Far Out: Rehoboth Beach, DE

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Several times a year, we find ourselves in the quiet resort town of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We’ve been there at least once a year – sometimes as often as 4 visits in a year – since before we were married in 2004.

There are things we always love about Rehoboth: the slower pace, mild traffic, funky independent shops, peaceful walks on the beach. But now we can add to that… awesome eco-vegan stuff. Each of these places was introduced to us by friends, too, which makes them even better.

In the most unexpected of places, a sports bar, we found a good selection of vegetarian and vegan eats. Thanks to Linda & Jan for sending us to Arena’s Cafe. At first glance, Arena’s is like any other sports bar. There’s a wooden bar with televisions, dart boards and on the facing wall, a big chalk board with different beers listed.

Arena’s has both indoor and outdoors seating. In the patio area, you can bring your dog along for the meal. Which is cool for dog people like us.

The little sports bar is popular among locals for several dishes, but the most notable is their huge, huge, HUGE plate of vegetarian nachos. This is a mega-size portion of nachos piled high with layers of melted and not-melted jack & cheddar cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and house salsa for only $8.99.   The basket arrived warm and all the chips were incredibly crisp – even in the middle of the basket. The Dirty Hippie was not able to finish it in one sitting – he had two more meals from this one basket of nachos.

Arena’s magical mountain of nachos is not available with vegan cheese, but they are able to prepare it with no cheese/sour cream, and loaded with guacamole and salsa. It’s delicious.

The house salsa is definitely worth a mention. It was chunky and fresh – spicy with a tangy tomato flavor and a touch of cilantro. We would stop just to eat the salsa and chips at Arena’s.

There are lots of vegetarian offerings on the menu . From a fresh veggie plate, to a variety of cheese fries to an entire menu area with seven vegetarian lunch/dinner entrees, most of which can be veganized or are vegan already.

The Dirty Hippie could not resist trying Arena’s gooey Potato Skins. They were loaded with cheese but not swimming in grease. The potato part was thick and crisp, with toasty edges. A vegetarian treat! Oh – and this portion was also huge. One order contained six of these cheese boats. More than enough to share.

Vegans, don’t despair. Not everything was swimming in cheese at Arena’s. The House Salad Wrap was delicious and fresh. I ate two. It was loaded with the house Guac, which was smooth and garlicky. Their Famous Granny Smith Sandwich was a mouth full of layers – fresh and sweet, with apples, honey mustard and veggies on thick, soft whole grain bread. Very good bread. Both sandwiches are listed with cheese on the menu, but our server was a vegetarian herself and was extremely familiar with vegan food needs and questions.

Also available were coffee drinks from a full coffee bar-style menu; smoothies and desserts; daily drink & food specials and vegetarian-friendly breakfast offerings in the morning. They offer carry-out and delivery in the area. Arena’s is located at 4113 Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971; (302) 226-CAFE.

In the mood for something sweet? You gotta try Annie’s Banannies. It’s a shop that offers whipped up frozen bananas and is just like soft ice cream – but way better! Thanks Beth for sending us here!

Owner Annie works behind the bar personally serving up icy delish treats. Bannanies are vegan, gluten free, have no added sugar and are healthy beach food. Oh – and they’re served in compostable greenware!

The regular menu has such tasty offerings as The Nutty Bannanie (with natural peanut butter & chopped peanuts) and the Tropical Banannie (with mango, pineapple and toasted coconut flakes), or you can make your own from the a la carte topping bar. There are also seasonal offerings, like the Cider-Poached Pear Bannanie we sampled.

Annie’s hours vary over the winter, but in addition to being open at her Rehoboth location, a new shop is planned in 2012 in the Light Street Pavillion in Inner Harbor/Baltimore. We can’t wait.

Visit Annie and try Banannie at 9 First St. South, Rehoboth Beach, DE. 19971 ; (302) 260-9875

When you’re done eating, a little walk around downtown Rehoboth is great fun – especially when you visit vegan bath and beauty store, The Little Egg Harbor Soap Shop.

We love Little Egg Harbor Soaps and stock up every time we go to Rehoboth. It is a small, woman-owned business that’s grown – for fourteen years!

All of their products are handmade in New Jersey. The soaps have a cold-pressed olive oil base and there are no detergents, hardeners, sulfates, parabens or alcohol in any of the products.  You want variety? You’re in luck – there are 90 varieties of soap.

Once you have sampled all those fabulous soaps (we like cucumber, hot chocolate and wild watermelon), move on to the other goodies at Little Egg Harbor. You can also try their exquisite bath salts, bath fizzies, facials, sugar scrubs, body lotions and butters and organic hair care.

As you can see, even in the fall – which is not peak beach season – there is loads to enjoy in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Stay tuned… Rehoboth also boasts a very exciting restaurant called Hobos with an award-winning vegan chef! We got to interview her during our visit and will be posting soon!!

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