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Rehoboth Beach, Spring 2004!


SWoodyWhite
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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.)

Edited by SWoodyWhite (log)

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I will be sure to boycott when my parents say they want to go to Crabby Dick's. They are a sucker for stupidly named restaurants (seriously).

So Woody (and other beach folks), where do you go for breakfast?

Most mornings, I grab a bagel at Dave & Skippy's.

That place across the street (blanking on the name in spite of having eaten there a zillion times) that serves breakfast and ice cream, nothing else, is highly overrated and not worth a long wait in line.

I don't love the greasy spoon on Rehoboth Ave.

Are there other spots I should try next visit? Nothing haute. Good french toast, bacon and coffee will do. Is that too much to ask?

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So Woody (and other beach folks), where do you go for breakfast?...

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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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No worries. We stay at the home of a family friend so we do have access to a kitchen. The only problem is that my tastes tend to run to the less healthy breakfasts (read: bacon, sausage, etc.) and I try not to eat those things around my father who had a heart attack a few years back!! He's fine now, but I try not to be a bad influence, you know...

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And here I am developing a taste for scrapple! I have freinds on the left coast who simply do not understand! :laugh:

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I say...heaven! but on learned one...who has the best scrapple around here?

I'm with you about scrapple. After 50 years of life with scrapple, it's been an adjustment to life without, except for bringing some back from trips up north. It was a staple in our house. Were you asking what restaurant has the best, or what brand is the best? We never ordered it when eating breakfast in restaurants, because we had it at home a few days per week. As for brand, my favorite was either Delaware Maid or Rapa, depending on the mood of my taste buds.

Woody, do I recall correctly from our trip in April that Eden Cafe moved from the main drag to Baltimore Ave., where so many other restaurants have been? If so, is it still as good? I hope so and I hope that location is not a jinx.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'm looking forward to spending a glorious 10 day's in the area and have already taken Woody's words to heart and have Nage in our sights. Also will be trying Venus On The Halfshell. Have heard good things.

I read earlier that AJ's didn't impress. I agree for the most part but my wife say's the crabcakes are the best around. Even better than Gilligans. And I've heard that they are now producing their own beer.

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Woody, do I recall correctly from our trip in April that Eden Cafe moved from the main drag to Baltimore Ave., where so many other restaurants have been? If so, is it still as good? I hope so and I hope that location is not a jinx.

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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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For convenience, even though the link expires in four weeks, I'm putting this week's Young & Hungry in here too.

"Greetings from Rehoboth"

by Todd Kliman

Thank you so much! I enjoyed that. I identified and agreed!

I remember trudging up from the water in Rehoboth one day, ravenous and baked, the taste of salt water on my lips leading me straight to the smell of fry that wafted from the Thrasher’s stand. I hadn’t had lunch; it didn’t matter. “We’re at the beach,” my mother said, handing over the money. Fries were permissible; all things were permissible—Kohr Bros. custard and Grotto pizza and Dolly’s saltwater taffy and Candy Kitchen’s fudge, too.
...that could have been me. One of my favorite smells in the world has always been Rehoboth Beach, the combination of the salty air with the aroma of the foods.

I share his favorites and his disappointments, and experienced some of those in our recent trip back to Delaware. Sadly, Grotto Pizza has declined. I still eat some whenever in Delaware, but now it's for reasons of nostalgia only. As a teenager, my friends and I would drive to Rehoboth every Sunday night for Grotto Pizza, because back in those days, the weekend tourists would exit every Sunday afternoon and we would be able to find a parking spot.

Very nice description of Blue Moon...

Blue Moon, by contrast, does not lack for vision. A place that once raised eyebrows—for its mostly gay crowds, its exotic ingredients, its blithe mingling of casual and formal—the restaurant, as it inches toward the quarter-century mark, feels almost reassuringly familiar. It remains the best of the high-end spots, a rarity in town in that it mostly delivers what it promises. Chef Peter McMahon’s Frenchified menu may borrow liberally from Southeast Asia and the American Southwest, but he prefers classical solidity to gaudy spectacle. A fan of spicy, crispy duck breast is succulent, a plate of garlic-and-chili shrimp almost as tasty, and the tortilla soup is bright, thick, and sweetly vegetal. There is the occasional misstep—the wild rice that inexplicably accompanies the shrimp, for instance—and execution is not always equal to the quality of the ingredients, but especially in light of his slap-happy compatriots, McMahon is notable for his restraint. The lone exception is dessert—witness the Moon Pie, the cafe’s signature sweet, a towering, tottering creation of mint ice cream and meringue and melted chocolate, a sort of unbaked Alaska.

Of course I broke out in laughter, visualizing this, when reading about Taste.

The grilled Caesar salad is fine, but a lobster-and-shrimp BLT is unworthy of its price tag, and a plate of toasted mushroom-stuffed ravioli in a too-sweet champagne-vanilla sauce is a helluva lot more Elvis than its description would have you believe; it seems only fitting that at the first press of my fork, the tightly packed ravioli ejaculated all over the candleholder.
How funny.

Well written... thanks again.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Woody, do I recall correctly from our trip in April that Eden Cafe moved from the main drag to Baltimore Ave., where so many other restaurants have been?  If so, is it still as good?  I hope so and I hope that location is not a jinx.

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.

I'm glad to hear that. I appreciate your review. I would have probably not been able to resist that Kobe beef tenderloin special... :smile:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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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.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I'm heading to Rehoboth Thursday night or Friday early morning (Woody, let me know if you want to meet up for a drink at some point). Can't wait to hit the old haunts and sample some of what's new too. PLM is planning to head out to the beach for a night or two and I'm excited to show him around.

Is the fish & chips place on Rehoboth still going strong?

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I'm heading to Rehoboth Thursday night or Friday early morning (Woody, let me know if you want to meet up for a drink at some point)....

Is the fish & chips place on Rehoboth still going strong?

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!)

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I'm heading to Rehoboth Thursday night or Friday early morning (Woody, let me know if you want to meet up for a drink at some point)....

Is the fish & chips place on Rehoboth still going strong?

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!)

Oh well! It was worth a try.

We stay at a friend's home and have no parking issues fortunately. It's a lovely, lovely set-up.

I mentioned the British-themed fish & chips place in a previous Rehoboth thread... can't remember the name right now. Good deep fried sausage (seriously).

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