Ghost town no more, especially on Sunday mornings

February 24, 2023

Folklore has it that the main meal for many of our ancestors was either in the morning or the late morning/early afternoon. For farmers, ranchers and the like, the greatest amount of effort and energy was expended during the day when most of the heavy work was done. More fuel (carbohydrates and fats) was needed to make that happen.

I was unable to discover why the heaviest meals ended up being late in the day or in the early evening, but I can only assume that it’s because we non-farmers and non-ranchers apparently need that evening burst of energy to pilot the remote control through Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like.

But the tradition of big midday meals is alive and well here at the beach in the form of Saturday and Sunday stick-to-your-ribs brunches. Add a mimosa, a bloody mary or a white sangria, and weekend mornings never had it so good. Sunday brunch at Bethany Blues offers everything from build-your-own omelets to smoked favorites. (Ribs! Not just for breakfast anymore!) It’s no secret that these people have the art and science of midday meals perfected. The same can be said for B’Blues’ neighbor to the south, The Starboard. As the long-established, after-the-fact cure-all for late-night imbibing (the Dewey Way of Life and all that…), The Starboard dishes up overflowing breakfasts and brunches for the post-party challenged.

Blackwall at the Beach and sister restaurant Atlantic Social do a particularly fine job providing nourishment, even if you won’t be plowing the south 40. Derek and Zack’s brunch menu at Atlantic Social on Coastal Highway includes their Bourbon-Roasted Pear Salad, their signature Nutella Toast (with banana, strawberry and smoked bacon!) and their addictively desirable Cinnamon French Toast Bake. Selections at Blackwall at the Beach (in the ocean block of The Avenue) are similarly unique, with the added pleasure of live jazz music on the first Sunday of every month.

Brunch is served with a south-of the-border accent at Yolanda Pineda’s Mariachi restaurant. Spice up your Sunday (and Saturday) with Chorizo Eggs Benedict, Yolanda’s handmade pupusas and darkly sweet fried plantains. My favorite is the Desayuno Maya platter that includes one of her handmade, silky-smooth tamales. Mariachi braves the sea breezes on Wilmington Avenue’s ocean block to serve Saturday and Sunday brunch year-round.

On Sunday mornings, Bryan Derrickson’s Conch Island Key West Bar & Grill (on The Avenue Extended near Casa DiLeo) picks up where the party left off with brunch and live music. Local and regional acts keep the fully professional stage rocking so you can enjoy creative fare that includes Conch’s Pancake Charcuterie platter (eight silver dollars surrounded with all the fixins’) and the popular French Toast Fondue.

There are more spots where you can while away the noon hour on a Sunday, but I’m only allotted a certain amount of ink. As I write this, I think about the late ‘60s when my bandmates and I would venture north to Rehoboth (in our VW bus with the painted-on peace sign…) after a very busy (and very loud) weekend rockin’ Jack and June Fisher’s Hideaway Lounge in Ocean City. Few lights flickered on Rehoboth Avenue in the off-season; Grotto, Pappy’s Pizza and the Robin Hood were pretty much it. Ghost town would have described it well. Better dining days are now year-round in Rehoboth – especially on chilly Sunday mornings when there’s always something for everyone.

  • 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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