Get your foodie kicks in with Brazilian, Greek, Italian and other specialties without leaving the coastline. Matt Haley in May opened Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in a former oyster warehouse across from Catch 54 in Fenwick. “We’ll have 18 different kinds of tacos, ranging from lamb mole to lobster to fried clams to tongue,” Haley says. “Rice bowls” include a dish made with pork belly, pineapple and plantain. Expect an impressive list of rums and tequilas, as well as fresh juices for virgin cocktails. Haley could have torn down the barn-like warehouse for much less than it cost to restore it, but he appreciates the old wood building. (436-7272, papagrandes.com) Would-be gauchos and hard core carnivores will be happy to hear about Sirlae’s Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse in Millville. Owner Christopher Lockhart didn’t look far for inspiration: His wife, Sirlae, is Brazilian. A flat fee of $42 gets you all the churrascaria-grilled meat you can eat carved tableside—lamb, chicken, Brazilian sausages and, of course, steak. At the help-yourself salad bar, you’ll find imported cheeses, cured meats and Brazilian specialties. Sides are served family-style. (616-1046, sirlaesbraziliansteakhouse.com) If it sounds Greek, you’re likely dining at The Corner Grille in Rehoboth Beach. There is now more seating so more guests can savor the souvlaki and spanikopita. Diners who lean toward American dishes will no doubt find something to satisfy their appetite. (227-7653, facebook.com/pages/Corner-Grille/144682816430). What else is new at the beach? See the latest in our annual roundup here.
Newark’s restaurant scene is as tasty as it is diverse. Ali Baba, Newark’s premier contemporary Middle Eastern restaurant, offers inspired Mediterranean cuisine. It offers dishes from Lebanon, Israel and Morocco, creating a culinary journey for the palate and senses. Bashar al Barouqi and his brothers, Ousamah and Hecham, opened the restaurant in October 2001. “We like the Newark area because it has a lot of educated people,” he says. “They’ve been around. They know a lot. They’re open-minded.” The restaurant uses fresh ingredients. It also offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan selections. The family is intimately involved in the day-to-day operations. “We do everything ourselves,” says Bashar. “We serve. We are very friendly to the customers. We know many, if not all, of them.” Ali Baba offers an impressive list of wines from all over the world, featuring favorites from Morocco, Lebanon, France, Italy and California. The decor is authentically Moroccan and exquisitely appointed with exotic earth-toned tapestries. The restaurant offers customers the option to sit at a sofa or enjoy regular table seating. There’s even a hookah bar on the front patio, where patrons can also order food and drinks. “The hookah bar helps us to draw more attention and people,” says Bashar al Barouqi. (alibabacuisine.com) Ali Baba is just one of many restaurants giving Newark a dash of international flavor—and a pinch of American. Learn more from DT’s annual guide to Newark here.
Stew on This
Reporter Shari Short is here to see you get your fruits and vegetables—not to mention protein. Enjoy this vegetarian delight from the great cooks at Newark Natural Foods.
Sumptuous Squashâ€¨ and Chickpea Moroccan Stew â€¨(Serves 6 to 8)
1 tablespoon unsalted butterâ€¨â€¨
1 tablespoon olive oilâ€¨â€¨
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
â€¨4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
â€¨2 teaspoons ground cuminâ€¨â€¨
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stickâ€¨
Salt and freshly ground black pepperâ€¨â€¨
1 1-pound butternut squash, large diceâ€¨â€¨
¾-pound red potatoes, large diceâ€¨â€¨
2 vegetable brothâ€¨
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drainedâ€¨â€¨
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juicesâ€¨â€¨
Pinch saffron threads (optional)â€¨â€¨
1 cup brined green olivesâ€¨â€¨
Steamed couscous, for serving (directions here and elsewhere on the web)â€¨â€¨
Fresh cilantro leaves, or parsley, chopped, for garnishâ€¨â€¨
Toasted slivered almonds, for garnishâ€¨â€¨
Plain yogurt, for garnishâ€¨â€¨
Hot sauce of your choice (for serving)
How do you put it all together? Click here. And don’t miss more great recipes in DT’s Get Healthy, Delaware! electronic newsletter. You might even want to subscribe.
A Week of Heaven
Who was in on Rehoboth Restaurant Week last year? Let’s say it was nothing short of a who’s who, and it was such a rousing success, it’s back. Restaurant Week 2013 will happen June 2-8. Hit your favorite participating place for a delicious prix fixe dinner of $20 or $30 for three courses. From Italian to Irish to Asian, Latin and something in between—not to mention vegetarian and cutting-edge fare—there’s something for everyone. This year’s line-up isn’t final yet, but expect many return places from last year. They include Adriatico Ristorante & Cafe, a(MUSE.), é, Blue Moon, Cabo Modern Mexican Tequila Bar, Café Azafran, Catchers, Corner Grille, Cultured Pearl, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Dos Locos Fajita & Stonegrill Restaurant, Eden Restaurant, Espuma, Hobo’s Restaurant & Bar, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Jake’s Seafood House, Jam Bistro, Lupo di Mare, Mariachi Restaurant, MIXX, Pig & Fish Restaurant, Planet X Café, Ristorante Zebra, Rigby’s Bar & Grill, Salt Air, Stingray Sushi Bar & Latin Fusion Grill, Stoney Lonen, Summer House and Victoria’s Restaurant. Then keep your eyes on the website for more as the event nears. For more, call 227-2772, or hit downtownrehoboth.com/downtown-happenings/restaurant-week.htm.
A Slice of Heaven
Heads up for June 8, which is when the Brandywine Food & Wine Festival happens at The Myrick Conservation Center in West Chester, Pa. The wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail join with local restaurants and other food purveyors to celebrate the best of the area. Stroll the grounds of Myrick Conservation Center—a heavenly slice of the fabled Chester County—while enjoying the food and drink, craft vendors and live music. Participating wineries include: Black Walnut Winery, Borderland Vineyard, Chaddsford Winery, Grace Winery, Kreutz Creek Vineyards, Paradocx Vineyards, Patone Cellars, Penns Woods Winery and Twin Brook Winery. To see who’s coming with food, check the website as the event draws near. It’s a fabulous day. (610) 444-3842, bvwinetrail.com
Crazy for Burgers
The second annual Wilmington Burger Battle will take place Aug. 24 at Twin Lakes Brewing Co. in Greenville. Area restaurants—including last year’s critic’s choice Kildare’s Irish Pub and people’s choice Union City Grille—are expected to throw down again for an outdoor, rain-or-shine charity event. Proceeds support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room. Admission prices will include food, beer tastings, soft drinks, and music; tickets to this limited-capacity tasting event will be available in early summer through wilmingtonburgerbattle.com. Event co-founder Matthew Curtis, chef-owner of Union City Grille, says, “I consider the burger to be the perfect food, and a restaurant’s burger can really tell you a lot about its quality. We were thrilled that 16 of Delaware’s best restaurants came together last year to compete, and are hoping for more this year. I bet some of last year’s chefs want a rematch with me!” More than 400 people attended the 2012 event to place their votes for People’s Choice Burger, and the event raised more than $4,000 to fight hunger. Three Delaware sports legends served as Delebrity judges, tasting 18 burgers like champs, ultimately declaring Kildare’s burger their favorite. “We are hoping for a rich field of entries in the Alternative Burger category this year,” says Battle co-founder JulieAnne Cross. “Many of our vegetarian friends supported the event last year, and we want them to enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the Delaware-brewed Twin Lakes beer.” The Twin Lakes farm in Greenville has again agreed to be the host, and event proceeds will again support the Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving more than 180,000 nutritious meals at no cost and with no questions asked. Restaurants are encouraged to contact email@example.com for more information. Look for more as the event draws near.
Love wine? Win VIP access to the Brandywine Food and Wine Festival on June 8 and a private tasting for 20 at a Brandywine Valley Wine Trail member winery of your choosing! Enter before May 27th to be eligible! Just click here.