We are officially in the New Year now and we can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2013. Nonetheless, we are slowly adjusting to writing 2014 on checks and documents. While we are eager to see what the new year will bring us here at ShoreBread, we couldn’t help but take a look back at the past year and round-up the ‘Best Of’ our ‘Best Of’. After a few nostalgic hours of pouring through old photography, social media posts and articles, we’ve come to one glaring conclusion – the Eastern Shore truly is the best place to live. Take a look at some of the Best Of 2013 …
Best of – Farm to Table: The Grove Market
12402 St. Martins Neck Road, Bishopville, MD
The Grove Market is the quintessential hidden gem around these parts. Most tourists will never know the glory that is The Grove Market, and for them we are truly saddened. For starters, the hole-in-the-wall market (and we mean that as a compliment) is tucked away in Bishopville on St. Martin’s Neck Road, which means its next to impossible for throngs of tourists to stumble upon. Second, the reservation system is tricky. Reservations are required and can be made only by leaving a voicemail – typically two weeks out from when you actually want to go. It’s a crap shoot as to whether you will actually get a call back, or you’re desired time slot, but if you do, you’re in for a real treat. There is no menu, as the dinner line-up changes daily based on what’s available and what’s freshest. There is also no menu to look at, literally. The servers spout off the list of dishes with an impressive amount of detail and memory, leaving you frantically trying to cram all the information in your brain while deciding what to eat because it all sounds so damn good. Intrigued? You should be.
Best of – Sunsets: The Lobster Shanty
37310 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, DE
For waterfront dining in Fenwick Island, shoot down Route 54 and grab a seat at Twining’s Lobster Shanty. Every table has a great view of the marsh, which means an equally great view of an August sunset. Happy Hour at the Sunset Bar runs from 11:30am to 6pm daily, with a number of food and drink specials. For snacking, order the chunky lobster guacamole – it’s a mix of two of our favorite things, guac and lobster meat. For bigger bites, there’s enough lobster options to make your head spin – lobster newburg, lobster thermidor, lobster tails, lobster pot pie, lobster cakes – you get the drift. If you’re a fan of Nantucket’s Restaurant, than you’ll be sure to fall in love with the Lobster Shanty, after all, its under the care of the same ownership.
Best of – Wine Bars: The Maryland Wine Bar
103 North Main Street, Berlin, MD
We are always looking for a good excuse to head to Main Street in Berlin, whether it’s to visit the local sweets shops, grab a bite to eat, or sample some fine Maryland wines at the Maryland Wine Bar. The Wine Bar is a more recent addition to the downtown Berlin scene, and is notably the only Wine Bar and Tasting Room dedicated to Maryland wines. This quaint spot is focused entirely on wines – reds, whites, sparkling wines, hard ciders, dessert wines and ports. There are also frequent wine tastings to enjoy. Adjacent to the bar area is a tasting room that is tantamount to sitting in your own living room. The cozy space is the perfect spot for enjoying a glass of wine. Simply divine.
Best of – Fall Festivals: Bridgeville Apple Scrapple Festival – October 11 & 12
There are several foods that are indigenous to our area, blue crabs being the most notable, but chances are if you travel outside of the Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania or Virginia zip codes and order a side of scrapple, you’ll be met with a blank stare. If you aren’t familiar with scrapple, it really is one of those foods you have to try for yourself. Bridgeville is the scrapple capital; after all, RAPA Scrapple was incorporated there in 1926. For the past 22 years, Bridgeville has been celebrating what bests represents Sussex County – apples and scrapple. The Apple-Scrapple Festival is more than just apples and scrapple though, there’s an abundance of food including oyster sandwiches, BBQ, cheesesteaks and more. Entertainment includes a car show hosted by the Southern Delaware Street Rod Association, a carnival, the Little Miss Apple Scrapple Contest, crafts shows, trade shows, apple baking contests, children’s’ rides and games, and an entertainment stage with live music. You’ll be sure to see us there!
Best of – Pies: The Bake Shoppe
222 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth, DE
Stop in The Bake Shoppe in Rehoboth for just about anything your heart desires, from cookies to cupcakes to donuts and pastries. It’s easy to get distracted with all the sweet smells filling the air, so try and stay focused on the pies….for now. All of the pies are made with a homemade crust. Options include Pumpkin, Tri-Fruit, Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Lemon-Meringue, Key-Lime, Chocolate-Cream, and Banana-Cream. And while you’re there, go ahead and treat yourself to one of their classic Polish Babkas. As the seasons change, so do the fillings.
Best of – Seafood: Off the Hook
769 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE
When it comes to being fresh, honest and local, Off the Hook raises the bar in fresh seafood. Local seafood purveyors such as Williams and Son Fish Co., Reliant Fish, and Chet and Wes Townsend keep the kitchen stocked with the freshest seafood year-round. The menu changes with the seasons, but expect fresh Chincoteague Oysters, Seared Scallops served over a short-rib stroganoff, or Porcini-Encrusted Tuna. The good news is if you’re not in the Bethany area, you can head to one of Off the Hook’s sister restaurants in Fenwick Island (Just Hooked) and Ocean City (Hooked).
Best of – Off-Season Fun: Sushi De Kanpai
109 W. Main Street, Salisbury, MD
School is back in session at our local colleges, Salisbury University and Wor-Wic Community College. Higher education isn’t easy, and in our opinion some of the best brain food is sushi – no particular reason, it just is. Not far from SU, in the downtown strip of Salisbury is Sushi De Kanpai. It’s easily our favorite sushi spot in Salisbury, with a number of rolls we can’t get enough of. For the spicy eater, order the Caliente roll – tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, wasabi tobiko and jalepenos topped with crabmeat and tempura bits. A house favorite is the Kanpai roll, with tuna, smoked salmon, scallops, crab, avocado and tobiko wrapped in sliced white radish and dressed with a spicy sauce. For the non-sushi lover, there are a number of cooked options to choose from, with an entire menu of authentic Japanese food for the tasting.
Best of – Hiking: Assateague Island
In the summertime, we focus our attentions on the beach and the surf at Assateague. Admittedly, we sometimes forget about the variety of paved and unpaved trails throughout the barrier island that are perfect for an afternoon of hiking. To be precise, there are 37 miles of beach to wander at Assateague Island, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. For a complete list of trails and associated maps, visit the National Park Service website. Both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the park yield loops and trails along both the beach and bay. The Service Road offers the longest trail, with seven miles of scenic views of both Maryland and Virginia. Or opt for the Wildlife Loop, a 3.25 mile hike around Snow Goose Pool. Take the Swan Cove Trail from here and make your way to the beachfront. The options are endless.