Happy Holiday Dining!
6 p.m. Well, thanks to the continuing COVID precautions we must all take, this writer is once again waiting for curbside pick-up.
In fact, I’m on deadline, pounding this out on my iPhone keyboard while I wait for my seafood supper from the fantastic Blue Coast to be brought to my car. While dining in our glorious restaurants is permitted now, those of us of a certain age are staying home to dine. But we are patronizing our restaurants in droves, taking advantage of their curbside pick-up and carry-out options.
Whether we drive to pick up dinner or use a delivery service, we are committed to helping our local restaurants stay alive while we try to do the same for ourselves.
Therefore, here I sit at Blue Coast. Wait! Here comes my order in a handy shopping bag. I’m off to home, where I will continue this report right after dinner.
7:30 p.m. Wow, that was delicious. Blue Coast does it again. And again. Since I’m a regular I can tell you about more than just tonight’s menu. I’ve sampled many other selections. This evening I had the Blackened Mahi over mashed potatoes and it was a treat, while Bonnie chose the Lobster Toast: twin baby lobster tails, with ancho butter atop milkbread toast. Decadent.
But if you are nutty for shrimp, try the Shrimp Fry entrée. Lightly crusted and fried, the large shrimp are served with crisp (even after transporting) seasoned fries, and slaw. These shrimp are truly tastier than the average Eastern Shore fried shrimp platters. Oh, and to start our shrimp feast we had the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with warm ponzu broth and pea shoots.
Other appetizers include killer Deviled Eggs, with mustard cream, a scrapple chip, a green apple chip, and smoked curry dust. First time I’ve ever enjoyed scrapple.
The waffle-cut fries with crab, white cheddar fondu, and Old Bay seasoning are legendary, as is the Buttermilk Fried Calamari.
Spectacular entrees include Blackened Tuna, and Shrimp and Grits. And the Crawfish Gumbo is spicy, rich, and memorable. Seriously, you can’t go wrong. And they tell you after you call when your food will be ready and they always get it right within a minute or two.
And then there’s Michy’s. Friends introduced us to take-out from this gem in the Weis Shopping Center (It used to be a Food Lion) off Coastal Highway. On a dark and stormy night recently, we brought carry-out to our friend’s house and had a food orgy.
From the Golden and Red Beet Salad, Hearts of Romain Caesar, and Chardonnay Poached Pear Salad, to the Pan-Seared Chicken Milanese, Seabass Barramundi, and Rigatoni Bolognese, it was gourmet all the way, carefully packaged for carryout and a true epicurean delight. I understand that in addition to their regular menu, they post weekend specials mid-week. I vote for Michy’s on an upcoming cold December evening.
And, of course, as many good Jewish (and non-Jewish) diners do, we religiously (lol) frequent Wilmington Avenue’s Confucius on Christmas Eve. Even though we cannot dine-in this year (they are only doing carry-out anyway) we wouldn’t miss this annual ritual.
Start off with their pan-fried Pork Dumplings or the Scallion Pancake with Smoked Salmon (my very favorite appetizer). I love so many of their entrees I’d go over my word limit here recommending them all. But I wouldn’t miss the Crispy Halibut in honey-vinegar sauce, Crispy Walnut Shrimp and Scallops, Orange-flavored Beef, or General Tso’s Chicken. There are so many fine dishes to choose from I’ve just touched the surface. In fact, I’ve almost forgotten to talk about my favorite, Mai Fun Singapore Style noodles—curry with a kick.
Another place for festive take-out food this season is the Purple Parrot. The reliably enormous and delicious Infamous Mumbo Jumbo burger rocks, and their Fried Clam Strips are the best around.
But believe it or not, the Parrot’s Saturday Special of Pork Schnitzel and Fries is comparable to many a gourmet German restaurant I’ve frequented. The Parrot does it right and it’s a specialty. Of course, their comfort food surely is comforting—Chili, Maryland Crab Soup, Triple Decker Reuben, Cuban Wrap, and so much more.
So, here’s the deal. Remember all the local restaurants we visited to ask them to donate to Women’s FEST or Sundance or other non-profits? And remember how generous they always were? Well now it’s time for us to give back by going back, again and again, for take-out or dine-in this winter. COVID’s been tough on our restaurant industry in Sussex County and it’s time to help them out. It’s in our own best interest along with theirs.
See you at curbside, my friends.