Ramble into Bramble
One for your must-do list: the just-opened Bramble & Brine in Rehoboth Beach. Owners Megan and Joe Churchman spent the summer renovating the bungalow-style cottage, formerly a flower shop, and adding a real kitchen. Now Joe, a veteran of great local restaurants like Eden and JAM Bistro, is showing a deft hand with meats and a knack for selecting great cheeses. His new American menu changes often, so this one promises to keep our interest for a long, long time. Local diners are raving on the chat sites, so find out why soon. The restaurant is at 315 Rehoboth Ave. 227-7702, https://www.facebook.com/brambleandbrine.
A new favorite place for great burgers: Chrome Café in New Castle, near the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Housed in the Rommel Harley-Davidson dealership building, formerly Mike’s Famous, Chrome is an easily accessed place for breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you eat it early). Burgers are thick and juicy, barbecue pulled pork is tangy and the hotdogs are classic. There are salads, soups—including some bangin’ chili—and wraps, plus weekly special dishes, such as Italian wedding soup and “gobbler” sandwiches with fresh roasted turkey. (Check Chrome’s Facebook pages for updates on specials.) Good news for French fry fans: they are cooked in a Quik-N-Crispy greaseless deep fryer that uses 25 percent to 55 percent less fat than conventional deep fryers. The complementary popcorn bar offers 12 different seasonings, and there are discounts for retired and active military, police, fire and EMS with valid ID. We like. 658-8800
The latest from the mad scientists at Dogfish Head Craft Brewing is here, American Beauty, a collaboration between the brewery and the Grateful Dead. Named after the band’s seminal album (yes, we still called them albums then), American Beauty is a pale ale made of all homegrown ingredients (“homegrown,” as in the United States). The band members chose the style, a fan chose the ingredient that makes it uniquely Dead: granola. Perfect. “We searched high and low for the right granola, and Grizzlies in Eugene, Ore., made the connection,” says Thomas Butler, the fan who suggested it—and he couldn’t have chosen better. “Their organic mix lends American Beauty light almond notes and touches of orange-blossom honey. The components of granola—honey, toasted grains, oats—offer a lot from a beer perspective.” A chemist by day and home brewer by night, Butler visited Dogfish to make the test batch. “It was fun brewing with these guys,” he says. “The Dead built their own institution, their own identity. It’s a family. And Dogfish culture is big, too. They’re the pioneers of playing with beer.” American Beauty is available on draft and in 750-ml bottles across the state. Find out exactly where at dogfish.com.
You still have a couple of days to help local charities by participating in the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Local Dish Challenge. Simply visit the outstanding House of William and Merry and Matt Haley’s Catch 54 in Fenwick Island and Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany and order their special dishes. Bill Hoffman of The House of William and Merry offers Scallops and Oysters, a dish with pan-seared Jersey scallops, local corn, butternut squash and oyster mushrooms with a white-truffle vinaigrette. Corporate chef Doug Ruley of Haley’s SoDel Concept has created baby beets and Brussels sprouts panzanella with soy, yuzu and truffle. One dollar from every dish sold through Oct. 31 will be donated to the JBF Taste America Education Drive, which supports educational programs including the JBF Food Conference, the JBF Leadership Awards and the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. When you dine at the restaurants, take your phone and prepare to snap a photo of the dish and post to Instagram. The city with the highest number of Instagram posts with the # of their city wins a $10,000 donation to a local charity. If Hockessin wins, it will donate to Meals on Wheels Delaware. If it is #Rehoboth, the charity will be the Global Delaware Fund. “The Global Delaware Fund works closely with the Delaware Food Bank, Cape Henlopen Food Basket and Good Earth Market to fill the gaps in the social safety net here in Delaware, so the opportunity to do more by supporting the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Education Drive made sense for us,” Haley says. More than 50 top restaurants from around the country have joined the challenge, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Perry St in New York City, Jenn Louis’ Lincoln in Portland and Nate Whiting’s Tristan in Charleston. So eat out often, and don’t forget those special dishes when you do.
Meals On Wheels Delaware, Two Stones Pub and Out & About Magazine present Giving On Tap on Nov. 6. Guests will enjoy an exclusive evening of specialty hand-crafted beers and appetizers provided by Two Stones Pub on Naamans Road while supporting homebound seniors. Or upgrade to a VIP table to enjoy an additional hour of craft brews and food, including a private hour with celebrity bartender Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, samplings of reserved beers, and a family-style dinner (at each table) paired with specialty bottles of handcrafted beer. Says executive director Mari Considine of Meals on Wheels, “Giving On Tap is a great opportunity for people who may not be involved with Meals On Wheels Delaware to support the seniors in our community who need it most while enjoying some of the area’s best craft-brews.” For tickets, hit mealsonwheelsde.org/got
If you haven’t heard already. Eating Lewes is here. Like its sister, Eating Rehoboth, participants will be led on an eating and drinking tour of a few of the town’s finest restaurants. The remaining two Lewes culinary walking tours happen Nov. 7 and Nov. 21. You’ll be squired about by founder Deb Griffin and foodie-musician Paul Cullen of Sonata Wines. Eating Rehoboth, which debuted early last summer, was a smash, with the 500th guest joining in about a month ago. The Rehoboth tours continue to sell out each weekend, so they’ll be offered through November. Don’t miss the fun. eatingrehoboth.com