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May 14, 2008 10:25 AM

Ocean City, Maryland or Delaware Restos

It won't be too long before our annual trip to Ocean City, Maryland. We've found, over the years, that there are better restaurants in the Delaware area and since we're pretty close to the border, we've been going there several nights. One local spot we love is Cactus Cafe on Route 54. We've also gone to Catch 54, but it's quite pricey. We do go to Tutti Gusti in OC, which is quite good. Have to visit Rodney the bartender, after all, for some weapons grade martinis!
Does anyone know any "local" spots in either OC or close by in Delaware? Rehoboth or Bethany Beach, perhaps? Steaks, fish, Italian.
We are trying to stay away from tourist places (is that possible in beach towns?) so any suggestions would be welcome.

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  1. Well, if you're trying to avoid the pricey places like Catch 54 and The Buttery over in Lewes, I'd suggest hitting the deck behind Charlie's Bayside-- it's a nice, low-key relaxing place to grab a decent burger or crabcake sandwich.

    Right next door (almost) is The House of Welsh. If you visit, check out their crab-stuffed rockfish. Their steaks are pretty good too. Nantucket's is worth considering as well, if you don't mind the 50/50 possibility of less-than-friendly service.

    If you don't mind eating a bit early, (like before 5:00pm) you can get a great seat next to the windows at Harpoon Hannah's. The service is better and it seems the food is too when you get there before the rush. Order some kind of pan-seared or broiled fish or pasta and you'll be happy with your meal. Be sure to enjoy your fill of the great breads they'll deliver to your table too-- then leave and get dessert somewhere else.

    You might want to try the restaurant at Fagers Island. Can't remember the address, but when you're driving down Coastal Highway and you see the tall Coconut Mallory hotel, bayside-- turn right. One other place to consider hitting, but you'll need to plan your visit to avoid party time... Seacrets. It's a great place for lunch or an early dinner in Ocean City. Seacrets is right down the road from Fagers Island. It's got a Jamaican theme that's gone a tad over the top in recent years, but if you're in there when the college crowd isn't, you can enjoy some great jerk chicken and an ice cold Red Stripe while looking out at a stunning view of the bay. If a duck walks by while you're eating, just ignore him.

    1. In Bethany, try DiFebo's or the Cottage Cafe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: skipper

        Ditto on DiFebo's. The service and food are excellent. I also had a good meal at Sedona last summer (in downtown Bethany) and have always wanted to try Patsy's since I read its glowing review in the Washington Post a number of year's ago. Does anyone have an opinion on Patsy's?

        1. re: JenBoes

          Thanks to all who responded. Where exactly is Charlie's Bayside? As for DiFebo's...tried it once....that was enough. I posted here afterward and got a lot of the same comments....terrible service, dirty silverware/glasses and awful food. Gave us water that tasted weird and sweet....turned out they poured water in a pitcher of 7-Up. Not a place we'd return and apparently, we're not the only ones.
          Seacrets was fun...but we've never been there at a time where there wasn't a college crowd. Fager's Island pretty good, but we thought pretty expensive. Since we have a view of either the ocean or the bay from our place, we don't want to pay for a view, just good food.
          Thanks, folks!

      2. If you like crab cakes, Coins is awesome. It's in a strip mall.