Fenwick Island’s Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria Opens

Chef Matt Haley’s mixes pan-Latin cuisine with a healthy dose of tequila for a south-of-the-border taste in Sussex County.

When the big garage door on the second floor is open and the breeze is blowing, the upstairs of Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria feels more like a cantina on the Gulf of California than the hottest new restaurant in Fenwick Island. After 15 years of annual visits to Mexico, chef Matt Haley, the force behind such great beach-area places as Blue Coast Seafood Grill in Bethany and Catch 54—next to Papa’s—knew just how to turn his vision into reality. But don’t expect a strictly Mexican menu. Haley tapped his knowledge of other Latino cultures, gained through his charitable associations with local immigrants and employees, to create a wide-ranging menu. That means you can enjoy dishes like a rice bowl of shrimp and fried plantains with Serrano ham and zucchini, and order your tacos with Haley’s signature fried baby lobster tails, or with local foods like scrapple or fried chicken. The bar stocks most of the tequilas available in Delaware—some with the Papa crew’s own infusions—and its first batch of house-aged tequila will mature in about three years. Salud. (436-PAPA, papagrandes.com)

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