further north called Sullivan's. Here's the weblink: http://www.sullivansteakhouse.com/wil...
It's not bad but may be more than you want to bite off.
travelmad478 is right though... up there, there are a ton of chains and fast-food. One of the chains isn't too bad: Macaroni Grill but...
Jasmine can be over-seasoned. I wasn't impressed because I can get sushi in a lot of other places. Their Asian cuisine is just a melange of bastardized versions.
I personally don't suggest anyone going to a Chinese food buffet. 10 times out of 10 it's a disappointment -- but maybe that's because I'm Chinese.
Up there you are in something of a chain-restaurant hell, unfortunately. One independent restaurant around that address is Corner Bistro (a little hidden, in the back of a small shopping center at the corner of Silverside Rd. and Concord Pike) which might do the job. I've never really been fond of this place because I find the food extremely bland, but it does qualify as a decent light meal, and they should be able to take a reservation for 15 with no problem.
Nearly every time my family (we're mostly Chinese) eats in Wilmington it's at the Grand East Buffet - http://www.grandeastbuffet.com/
Philly is better if you want something specific, but there's a wide selection at this place, including sushi, for not too much $.
Lunch is pretty good at the Charcoal Pit (I've only been to the one on Concord Pike), known for burgers/fries but I had a great tuna salad there. Casapulla's, who has good hoagies and steaks, also has a location on Concort Pike, not sure about vegetarian offerings though.
My wife and I love going there when we can get a babysitter. Good overall quality and service. Nice choices. Good atmosphere to both.
One reasonably interesting place is Culinaria (in a strip mall at the corner of Marsh & Silverside Rds. in north Wilmington)--I haven't been there for a few years, mainly because they're no longer open for lunch, but the dinner menu is pretty good. A new favorite is Domaine Hudson (see my review on this board a month or two ago)--the menu there is pretty short, but there are some veg/fish options.
There have been several discussions recently of Chinese food in Wilmington, and a lot of other restaurants in the area, so please do a search of the last month or two.
I'm a vegetarian living in Wilmington, and just posted a bunch of area recommendations under the Newport thread here:
"Interesting" is an adjective that's not used very often in terms of northern DE dining, but if you venture out into Kennett Square, I'd say Half Moon is your best bet for local specialties (i.e. mushroom based dishes) with some good veg options. Have heard good things about Sovana Bisto as well, but have yet to check it out. Also, consider trekking over to Avondale to check out Va La Vineyards:
Occasionally on weekends they'll have a grill cart on premises where I've had a pretty awesome grilled tofu sandwich. Website should tell you if & when. And their wine tasting includes some local foods (cheese, chocolates) as well. (Don't miss the young goat cheese and honey.)
As far as Asian goes, good luck. Some may recommend Bangkok House on Union Street. I would have too, once upon a time, but have had two instances in a row that put me off of it. They do have a good mock duck dish that I'll order takeout on occasion when I'm in a forgiving mood. There have been recommendations for Shang Hai (ask for the Chinese menu) on this board recently. Haven't tried it yet, but hope to very soon...
Some other qualifiers for 'interesting' that I go into a little more detail on in my post on the Newport thread might be Pizza by Elizabeth's, Toscana, Buckley's Taven, and Casablanca.
Note that Capriotti's has a sizeable veg menu that you'd never know about -- there are about a half dozen of them in the area, so if you're looking for a quick but filling bite their veg turkey sub will do the trick. (They have good veg hot dogs, too.)