It was over 100 degrees during the first two days of our vacation, so we took advantage of the air conditioned outlets and avoided the steamy beaches. We got a lot of great deals on clothing and accessories. For some reason we always seem to shop for clothing on vacation. We're more relaxed and we have time to talk to the salespeople to really get what we want and need. I've done a lot of outlet shopping and the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth beach are among my favorites. Delaware is tax-free, so that's always great. Plus, they have some of my favorite stores: Kenneth Cole, Chicos, Soma, Banana Republic... maybe you have other favorites, but those are the shops that make me happy.
Once the temperatures went back to normal we spent some time on the beach...
And of course we had to eat. We checked out Mariachi for the first time. It's about two blocks from the Rehoboth boardwalk on Wilmington Avenue. For a resort-area restuarant, the food was pretty authentic. The restaurant is two stories and we ate on the second floor balcony. There were ceiling fans blowing and a nice ocean breeze. We could see the ocean and the street below... pretty nice for Delaware. My mom enjoyed dinner with us...
I had this really flavorful roasted chicken with an onion saute. It was well seasoned, but not spicy. I loved that all of our food was served with black beans and rice.
My mom ordered shirmp sauteed with onions and peppers.
My hubby had some type of grilled pork topped with sweet plantains (which I promptly stole from his plate) and veggies.
Dinner was delightful. The margaritas were great (as expected) and the complimentary chips and salsa were fresh and much appreciated.
Oh, and we had to get dessert. I've told you how my husband loves Tres Leches. Well, Mariachi had it on the menu so we had to see if it was up to our standards.
Oh yes... it was really good! The cake was obviously homemade. There was a delicious swirl of a light, thin caramel sauce on the plate. The whipped topping was almost as stiff as marshmallow, but not too sweet. We devoured this cake in less than two minutes. We wanted more. We resisted. There was much more eating to do.
We hit my favorite happy hour spot, Saketumi, three times during the week. I enjoyed my favorite drinks (Mandarin Awesome and Bay Breeze) and my favorite sushi rolls (salmon and sweet potato tempura). Oh, and I also love their lettuce wraps.
We also went to my favorite down-home restaurant, Jimmy's Grille in Bridgeville (which is not at the beach, it's about 30 minutes inland in Bridgeville, DE). Now Jimmy's isn't fancy. They don't have a website and they don't even take credit cards. It's the type of place where you seat yourself. It's also the type of place that sells slippery dumplings and has the best fried chicken in the state (I'd argue in the region). You know it's good when someone who doesn't even like fried chicken (me) will eat it.
Of course, we were too busy eating for me to even take a picture, so here's an example of the fare they serve (from our trip in 2009):
Yes, that's chicken and waffles! And fresh sweet corn and apples. We're so greedy that we went to Jimmy's on Wednesday night for dinner, then returned on Thursday morning for breakfast. Oh, it gets better... Thurday is dumpling day, so we made sure that we came late for breakfast to give them time to start cooking lunch. We paid the breakfast check then took our lunch to go and feasted on fried chicken and dumplings for dinner. And homemade rolls. And cream cheese pecan pie. And banana walnut cake with cream cheese icing.
I need to go on a diet.
Anyway... speaking of breakfast, I read about The Fractured Prune on Nadette's blog earlier this summer. There are multiple locations around the country, but this one is in Rehoboth Beach. It's a donut shop that will customize your plain donuts by adding different glazes and toppings. The decor is a bit... creative. It reminded me of a day care center.
I thought the donuts were good, but not superior to others I've experienced. Who doesn't love fried dough dipped in sugar? They were a nice treat with my morning coffee, but they aren't beating the donuts at the local bakery near my office. I'm just sayin'.
(This is a really long post.)
Have I ever mentioned my husband's love for beer? He especially appreciates craft beer and there are two craft breweries in Delaware, both in the southern part of the state. We toured Dogfish Head Brewery (which is about 30 minutes from Rehoboth Beach) last week...
In my circle they are most famous for their 120 IPA, which has an insanely high alcohol content (something like 18%). They brew it in limited quantities an the latest batch came out this week, in case you want to try it out. I don't like beer and I could still drink it.
I gave him all my free samples. He was very happy. Just look at him.
We also ate at the Dogfish Restaurant on Rehoboth Ave. They had a nice (short, free) spirits tour where they explained how they make rum and vodka. Although the the spirits tour didn't include free tastings, you can buy a sampler for like $6 at the bar. My opinion? The food at Dogfish is forgettable, but the drinks are nice. They even have mixed drinks for those of us who don't get down with beer.
So all and all it was a great week. If any of you live in the Mid-Atlantic, I suggest the Delaware/Maryland beaches as a nice family vacation spot. I didn't even tell you all the details of our week, but I can answer any questions about my favorite vacation spot in my home state if you're interested.
Can you believe that it's the "end" of summer already?