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Everything posted by SWoodyWhite

  1. Word is that yes, Venus on the Half Shell is one of the better new restaurants in the area, although I haven't had a chance to try it yet myself. It's owned by the same people that have been running Planet X. Their ads emphasize a creative cuisine, with a wine bar and a "blue crystal" raw bar. Phone: 302-227-9292. Located at Dagsworthy St. and the Bay, in Dewey Beach. Addendum, as long as I've mentioned Dewey Beach: The mayor of Dewey Beach and State Assemblyman Pete Schwartzkoff were tending bar at the Rehoboth Beach Main Street's Fourth of July Celebration, held at the Sands Hotel. I wasn't expecting much for our $50 each, but the food ("Oh, just ordinary picnic fare" we'd been told) included some great pork ribs and tender fried chicken. Then, we all headed up to the roof to watch the fireworks. The beach itself was packed with cheering holiday folk, and the pyrotechnic display was very good. From what I understand, the RBMS is solely responsible for the fireworks, since the city itself doesn't pitch in. RBMS doesn't make a cent off of it, either. A few corporate sponsors would be appreciated, to keep this event running in the future.
  2. I'm going to be hit with a full work week while you're in town, Jenny. The Fourth of July has every store around cranking into high gear. I'm going to have to take a pass at getting together, at least for this time. And I'm at a blank for what fish and chips place you're referring to. Wish I could be more help, but this time I can't. (I do know that the Crystal is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner these days.) (And wishes of good luck to you on finding parking! Pack comfortable hiking shoes!)
  3. The article by Kliman reminds me: there's a branch of Candy Kitchen right across from where I work. It's a good thing I don't have much of a sweet tooth, because that place could absorb my salary fast! Which reminds be as well: When shopping at the outlet malls, don't plan on having a great time eating. It's not what they're known for. The malls have been bought by Tanger, and given names instead of numbers. Heading south on Route 1, the first is the Tanger Midway, right across from the Midway Cinemas. Eating is reduced to the Grotto Food Court, where the pizza people try to expand into other fast foods, dished out cafeteria style. On the same side of the highway, down a couple of miles or so, is the Tanger Bayside. Way towards the back is the Candy Kitchen Shoppe, and hiding even further out of everyone's way is the Hot Diggity Dogs Cafe. I've HDD's fries. They are spineless, unhappy things. On the other hand, their soda fountain does include birch beer, which I enjoy. Across the highway (and easily accessed if you're heading north) is the Tanger Seaside. A branch of Applebee's is located there, and towards the back (food is apparently something to be hidden) is a sandwich shop called Bull on the Beach. During the summer, there are stands for slushies, popcorn and the like. But frankly, my advice is to eat first before heading out and shopping. You'll probably get a better idea whether the clothes you're buying will actually fit when you get back home that way, anyway.
  4. Eden is doing well at it's location at 23 Baltimore Ave. (Phone: 302 227 3330, website: www.edenrestaurant.com ). The owners were among the prime movers behind this spring's Food and Wine festival. Starters range from 8 to 12 $, with such items as "grilled housemade kobe sausage, white bean ragout, garlic essence, tomato concasse" at the high end, and "new zealand greenlip mussels, leeks, artichokes, capers, white wine-tomato broth" at the low. (Lack of capitalization is theirs.) Engrees fange from $25 (Eden's own "MAC n' CHEESE": Artisanal goat cheese, parmesan, rosemary, grilled chicken, baby spinach, roasted peppers, egg tagliatelle) to $32 (puttanesca SEAFOOD PASTA, shrimp, scallops, mussels, prawns, in a spicy rich white wine tomato kalamata olive caper sauce). I'm not a scallops fan, but "pan seared day boat SCALLOPS, sultry coconut curry cream sauce, coconut-jasmine rice, fresh mango, avocado, aged balsamic reduction, $30" could change my opinion. I think I can pass on the $55 special they had listed on the board, even if it is Kobe beef tenderloin. Dinner nightly from 6 pm, open year-round, reservations recommended. ******* Meanwhile, heading over to 57 Wilmington Ave., the new Confucius has opened. (Before 4pm: 302 528 2087, after 4pm: 302 227 3848). Soups run from $5 (Vegetarian soup, featuring asparagus, tofu, baby corn & snow peas) up to $7.50 (Seafood Soup: Shrimp, scallop & lobster, crab, seaweed & greens). Appetizers range from $6.50 (Coconut shrimp, or Spicy bean curd & hot peppers) up to $9.50 (Soft-shell crab), with items like fried squid, vegetarian spring rolls, and Woo Shian Beef filling the price range in between. The entrees range from $14 (Kung Pao Chicken) to $38 (a whole Peking Duck; a half duck runs $20). Other entrees include Crispy Black Sea bass (whole, with the chef's special honey vinegary sauce), Orange Flavored Beef, Confucius Lobster (a whole lobster with ginger and scallions) Side orders like spinach with garlic or baby Shanghai cabbage run $5-6. Of course, all entrees are served with steamed rice. They also have lunch specials on the weekends, ranging from $8 (vegetarian homestyle tofu with mixed vegetables) to $12 (sliced rockfish). The almond shrimp ($10) sounds good to me. They're open daily until midnight, making Confucius a late-nite option in a town where most restaurants close around ten.
  5. Der Brucer and I had spent the day ladsitting his grandlads, and it was late-ish and we were both worn out. A four-year-old and his brother, aged seven, can do that. For this reason, we decided to dine out at Jake's Seafood House, at their Highway One location (4443 Highway One, Rehoboth, 302-644-7711). Our logic was that since they have more than one location, there must be something they're doing right to be successful. The place is imposing on the outside, a brick palace lined with neon. The inside is large, but sparse. That's all right, I'm more into eating food than decor. Der Brucer had a cup of their Seafood Bisque. He wasn't really impressed. "It tastes too much like...corn starch?" He offered me a taste. I thought it tasted too much of cream, and not enough of sherry or bisque. "Maybe it's supposed to be more of a chowder?" he asked. No, I was pretty sure if they were trying for a chowder they'd have included potatoes. Meanwhile, the cup of Maryland Crab Soup I was served was...well, it had a nice variety of vegetables, fresh and not over-cooked, which I've come to recognize as being important in Maryland Crab Soup. What it didn't have was much in the way of crab. There were a few wispy strands, but no lumps of crabmeat, not even a scattering of flakes. My entree, the night's special of Jamaican Jerked Tuna (it was the syrupy salsa on top that was jerked) was pleasing enough. Tuna steaks, cut a little more than a half-inch thick, are hard to pull from the grill rare in the center, but this one was, the way I like it. The sides I ordered were another matter, with the French fries limp and the cole slaw overpowered by the grated carrot it contained, to the point that the slaw was consistently orange in color. Der Brucer didn't even comment on his stuffed flounder, which at least looked good. He usually says something about what he is served. We tipped fairly well on the tab, which pre-tip came to less than $60 with a bottle of wine. Our server had been very friendly, after all. I just wish we hadn't lied to her about liking our soup courses.
  6. Dear Fat Guy: I'm reminded of our discussion, a year or more ago, that came from your asking about "gay restaurants." Only I can't remember where the thread was where we had that discussion. I'd link, if I knew where it was.
  7. Hi! And, as the Rehoboth Beach correspondent, welcome! I started writing about Rehoboth Beach because I noticed that no one else was putting anything in, and simply decided to fill in the void. Basically, I've been trusting my own instincts, reporting about what fits in the "fine dining" area, but also talking about "good grub" and where the rip-offs are located. I've had the advantage/disadvantage of being a newcomer to Delaware (all the way from Long Beach, CA, as of last November), so my reporting has been skewed towards the newcomer's point of view, but hearing from a native sounds like a good idea to me. (For example, I may know what a good crabcake tastes like, but I still have no idea why it tastes so good, or what I should be looking for. It's kind of like art, subjective as all get out and a learning process, but the learning is part of the fun.) Write to us about what you know! If you hear about specials in your area, which are worth pursuing, tell us about them. Festivals and fairs haven't been getting any coverage; as a newbie, I wouldn't even know where to start. I've hardly scratched the surface on finding good places to buy foods, specialty items and such. Believe me, once people start learning you're available, they'll start asking questions. In what part of Delaware do you live? Delaware is a much larger state than many people realize, taking a couple of hours driving time from one end to the other. I'm looking forward to what you have to say. To paraphrase Rick in Casablanca, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
  8. Haggis Man, you might want to put that question in a separate thread, to get a wider response. I'm still learning the joys, and still learning the area. I do know that Bozie's, on Route 1 (south of the bridge, towards Dewey Beach but still in Rehoboth) has some of the best breakfast sausage I've tasted anywhere. They're having a sidewalk sale this weekend, I believe, in celebration of getting their sidewalks back after all the winter-long construction. 302-227-6370.
  9. And here I am developing a taste for scrapple! I have freinds on the left coast who simply do not understand!
  10. Dear Jenny: I'm at a total disadvantage here, since I'm a resident. When I want breakfast, I'm cooking it myself. I know, that's evil of me, I should hang my head in shame, but that's the truth. That having been said, der Brucer and I have had breakfast at the Rehoboth Diner on Highway One. We just haven't had breakfast during breakfast hours. Give me a good omelette and hash browns, I can be a happy man. Just make sure I've got plenty of Tobasco to up the ante, if I want. The real advantage of the Rehoboth Diner is that it's open 24/7, but it's fairly good grub, and cheap. If der B and I are coming back late at night from NYC or DC or Philly, and we know I'm not up to cooking dinner, that's where we go. I just don't have any comparisons to make. My bad.
  11. Der Brucer may have been trying to make up for the previous night, when we went (at his suggestion) to the new Crabby Dick's on Highway One. It's a branch of the same-named Baltimore crabbery I was asking about on another thread. Let's keep this short: The food runs from bland to overdone, often covering both bases at the same time. I wish the place well, as they're sure to employ lots of college students working their way through, but I can find other fish houses in the area that are equal in price (about $20 for entrees) and give larger portions of better flavored food.
  12. Getting back to Nage, der Brucer decided we should have dinner there after I got off work on Friday, "Before everyone else finds out about the place." He had the right idea. The location is peculiar, sharing parking with an Oreck Vacuum Cleaner store and a Salvation Army Thrift Shop. But then, Hickman's Meat Market and Affishionado are also there, flanking Nage on both sides. The wine list is written up on a large chalk-board near the wine bar, listing both by the bottle and by the glass, whites and reds in appropriate chalks. I found this far less intimidating than a formal printed list demanding my "perusal." This was more like, "Hey, let's try a glass of this, and maybe a glass of that later on." We both started with a large bowl of French Onion soup, covered with an as-large slice of bioche and filled with sweet onions, highlighed with sherry and tarragon. Fortunately, we hadn't finished all the bread that had been brought to the table, as I used it to sop up what was left in my bowl. It was with our entrees that der B and I parted company. I went for the duck, he for the cod. My plate had a thick slice of fois gras, sitting atop smoked duck breast, which itself sat atop two spring onion crepes that had been filled with duck leg confit, garnished with lamb's tongue. I was quite happy. Der Brucer was just as pleased with his cod, oven roasted and tender, surrounded by cockles that he said had a very clean taste, chorizo, and a Manchego polenta. Dessert, for us, came in the form of pie, but again we parted company as he chose blueberry (he loved the shortbread-tasting crust and the freshness of the fruit), while I went for Key lime, smooth, tangy and just barely sweet. For the two of us, including coffee and three glasses of wine total, the bill came to an even hundred before tip. Of course, with Delaware not having sales tax to worry about, we were paying for what we got. But we were also getting what we were paying for, which was a damn fine meal. The one thing Nage seems to lack is pretention; this is a good place for both special celebrations and those nights that call for letting the dinner itself be the celebration. Just don't be put off by the Salvation Army Thrift Shop sharing the parking lot.
  13. No, I think Ms. Zibart has touched on more bases than I've done. Just in case the article disappears from the Internet, the addresses and phone numbers are as follows: Fish On! 17300 N. Village Main Blvd., Lewes; 302-645-9790 or 877-871-3474. Cafe Azafran, 109 W. Market St. Lower, Lewes; 302-644-4446. Cafe Zeus, 37 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-226-0400. Espuma, 28 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-4199. Nage, Route 1 next between Hickman's Meat Market and Afishionado (aka 4307 Highway One, Suite 103), Rehoboth Beach; 302-226-2037. Confucius, 57 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-3848. Madison's, 123 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-226-0535. Dos Locos, 10 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-3353. Seaside Thai, 19 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-9525. Abstractions, 203 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-226-0877. Aqua Grill, 57 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-226-9001. Venus on the Half Shell, at the foot of Dagsworthy St., Dewey Beach; 302-227-9292. MoJo's, 2000 Route One, Dewey Beach; 302-227-6877. Fat Tuna, 319 Atlantic Ave./Route 26, Bethany Beach; 302-541-8200. Isabella's, across Rt 26 from DiFebo's, Bethany Beach; 302-539-3700. Magnolia's, Ocean Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View, Bethany; 302-539-5671. Village Rotisserie Cafe, 29 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View; 302-537-6157. Seaside Grill, Route One, 3 1/2 miles north of Route 26, North Bethany; 302-539-4415. Blue Crab, Garfield Parkway nest to Town Hall, North Bethany; 302-537-4700. Jules, 120th Street & Coastal Highway in the Ocean Square Plaza, Ocean City; 410-524-3396. Sunset Grille, off Golf Club Road (aka Sunset Ave. and the Bay), West Ocean City; 410-524-7037. Liquid Assets, 92nd St. & Coastal Highway, West Ocean City; 410-524-7037. Wine, Cheese & More, 4103 Main St., Chincoteague; 757-336-2610.
  14. It's Memorial Day Weekend in Rehoboth Beach. The real "season" has begun, no more of this "shoulder" season. On the one hand, this means that I'll be too busy working to get out and eat, at least not the way I like. On the other hand, most of the new dining opportunities have opened. Tuesday evening, der Brucer and I went to a wine and appetizer reception at Nage, a new "hip bistro" run by the former chef at Espuma. Roger is staying at Espuma as a consultant, but he's transformed the space where his Sweet Dreams Bakery used to be (4307 Highway One, Suite 103, RB DE, 302-226-2037) into a bright new eatery, with the official opening held on Thursday. The ideas behind the food are certainly interesting. For example, take a fresh scallop, sear it, nap it with a jalapeno-ginger sauce, and top it with a bit of pink grapefruit. Or how about an oyster garnished with pickled pear. How about a bit of soup, a yellow tomato "whip" with basil sorbet and a drizzle of fine balsamic. Smoked salmon between layers of puff pastry. Duck liver with an apple-chestnut compote. All right, judging a restaurant by what's served up for a reception isn't fair to anyone. But what's on the menue looks just as impressive. Braised beef short ribs with soba noodles and chile garlic. Oven roasted cod with Cockle clams, chorizo & Manchego polenta. Pan fried soft shell crabs with bacon, braised leeks, potato puree, and caper berries. (Der Brucer can't remember seeing anyone mentioning caper berries on a menu before.) The menu handout mentions that the price range on items is from $7 to $32. They'll be serving Continental breakfasts starting at 9 am, lunch from 11 am to 4 pm, and dinner from 5 to 10 pm. No reservations. For those who are less than thrilled about the Sweet Dreams Bakery not being there, rest easy. Their pastry chef, Andrew Hooven, will continue to serve up his treats at Nage, with a bakery case at the new shop. (Mini versions of his eclairs and strawberry shortcakes were also served up. I can only dream of baking like that.)
  15. Dear Mr. Brown (I figured I'd be consistant here): You've been one of the few cooking writers and television hosts to feature "Gear," the stuff we work with, on a regular basis. Since I'm just starting in the retail end of "gear," I appreciate what you've written and presented. How have you managed to keep up with what is out there in the marketplace? Do you have an infinate budget, to buy all the stuff? Do you con friends into buying it for you, and "borrow" when you can? Do you say "oops!" when something breaks, and hope they will forgive you? In short, how did you research GEAR For Your Kitchen?
  16. Dear Mr. Brown (he wrote in an obsequious manner): I have been instructed to make cole slaw for a family gathering this Saturday. Your recipe (available on the DVD Tossed Around) sounds exactly like what I want, particularly with the dressing (1/2 c buttermilk, 4 T plain yogurt, 4 T mayo, 1 T pickle juice, plus seasonings, for those who haven't paid attention). However, my partner's daughter, who is hosting the gathering, is insisting that I replicate, to some degree, her mother's recipe, which includes pineapple bits and lemon juice. How do you suggest adjusting your recipe, with the additional acidic liquid added?
  17. I'm not an expert on sushi or maki or any of those things, but the Great Taste art and appetizer sampling that was held tonight gave us a chance to compare the Cultured Pearl with Abstractions. It really all comes down to the rice. The maki we sampled at Abstractions served as a backdrop for the fish and other flavors in the rolls. On the other hand, there was something about the rice in the maki at the Cultured Pearl that made it's flavor predominate. It wasn't as tender as the rice at Abstractions, and had an undercooked quality that wasn't attractive on the palate. Given that der Brucer is not a rice fan to begin with, I'm fairly certain that I'll have an easier time getting him to return to Abstractions than the Cultured Pearl. The Abstractions chef also appears to be more adventurous with ingredients than what we were given at the CP. Add to that a special on Wednesdays, I believe, reducing the price of maki by 20%, a friendly staff and a spare but inviting design, and Abstractions would be my choice over CP.
  18. Indian restaurants? Haven't come across any. At least not yet. Middle Eastern? That would be the provence of The Camel's Hump, at 21 Baltimore in Rehoboth (302 227 0947). That's where der Brucer and I sampled a sizable flight of Greek wines during the Food and Wine Festival. We didn't get around to sampling the food, however. I'd put it in the mid-range, pricewise. And the staff struck me as friendly and attentive. We'll be stopping by the Cultured Pearl (19 Wilmington, 302 227 8493) on Friday, May 14th. The Cape Gazette, our must-read weekly for local news, is holding what they're calling The Great Taste, a fundraiser benefitting Rehoboth-Lewes Meals on Wheals, the Rehoboth Art League, and Rehoboth Beach Main Street. Each participating restaurant (and the Cultured Pearl is one) will be offering a light buffet to people buying tickets, along with showing artwork by local artists. The full list of participating restaurants can be found at http://www.rehomain.com/Great%20Taste.html My only regret is not finding out about this event sooner, or I would have posted. Sorry!
  19. Gee, der Brucer and I have never had children of our own (well, duh), but have always enjoyed seeing the young'uns with their families when we dine out. The way I figure it, the parents deserve a little time out, too. In most cases, they both work these days, and then come home to spend quality time with the kids and each other, along with all the necessary household duties. No, babysitters are not always available. So, the best option is to bring the kids along. The best encounters we've had with families have been where the parents take an interest in their children, including them in their conversations at table. As for der Brucer and myself, we have always waved hello to the kids if they take notice of us, and are friendly with the parents. We're dining in a public area, after all. To us, that means that the other diners are part of our environment, and deserve our respect. If we really wanted to have no part of other people while we dine, we'd have asked for a private room.
  20. Eric: Der Brucer and I would enjoy meeting you. I've sent you an e-mail with more details. Hope to meet you soon - S. Woody.
  21. Mr. Danzig has every right to complain if he feels the experience wasn't what he wanted. Der B and I have been to places here where the service was less than perfect, and there are high-ticket items which seem too high. I attribute some of this to the seasonality of the food/service work here in Rehoboth Beach. Many places shut down for the winter, and most cut back on their hours. This has an impact on kitchens and waitstaff alike. And, frankly, our experiences with RB summers have been restricted to a very few weeks a few years back, with very little dining out. (I was cooking for der B's family, to hold down expences; we were lucky to get one night to ourselves on those vacations.) So this summer will be filled with discoveries, as I become more aware of what my new home has to offer. And Mr. Danzig has made me aware of a flaw in my reporting: I'm not detailing the price ranges at the restaurants I've encountered. I've always tended to think in terms of "High End"/"Mid-Range"/"Snack Food," and let it go at that. All the same, I think Rehoboth has much more to offer than Mr. Danzig found. Which reminds me, DonRocks, that I picked up a menu from Nicola Saturday, since it's right next door to Adriatico. (8 N. 1st St., 227-6211) It's been three years, but on a quality-time outing on one of those vacations I had the Nic-o-boli while der Brucer and his grandson (about four years at the time) shared a pizza and fries. The Nico-o-boli was a pretty good variation on a calzone, and the pizza was far better than the town standard, which seems to be Grotto Pizza. (Yes, Malawry, I know you like Grotto, we're just going to have to differ on this one. ) Noc-o-bolis run from $5.50 to $7.85 with "everything," and a regular, 12-inch pizza with everything runs $16.75. Which seems reasonable. http://www.nicolapizza.com (Edited for address and phone number.)
  22. The Rehoboth Beach Cabaret Fest was held this weekend. We hit a couple of spots on Friday, and one on Saturday. Friday we started at Abstractions (203 Rehoboth Ave. - 302-226-0877), a sushi bar and restaurant. They had a good soul stylist singing, whose act would have been better with a live band. I don't know much about sushi, but we enjoyed what we had. We followed this up with a late-evening jazz set at Sydney's, ( http://yp.washingtonpost.com/E/V/WASDC/002.../79/index.html/ ) where jazz performances are a regular feature. We didn't try their dinner menu, but the desserts were enjoyable. In both cases, we want to go back to the restraurants again. The same can't be said about Adriatico, our Saturday dinner. The food was average at best; what can you say when the ravioli is tough? Our server was pleasant, but he couldn't make up for the kitchen. Making matters worse was the entertainment, an act brought down from NYC. The problem was, she couldn't sing, and she wasn't funny. Her backup group was tolerable, but clueless. To top things off, she made repeated condescending jokes about Delaware rednecks that didn't go over, and repeated condescending jokes about drag queens, which also didn't go over. The good news was that we were able to escape through the back door. Der Brucer had to wash the aftertaste of that experience out of his mouth, so we went back to the Purple Parrot, where it was Kareoke night upstairs. Sure enough, no sooner had we found some seats but a friend of his came up to find out how we were doing. She was, of course, a redneck drag queen, in full regalia. Somehow, that made the night an enjoyable one.
  23. We finally made our way over to Bin 66 on Route 1 (near Gold's Gym). That stretch of highway has been torn up all through the winter, and still needs a lot of work done. But since we've been trying to find a better vet for our dogs, we were in the area and decided to drop in. This has to be one of the best laid-out wine and liquor stores I've ever been in! Everything is clearly labled and organized. Three circular racks in the front of the store point out best buys, special values, and good gift wines; coolers for beer are stocked in this area as well. Going back, American Reds and Whites are well displayed; along the wall are European wines, and in the back room are the Aussie and Chilean bottles, as well as the fizzy stuff. Hard liquors are along the other wall. The mark-ups from the distributors wholesale prices are quite reasonable. Rather than the hard metals I see too often in wine stores, Bin 66 is friendly and inviting, with the racks made of redwood. Add to that a staff that is low-key and good with their answers, and I understand why there have been as many favorable comments written earlier. Now for the really good news: Every Saturday afternoon through Halloween, Bin 66 will be holding wine tastings. Several bottles will be opened each week, and no, you don't have to bring your own glassware, because they use real glass instead of plastic. (Tasters will have to rinse their glasses between wines, of course.) Given the selection of wines Bin 66 has to offer, and that there will be no charge, these tasting Saturdays could turn into a regular event for those in the area.
  24. The First Annual Rehoboth Beach Food and Wine Festival appears to have been a success. Most of the venues were nicely busy with the tastings, and we had a good time meeting new people. (Although der Brucer was right, in going from one place to the next with glasses in hand, that it felt a bit like an adult version of trick or treat!) While we were out and about, we've heard of a danged good special running at the Blue Moon on Tuesday nights. At a price of $30 per person, they serve a three-course meal of appetizer, salad, and entree; each course comes with a glass of wine. Add dessert, and a dessert wine is also added. This special will be running every Tuesday before Memorial Day, and will return after Labor Day. Blue Moon - 35 Baltimore Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE. (302) 227 6515
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