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Satisfy your hunger while soothing your wallet

July 7, 2017

You need an Excel spreadsheet to keep up with all the changes around here! Fortunately, The Business of Eating wing at the Cape Gazette pledges every waking moment to keeping you on the leading edge. Saving money is good business, so let’s get down to business.

There’s no shortage of budget-friendly spots where you can pamper your wallet. Chipotle Mexican Grill in Tanger Seaside Outlets has consistently fresh, made-before-your-very-eyes tacos and burritos. I like the chicken burrito with black beans, guac, cilantro white rice, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and some of that spicy red sauce. You won’t need to eat again for a while, and you’ll still have change left over.

Speaking of burritos and such, Billy Lucas’ Taco Reho truck at Big Chill Surf Cantina serves up tacos and such on grilled-to-order corn tortillas. Billy’s Carne Fries will have you staggering back for more. That guy knows his way around a short rib.

The Cameron Brothers’ Grandpa(MAC) outlets on Baltimore Avenue and on Coastal Highway serve great salads, but don’t pass up the Delmarva Dog mac ‘n’ cheese either. Just a few doors to the left of Grandpa on the highway is Pickled Pig Pub. It’s known for craft beers and huge portions of well-thought-out comfort food at great prices. You can’t go wrong with pretty much anything on the menu at P3’s new Lewes sibling, Pig & Publican, near Lewes Beach. Also on the highway in the Lewes area is the quietly successful Pat’s Pizzeria. The soups are homemade and quite good. But the lasagna will surprise you.

Back in downtown Rehoboth, Semra’s Mediterranean Grill cranks out homemade gyros, kabobs and authentic Turkish dishes that won’t have you applying for a second mortgage. Start with their fresh babaghanouj on warm pita triangles, then move on to the Iskender platter. Semra’s rice is not to be believed. Trust me on this.

Modern Mixture is back with a vengeance, with a ton of new menu items. Just hope that Leo is making those frozen sangrias! You can’t bring up burgers without bringing up Five Guys. Made-to-order burgers are custom-built right there in front of you, wrapped in foil and then covered in an avalanche of hot fries. I like to get jalapeños, extra pickles and mustard. Certain people - who shall remain nameless - have been known to split a Kosher dog for dessert.

One of the most unusual and still wallet-friendly dining sleepers in Rehoboth Beach is Conch Island Key West Bar & Grill. Must-gets on the menu include the pink peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, the conch fritters, the Blue Heaven burger and the conch chowder. The big surprise is boss Bryan Derrickson’s brainchild: The filet mignon. Get the Mallory Square version with crabmeat. Bryan and his lovely wife Olivia are also the new owners of Roadhouse Bar & Grill in Midway. The cowboy theme and the mechanical bull have been put out to pasture. Now it’s all about ‘50s-‘60s cars and Route 66 memorabilia. The menu is similar to Conch Island with a few surprises.

I really expected Raghu Kumar to have higher prices at his brand-new Indigo Indian restaurant in the high-rent district by the Rehoboth Boardwalk. But he’s making up for it nightly by filling his tables with smiling customers. All the traditional goodies are there, but Raghu and his friendly dad Suraj would love to take you on a little culinary tour of their native cuisine. Just say the word and they’ll start bringing stuff. Either way, get the onion kulcha and the garlic naan to start. You won’t be sorry.

Lunch on a budget is easy to achieve at Matt’s Fish Camp in Lewes, Fins Ale House, Pete’s Steak Shop, Jimmy’s Grille, Bethany Blues, Touch of Italy on The Highway, and the new Bluecoast Rehoboth where well-priced lunches now start every day at 11:30 a.m. Crooked Hammock Brewery’s chicken salad sandwich is an afternoon sleeper in Lewes. It’s so big that I sometimes take the other half home (believe it or not).

A hidden gem for authentic Salvadoran food is the tiny, unassuming Cabanas, sharing a strip center with Go Brit! fish & chips. Just north of there is Beaches Seafood Restaurant and Carryout. Don and Lori Allen are happy to treat your billfold benevolently with their fresh oysters, clams and surprisingly good crabcakes. There’s big taste hidden in that tiny building. Like it hot? Ask for the spicy fried oyster and shrimp platter. Beaches is on The Highway next to B&B Music.

One more quick trip south before we sign off: Lunches at Dewey’s Starboard Raw are always fresh and reasonably priced. And breakfast at Sunrise Restaurant is a hallowed tradition for many who love to start out the day for just a few bucks.

If The Business of Eating requires that you be frugal, then this should keep you busy at least over the weekend. Check this page every Friday for a taste of everything good here at the beach.

  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at byesbek@capegazette.com.

    Masthead photo by Grant Gursky. Used with permission from Coastal Style Magazine.

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