DIY sizzle on stone or salt

August 2, 2018

Part of the fun of dinner at home is that you get to cook your food exactly the way you like it. Of course, the fun of going to a restaurant is that you get waited on by (hopefully) smiling servers. But a couple of places around Rehoboth Beach let you do both at the same time.

Mit Patel and his team at Dos Locos Stonegrill serve up the best of both worlds: Everything's delivered to your table (including swimming-pool size margaritas) – and you get to cook the food to your liking! It's called Stonegrilling, and the concept is simple: You sear your personal steak, shrimp, fish, pork, chicken or mixed grill on an FDA-approved volcanic stone heated to 752 degrees. By the way, this is not for children. The reason is simple: 752 degrees! Duh.

The experience has some interesting upsides. First, the high temperatures quickly sear-in the juices. Second, the meats are trimmed of excess fat to keep them from splattering or flaring up, so they're naturally lower in calories. As the stone slowly cools after about 30 minutes, you can keep your dinner warm simply by leaving it on the stone.

Another side-effect of Stonegrilling is the wonderful aroma in the restaurant. The sizzling proteins impart a savory warmth to Dos Locos that is guaranteed to make you hungry. Linda, Geno, Alex and the entire crew at Dos Locos are proud of their Stonegrill System and the special oven that both cleans and reheats the volcanic blocks. Specially designed underplates protect the table from a "China Syndrome"-style meltdown (minus Jack Lemmon and all the screaming, of course).

Wanna try it at home? One of the most popular gourmet shops in Rehoboth Beach can provide you with the wherewithal to do some of this yourself. Joy Quinn-Whalen, Dan Slagel, Brenda Pfautsch and the crew at Spice & Tea Exchange sell bricks and blocks of pure salt harvested from the Himalayan mountain range of Pakistan.

The most popular are the Pink Salt Slabs that can not only be heated Dos Locos-style, but can be frozen for keeping sushi, vegetables and dips cold at the table. The dense slabs of pure salt retain the heat and cold long enough to make any meal a party.

So try it at home (careful!), or visit the gang at Dos Locos. Stonegrilling is fun wherever you do it. Of course Geno and his bar crew have those swimming-pool size margaritas waiting for you.

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