It’s a proven fact: Oceans and breakfasts just go together

May 24, 2018

So many people tell me that the only time they eat breakfast is when they're on vacation. City life can be unsuited to a leisurely morning meal, so we settle for cold cereal, the occasional muffin or perhaps a 48 oz., 3500 calorie Caramelato ChocoVenti Triple Mochaccino Frappolata Zippotino (leaving room for cream, of course) at You-Know-Who-Bucks drive-thru.

But not at the beach! Some of my fondest childhood memories involve fidgeting in line at the long-gone Avenue Restaurant, inhaling the heady mix of ocean breeze, bacon and hot coffee. Does anyone remember Garrison's Olde English Doughnuts, near where Chip Hearn's Ice Cream Store is now? Very convenient from the old Carlton Hotel (no A/C in those days, so you could smell 'em cooking around 6 a.m.). I silently pine for them as I tread the treadmill.

You can't throw a Pop-Tart around here without hitting (and probably denting) a place that serves breakfast. Sunday brunches are a favorite, and Blackwall Hitch, Blue Moon, Front Porch Café, G Rehoboth and Victoria's make for relaxing, upscale experiences. Upscale not your thing? You can't go wrong at Bethany Blues Lewes, Café Azáfrán, Crystal (even without the old red awning), Mariachi, Robin Hood, Dave & Skippy's, Sammy's Kitchen, Egg, Royal Treat, Dewey's Sunrise and The Starboard. And don't forget Lewes' iconic Surf Bagel (Taylor Pork Roll!) and Petru Cornescu's Honey's Farm Fresh.

By the way, this is Delaware and you're at the beach. So leave your diet at home. Here in the First State we give good scrapple. Enough already with the eye rolling. All that bad press is just the Food Police trying to ruin your stay at the beach. Properly cooked – well-done and a little crispy – our own Rapa brand, Hughes Delaware Maid and Kirby & Holloway are gently spiced and flavorful. Most local eateries will be proud to tell you what trademark they serve.

Morning treasures lurk behind unassuming storefronts and big-chain signs. George Stakias dishes up traditional breakfast fare at Goolee's Grille at 2nd & Wilmington. And with a little prodding, more than one local will admit to scarfing IHOP's pancakes, an impossibly fresh bear claw from Panera, grits-laced dishes from Cracker Barrel and that chicken/egg & biscuit from Chick-fil-A.

No early-morning Boardwalk walk would be complete without Gus and Gus' Place. They've survived decades of hurricanes and nor'easters, so the Food Police are no match for these guys. Quickie breakfasts are their thing, and fried chicken and cheesesteaks are the sleepers there. Not for breakfast, you say? You're at the beach, for goodness' sake!

Breakfast by the ocean is a big deal, and I'm sure I missed a few places. But don't despair. My Bakery Roundup is spellchecked and ready to go. Stay tuned.

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