Miltonians out there might remember Norma's Restaurant & Subs, a 40-year staple in that tiny town. Proprietor Norma Fleming employed her daughter-in-law, Gail, for 15 years. She obviously perfected her short-order cooking skills and brings those talents to the tiny Creek Side Cafe (formerly Old Landing Restaurant) which opened on March 1, 2012. As cook, she keeps up the tradition of (mostly) homemade, basic breakfasts and lunch.
This is an interesting place. Manager Sheila McCall scampers about, doing double/triple duty as
No secrets here! There it is, big as life: BIG SISSIES. The rainbow flag out front seals the deal, and Big Sissies certainly delivers on the backhanded humor of the name: There's no doubt that this place is a noisy and upbeat hangout for boys who like boys and women who don't (at least not in that way). But what I didn't expect were tables occupied by
Years ago when I dwelled in the southern hinterlands (aka, Bethany Beach), I used to enjoy chatting-up the 17-year-old busboy at a long-gone Bethany restaurant. He always knew exactly what was going on, and usually had more information about the eatery and the menu than the servers did. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I recognized that young whippersnapper at Port Dewey. He wasn't 17 -- or bussing tables -- any more. He was one of the owners. Of course, being an owner doesn't mean that you don't bus tables (ask any owner). But now he has a lot more to do on top of it.
If there's such thing as a
Salt Air opened to much fanfare in downtown Rehoboth Beach several years ago. If you were lucky, you got a seat -- and the bar was the place to see and be seen. The owner, Jonathan Spivak, is an experienced restaurateur (and accomplished artist in his own right). He and his long-time chef, Nino Mancari, embarked on a massive remodeling project, including the acquisition of a farm on Rt. 9 to supply the restaurant with fresh product. But it was not to be. Jonathan was taken ill, and the management of the large facility and the property on Rt. 9 proved too much for the talented Nino.
There is good news. As of this writing, Jonathan is in
Regular visitors to my online Funhouse of Food know that I usually don't write about fast-food places or chain restaurants. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but they're all the same, and that is their goal, after all. Some, however, do stand out for service, cleanliness, unusual fare or whatever, and when they do, I write about them. We are fortunate here in Rehoboth to have one of the better sit-down chains, Panera Bread, as a new member of our Coastal Highway gastronomic line-up.
I do a fair amount of traveling, and I have yet to have a bad experience at any Panera Bread. This doesn't happen
a(MUSE.), at 44 Baltimore Ave., is certainly one of the most unusual restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, and probably for many miles around. (Click here to make reservations thru OpenTable.com.) Owner and Chef Hari Cameron has proven that truly serious diners in Rehoboth are ready for his daring, small/large plate tour through all sorts of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and if the crowds at our recent five visits are any indication (not to mention his nomination by the James Beard Foundation for the Rising Star Chef award), he's hit the jackpot.
Warning! If you're looking for a 3 pound lamb shank, wrapped in crisp bacon on a bed of mashed potatoes, or a dozen braised shortribs on a disc of polenta the size of a CD (not that there's anything wrong with that), this is
[Ratings modified (increased) and review rewritten early spring 2013] A couple of years ago, owners Mark Hunker and Jeff McCracken cleverly moved the sadly subterranean JAM across the street from their old digs into the bright, amply windowed building that was once home to the storied Camel's Hump restaurant. The attitude, the surroundings -- and the food -- instantly improved. Operations manager (and pastry chef extraordinaire) Danielle Panarello hit the
Climbing the staircase into Planet X is like entering another dimension, glowing crimson from Chinese lanterns that sway in the wind. Pillow-strewn banquettes make even the darkest corners inviting. A purple Buddha peers out at you, his multi-armed grandeur reflected in a mosaic of mirrors that sparkle in the muted glow of ornate chandeliers. "New agey" decor (complete with the obligatory beaded curtain) blends strangely well with the undercurrent of nondescript, soothing (and equally new-agey) music.
The covered porch wraps around the side of the building. On a warm summer's night, it's the perfect place to see and be seen (don't worry--the inside is air conditioned). All in all, Planet X is the most creatively appointed eatery in Rehoboth Beach.
The servers are casual and easygoing, often taking orders without writing anything down. (This can sometimes invite
(Click here to make reservations through OpenTable.com.) My goal at RehobothFoodie.com is to promote Rehoboth Beach area dining. But people will only return to the site if the articles are objective. I try hard to do that, often returning to a restaurant multiple times before writing about it. This appears to be working, and I thank the many (many!) thousands of weekly site visitors for their clicks of confidence.
But objectivity comes with a price. I've been angrily accused of
(Click here to reserve a table through OpenTable.com.) When asked to name the most difficult part of being a food critic, celebrated reviewer Ruth Reichl answered, "Having to write about a restaurant I know I won't like." Well, I'm certainly not Ruth (though I might look pretty spiffy in that big picture-hat), but I cannot tell a lie: I visited Rigby's a couple of times early last year, and my experiences were less than satisfactory. So rather than subject myself to a third visit, I put it on the back burner. And there it stayed.
Then I started getting emails from site visitors (and even the nice people at Rigby's) telling me that they had revamped and cleaned up the place, brought in a
One of my favorite writers here in Rehoboth Beach opined that the Frogg Pond, "...like a chameleon, changes with the times...." She was waxing philosophical, of course (nothin' like a good waxing), but change can be good or bad, and over the years the Frogg Pond has certainly shuttled between good and bad when it comes to their menu. If the last couple of seasons are any indication, they are