Start your day at the beach with a creative breakfast
My column a few weeks ago paying homage to the venerable Robin Hood of Rehoboth sparked a flurry of breakfast emails. If the number of new restaurants early in the morning is any indication, I guess breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day.
The Nook in Milton and Eggcellent in Lewes are both run by charming husband and wife teams. Dina (The Nook) and Elina (Eggcellent) both made their debuts at Dewey’s iconic Sunrise restaurant, where owner and grill master Ismet runs a very tight ship. This efficiency is reflected in Dina’s and Elina’s restaurants with good service and attention to detail.
It’s only been a few weeks since Sunny Bay opened in the former Sydney / Pig & Fish / Cuvee Ray spot, and Laurie Orfanidis and Ben Stoner are busy making morning treats. (By the way, they will be the guests on my radio show this Saturday at 2 p.m.) A few steps west of there, the Egg restaurant (just east of the drawbridge) brings a bit of high end to the first meal of the day with lemon curd pancakes, peanut butter French toast and that famous addicting Sriracha bacon candy. Of course, we can’t forget George “Goolee” Stakias’ Goolee’s Grill in First and Wilmington, and the two pillars of the promenade representing two ends of the dining spectrum: Victoria’s restaurant on the fine dining end and the main dish Gus & Gus ‘Place’ up for morning treats out the window.
In Lewes, don’t forget Kaisy’s (quick bites behind the wheel are their specialty) where the roads of Wescoats, Savannah and Clay meet. A few blocks from Savannah is Honey’s Farm Fresh. Order their reimagining of the humble latke. Once you’ve got theirs, you can’t go back. And it’s even better on a real train at the new Ocean View location (where Royal Zephyr and Salted Rim were). Always good breakfasts at Honey.
Memorial Day can now be called the past, and the Starboard (all year round) is still one of the favorite breakfast spots in Dewey Beach. At the end of the afternoon, it turns into a party center and a crushing center. This place has been booming since the mid-60s, when Duke Duggan’s Last Resort bar served spaghetti, meatballs and winter songs to the few locals of the day. Add after add was built as the popular tavern began to spread. In the mid-1980s, the Hearn family’s Bloody Mary bar (originally designed in old Country Squire in Rehoboth) introduced breakfast to the Starboard. The resulting influx of hot sauces evolved into the famous Peppers store (and online sauce store) now based in Lewes.
In 1999, The Starboard was sold to a trio of restaurant partners who continued to promote breakfasts that cut the stomach and cure hangovers. One of them is Steve “Monty” Montgomery, a practical guy who seems to be everywhere at the same time. As a “12-year-old working on the beach,” he sold hot dogs on the sand, rented umbrellas, and worked for the Hearns at the Starboard, which is always a morning magnet for groggy partiers. The DIY tradition continues with The Starboard Omelet. Early morning diners should probably be advised not to use heavy machinery until later in the day, but they can still make their own breakfast with three eggs, one of seven fresh vegetables, a choice of eight ( count them – 8) kinds of cheese and seven meats, including crabmeat and jerk chicken. Those who prefer to leave the build to the pros can choose from breakfast combos like The Body Shop (egg whites and veg can be offset by the addition of Velveeta and scrapple); The Hot As Huevos (a nod to former owner and famous chilihead Chip Hearn) and The Kitchen Sink (use your imagination, then top it with hollandaise sauce).
The humble egg is further graced with Delmarva eggs (Benedict and crab meat), Arnold eggs (which comes after Benedict, except scrambled) and the aptly named Hangover Helper – a light and refreshing plate that starts with cookies. buttermilk topped with scrambled eggs, a choice of meat, hash browns and a choice of cheeses. The homemade sausage sauce will make you forget your hangover in favor of a whole new one. True spank can go even further with The Full Monty: All of the above, plus pancakes or French toast. Don’t order it if you are using a 5K anytime soon. Or a 1K. Or climb stairs.
Partners Steve “Monty” Montgomery (still there), Jim Weisgerber (the Bethany Blues BBQ specialist) and Dickie Heidenberger (still a kitesurf fanatic and ice cream specialist) have a genuine respect for the story that has makes Starboard what it is today: music, dance and sip-central in Dewey. Their traditional service for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar has long loved locals and vacationers alike for this Dewey way of life.