Stand up for yourself when ordering beach eats

June 30, 2023

Several years ago, a mental health professional who pens two weekly newspaper columns (and occasionally hosts a radio talk show) wrote an article about the popular practice of eating while standing up. According to this respected PhD, conventional wisdom suggests that any food consumed while vertical — ideally while leaning over a sink — qualifies as a snack, making it automatically light and healthy. We could enlarge on that and say it applies equally to leftover fried chicken, ice-cold pizza and pork pies. Perhaps “enlarge” was a poor choice of words….

But alas, the prospect of noshing without consequences was short-lived. The good doctor eventually concluded that vertical munching has no impact on the calorific consequences of that over-the-sink munch. Not even a little bit. In other words, food is food. Period.

I take umbrage with that (I usually take it with sausage & pepperoni). This guy’s doctorate degree doesn’t make him an expert in the fundamental laws of beach eating! Vacationers and other denizens of the sand know that food ordered through a window — while standing up — does not count toward your daily maximum requirement of tasty stuff. In fact, nowhere in the Weight Watchers point system do they specifically refer to “window food.” So there.

One can enlarge (yet again) on this idea and therefore assume that window food tastes good precisely because it’s handed to you through a window. Want proof? Many people are longtime fans of Grotto Pizza. There must be some reason why there are two (count ‘em: 2) stand-up Grotto counters on the Rehoboth Boardwalk. When the Caggianos took a sledgehammer to their former Rehoboth Avenue Nicola Pizza spot, thus creating the proverbial pizza pass-through, fans waxed rhapsodic (and we all know how painful that can be) that Nicola’s must have changed its pizza. They couldn’t get enough of it. Ahh, the power of The Window. Interestingly, Nicola’s reinstalled the window at its new location on Coastal Highway in Lewes.

A few more steps west, but still window-worthy in the ocean block, are the two Archie’s locations. Homemade ice cream, freshly squeezed orangeade and lemonade are the order of the day. Co-owner Ercan Sanli’s Turkish-earned mechanical engineering degree comes in handy considering all the shiny, stainless-steel machines that are needed to prepare ice cream and fresh juices.

No leisurely afternoon on the sand is complete without a pilgrimage across the hot boards to Gus & Gus’ Place. Many a nor’easter has done its best to shutter that window, but every spring it blooms like a high-achieving crocus. And what about Thrasher’s warm, peanutty fries? Or Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard? Or savory crepes at Café Papillon? Or good flavors with gross names like Motor Oil and Tastes like Viagra at Chip Hearn’s The Ice Cream Store? Or crunchy filets from Go Fish! Yup: window, window, window, window … and window. Pass the malt vinegar, please.

Times change, of course, and the old downtown Nicola’s window is now the passage through which Tiki Jac’s goodies flow. Longtime restaurateurs Chris and Anthony Jacona know their stuff, and they know just what works on the ocean block. You can even get freshly made Middle Eastern snacks through the window at Semra’s Mediterranean Grill. And though you need to walk a few steps inside, the counter at Louie’s Pizza is still a saucy magnet for pie lovers in the know.

One of the newest spots for window feeding is First State Corn & More in the original Shrimpy’s slot near the Boardwalk. Roasted corn, stuffed roasted potatoes, Cuban sandwiches, pulled pork, jumbo shrimp and some of the best lemonade around can be had simply by peering inside and brandishing a few bucks.

So if that head-shrinkin’ columnist is to be believed, all this vertical chomping may not be quite as virtuous as previously suspected. On the other hand, you’re at the beach during the best time of the year. Stand up to the naysayers and treat yourself to beachy indulgences. And remember to actually stand up. What if he’s wrong? You want to be ready, just in case.

  • 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

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