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Savor: Hey Esquire, Thanks, but No Thanks


Dead Presidents’ famous Chicken Nixon with a Yuengling earned notice from the famous men’s magazine.
Photograph by Thom Thompson www.thomthompson.com

We were delighted that Esquire magazine chose Dead Presidents Bar and Restaurant for its Best Bars in America issue—even if we’re not sure what to make of it.

To wit: “[At Dead Presidents], you’re having: Chicken Nixon and a Yuengling. If you’re visiting Wilmington (and who wouldn’t be?), the bartenders at this laid-back Irish pub in Little Italy are going to know it, because they’ll have no idea what to pour you. But if you ever come back, your drink’ll be at the bar before you are.”

There are two possible interpretations: Come twice and you’re family, or you’d only visit Wilmington if you were bound, gagged and dropped there. (Esquire meant the former, we’re sure.)

But about that chicken and beer thing: Had the reporter spent more than 45 minutes here, he would have found the combo ubiquitous. So it missed dozens of restaurants for Blue Hen and brews. Here are three:

At Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in Newark and Wilmington, the chicken breast comes smothered in cheddar with bacon, lettuce, tomato, roasted shallots and black pepper aïoli. The brews are now classics: Iron Hill Light Lager, Anvil Ale, Pig Iron Porter, Raspberry Wheat.

When you order the B.Y.O.C. (build your own grilled chicken) at Washington Street Ale House in Wilmington, there’s a host of toppings at your disposal—six cheeses, bacon, mushrooms, bell peppers, fried onions, guacamole, jalapeños, chili and barbecue sauce—as well as a great selection of drafts.

At Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth, the wood-grilled chicken is marinated in stone-grain mustard, cracked black pepper and its own Shelter Pale Ale, then topped with Swiss cheese and applewood-smoked bacon. The Beanie Bock is brewed with German dark wheat malt, pilsner malt, Munich malt and
crystal malt.

—Maria Hess

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