Summer is finally here and it is super hot outside, but not as humid as DC can get. Still after spending the first half of the day running errands, I am really grateful to relax in the air conditioning and share my Rehoboth Beach travel experience with you.
My friend Molly invited me to join her weekend “sabbatical” at the beach in Delaware. She’s been struggling with chronic migraines since January and is finally taking some time to figuring out what’s been triggering her for the past several months. Since stress is definitely a factor, a few days away from the office, relaxing on the beach were her first order of business. I really like Molly. And the beach. And roadtrips. So I was more than willing to sign up for this adventure.
The best thing about our trip to Rehoboth was our vacation rental, this itty-bitty studio apartment that was literally half a block from the boardwalk and beach. It was fine for two people, but would have been way too small if anyone else had come with us. However: it is directly behind Greenman Juice Bar and Bistro and we absolutely stopped in at least once a day, every day. The tofu scramble was my super yum and they were happy to serve it as a platter instead of in a whole wheat wrap for me. They brought toast with the platter, and no less than seven pats of butter, which has nothing to do with anything except that it’s hilarious. The other key menu item was steel-cut oatmeal with (both soy and almond milk were available and didn’t cost extra-yay!) and many topping and sweetener options so you could create the perfect bowl. On Saturday morning I got up early and had breakfast on the beach which is possibly my favorite thing that I’ve ever done. Greenman also has daily quiches and fritata with local, seasonal ingredients. Basically, they are the best.
For our first night in Delaware, Molly had a sushi craving and we made our way to The Cultured Pearl for dinner. This was possibly my favorite meal of the weekend. The Peal has a HUGE rooftop dining area that is set up over a giant koi pond, so you can lean over from your table and watch fish swim by. If you want, the waiter will bring you pellets so you can feed the koi, but I think that is mostly for kids to do. What I did was drink a delicious pinot noir and enjoy this view. They have an edamame bar with some fascinating seasoning options; we tried smoked sea salt with garlic and miso aoli. Holy crap. They also have an Old Bay option and I think a “Mexican” option, but we were more than happy with our choice. Sushi is one of my favorite dining experiences, because you can see exactly what you’re eating – no unpleasant surprises. I had the vegetarian chef plate which came with miso soup and three rolls. The Mangocado is pretty much what it sounds like, the Pi-natsu has avocado, peanut, scallion and nuta dressing, and the Delaware Maki is avocado, cucumber, asparagus and squash. I actually had a hard time finishing it all, but I managed.
Since we were on the roof, we realized as son as we sat down that we were right across the street from the Dogfish Head Brewery, which was my very most favorite during my beer-drinking days. Molly is also a Dogfish fan, so we headed over there after dinner. This was tough for me, since I never made it to the brewery when I could still drink beer, and paging through the menu was soooooo tempting. But Dogfish is the greatest ever, and they had their gluten free beer, T’weason Ale, on tap. I’ve blogged about it before – it’s not my most favorite, but it kept me from falling off the gluten wagon, so: win! We made a second trip on Saturday night to pick up some beer for Molly to take home and I tried their Spirited Sampler. Apparently making delicious beer is not enough for the fine folks at Dogfish Head, and they opened a distillery. They make Red Hen Vodka, Brown Honey Rum, Jin and probably some other stuff, but those are the ones I tried. I also sampled the peanut butter infused vodka and instantly regretted it. I ended up bringing a bottle of the gin home – it’s made with hops so it’s super citrusy and refreshing. Oh – we had some french fries here. They were mediocre. There’s nothing else on the menu that I could eat, so while this is a really fun after-dinner stop, I don’t recommend it for a meal.
By now you’re thinking that all I did in Rehoboth was eat and drink. You are mostly correct. Also, writing a blog about napping on the beach would be boring. So: on to Planet X! We dropped in on a yoga class (at Kaya Wellness Center – try an aerial yoga class!) on Thursday afternoon and collected some restaurant recommendations from the locals. This might be my new vacation strategy everywhere. Our new friends told us that we needed to visit Planet X for vegetarian food and they were absolutely right. It’s a tiny and quirky little place that is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings. Here’s the tricky thing about this place: our waitress didn’t know the menu very well and was totally unfamiliar with dietary restrictions. Also, the menu has symbols indicating that some dishes are gluten-free, but what they mean is a gf option is available. The red curry that I ordered was delicious, but it was supposed to have seitan and wonton crisps. When I asked the waitress if the seitan was gf (unusual but possible) she admitted to not knowing what seitan was, but said she’d check. So then another waiter came out and explained to me what seitan is, which was a little annoying. My questions finally made it all the way up the chain to the head chef
who came out to explain that she could make anything I wanted gluten-free and would sub in crispy tofu. Sold! She even came out to check in with us after the food arrived to make sure we were happy. Also, I had this martini. It was grapefruit based, I think, and it was amazing. Molly had tea, because her head was feeling kind of touchy.
Our last dinner in Rehoboth was at Mariachi Restaurant, right next to Greenman (so basically in front of our condo). A funny thing about West Coasters on the East Coast: We will always complain about the sub-par Mexican food, but we will always try a new restaurant, just in case. Optimism! Also, Mariachi had been super packed and looked really fun on Friday night. Saturday was cold and rainy and no one was out at all, plus we went to dinner early because we wanted to see a movie. So…no party atmosphere.
As expected, the food was kind of meh. Corn tortillas were an option with the vegetable fajitas, but you had to ask for them. The vegetables were flavorful and I liked the sangria (duh). The staff was lovely and it felt very family owned and run, which makes me a little nostalgic (one of my cousins used to run a Mexican restaurant in Napa and we were there a LOT when I was a kid). Anyway, after this we went to see Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, which is an excellent rainy night activity.
Overall, I give Rehoboth 4 completely arbitrary stars. There are definitely places you can eat well at, and friends without dietary restrictions will be happy as well. Next time, I would like to rent a place with an actual kitchen (instead of just a sink, fridge and microwave) because eating out every meal was pretty expensive. Also, I loved going there with Molly, but Rehoboth seems like a good place to go with someone you like like, as well.