The perfect way to start your day

May 19, 2022

So many people tell me that the only time they eat breakfast is when they’re on vacation. Big (and not-so-big)-city life can be unsuited to a leisurely morning meal, so we settle for cold cereal, some nasty protein bar or perhaps a 53 oz., 3,000-calorie Caramelato ChocoVenti Triple Mochaccino Frappolata (leave room for cream) 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.). No wonder I have to walk on the treadmill every day.

You can’t throw a waffle (topped with fried chicken) around here without hitting (and probably denting) a place that serves breakfast. Sunday brunches are a favorite, and Bethany Blues, Blue Moon, Victoria’s, Purple Parrot, The Pines and Blackwall at the Beach make for relaxing, upscale experiences. Blackwall even dishes up live jazz on the first Sunday of every month. Upscale not your thing? You can’t go wrong at Robin Hood, Crystal, Sunny Bay Café, Goolee’s Grill, Port 251 and Sammy’s Kitchen. In Dewey, both Sunrise and the Starboard are breakfast central. With a little prodding, more than one local will admit to scarfing IHOP’s pancakes as well as grits-laced dishes from the southern-flavored Cracker Barrel. By the way, don’t forget the creative Egg restaurant near the drawbridge in Rehoboth. In Lewes, both Eggcellent and Honey’s Farm Fresh are happy to wake you up. (Sadly, Royal Treat in Rehoboth will not be serving breakfast this season.) 

By the way, this is Delaware, and 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, Habbersett and Kirby & Holloway are gently spiced and flavorful. Most local eateries will be proud to tell you what trademark they serve. And that there’s all you need to know ‘bout scrapple.

No early-morning Rehoboth Boardwalk stroll 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. Fried chicken is the sleeper 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 spell-checked and ready to go. Stay tuned.

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