When The Rehoboth Foodie (who shall remain anonymous) moved to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware almost 10 years ago, he had no idea where he was headed. Coming from the metropolitan area of DC, he worked on the side as a freelancer for the Washington Post and owned his own upscale BBQ restaurant and catering company. He knew he had a passion for journalism, and most definitely a love for great food, but what the future food blogger did not expect was for his two passions to fit so seamlessly together.
Fast forward 10 years and the Rehoboth Foodie has built a major brand that is known by locals and tourists alike across the Eastern Shore. What started out as a simple website to entertain friends has turned into a necessity for the local culinary industry. One night friends started joking about his opinionated nature in regards to his experiences when going out to eat and began urging him to start writing a blog. One thing led to another and Rehoboth Foodie was born. It didn’t take long though, within a matter of days Rehoboth Foodie was getting hundreds of hits. “’I was absolutely taken aback by the amount of attention it got, it was just a silly little website,” he told us this week. It was then that he realized the need for something like this in the Rehoboth area, “there are over two hundred restaurants and people are bound to get overwhelmed, they want bang for their buck.”
Hundreds of emails a day clogged the Rehoboth Foodie’s inbox as confused tourists started asking questions about where to get the best sushi on Rehoboth Avenue or the best Mexican in Lewes so he started organizing the website by location and food genre to make it easier to navigate. In an effort to stay objective, the Rehoboth Foodie decided to stay anonymous when going into restaurants. “In the beginning, it was easy because no one knew me; it’s harder to do that now because I’ve been around town awhile,” he explained. Because it’s a small town, for reviewing purposes, he tries not to get to know the owners of restaurants so he can keep writing truthful reviews. “It’s challenging because they are all great people and have stories, but when I have a bad experience, it’s important for me to write about it for my readers and the owners will inevitably get angry,” he said. While he gets over 100 emails a day from readers detailing their latest food experience, keeping updated and objective reviews is a huge priority for him.
The Rehoboth Foodie has grown rapidly the past few years resulting in a major website revamp, the addition of other contributors for the site, Eating Rehoboth Walking Tours, and an app which is aptly called Rehoboth in my Pocket. The Rehoboth Walking Tours have been a huge hit in the area as they have been sold out for the past three weeks. The concept is built with the intention to let people experience all that Rehoboth has to offer through their taste buds. The tour consists of 5 restaurants stops and 2 specialty store stops. The specific restaurants are aware that the tour is coming by and will pick out a small plate and a cocktail to share with the tour group.
With the way technology is moving, he quickly saw a need for a mobile app tailored to Rehoboth. “Rehoboth in my pocket is so much more than just Rehoboth Foodie and restaurant reviews,” he explained, “I’ve included everything you need… golf courses, places to get steamed crabs, kayaking, bike trails, newspapers and the best rated bars.” It must be true because the reviews on iTunes and Google have been astounding. There are already 9,000 owners, 100% reviews and a 5-star rating on both. The app is super user friendly and links back to The Rehoboth Foodie for restaurant reviews as well.
Despite all of the exciting changes and expansions, the Rehoboth Foodie remains true to his original goal, promoting Rehoboth dining and providing consistent, honest reviews. “It’s important to keep expanding and provide more services for people who come into town,” he said. “I want to make it easier for people to make decisions, no one wants to come on vacation and experience a bad meal, they ask and I answer.”
For more, visit rehobothfoodie.com.