Worth Trying – Oct. 2016

senor_tortillaSeñor Tortilla

I found myself jumping from meeting to meeting one day and realized I had not eaten since 5 a.m. Pressed for time, I pulled into the closest shopping center, drove past the golden arches and stumbled upon a little take-out window by Movies 10. Not only were the tacos delicious, but I took home some amazing salsa and freshly-baked corn tortillas. All authentic and delicious; srtortilla.com.

—Matthew Loeb, Creative Director/Production Manager

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline’s first novel offers a look at the world in the year 2044, where the Internet as we know it has become a relic of the past, replaced by an incredibly immersive and virtually realistic version called the OASIS. It’s a fitting name for an imaginary refuge that attracts billions of people disillusioned by the dystopia their real world has become: ravaged by war, famine and ecological devastation.

Upon the death of OASIS creator James Halliday, it’s revealed that he bequeathed his entire fortune—and control of OASIS itself—to the person who finds three secret keys hidden within his digital universe. Thus ensues the most massive Easter egg hunt—one that quickly becomes a most dangerous game.
Cline’s premise is intriguing enough to make this book a thrilling page-turner, but it’s Halliday’s obsession with the ‘80s and the clever nostalgic nods to that era’s nerd culture—Atari video games, John Hughes films, Dungeon & Dragons and the music of Rush, to mention some—that give the story a unique flavor.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

better_thingsBetter Things on FX

FX continues its strong programming with Better Things (Thursdays at 10 p.m.), a comedy created by and starring Pamela Adlon. In the semi-autobiographical show, the petite Adlon (Louie, Californication, winner of an Emmy for voicing Bobby Hill on King of the Hill) plays struggling Hollywood actor Sam Fox, a single parent of three daughters who range in age from preadolescent to hormonal teen. She has a hectic love life and also must deal with her spirited English mother, who lives across the street. Adlon is spot-on in this poignant comedy. And it’s already been renewed.

—Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor

Football at the Hilton

The Patio at the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana is offering big-screen football every Monday and Thursday nights. Nothing better than watching football outdoors with half-price wings and amazing nachos. Also, the Hilton’s breakfast sandwich paired with a mimosa is a great start for Sundays.

—Julie Miro Wenger, Event Allies

Worth Trying – Sept. 2016

Suggestions from our staff, contributors and readers

missp_NYTcover#1_300dpiMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

As an avid reader, I’m always looking for great books to read. When I picked up Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a fictional YA by Ransom Riggs, I found exactly that. This novel is part of a series about a boy named Jacob who learns that the world is not as simple as it seems. I highly recommend these books and am looking forward to the movie, which will be released on Sept. 30.

—Emma Driban, Intern

Del Pez Brunch

This relatively new option at Newark’s Main Street Mexican gastropub deserves some local acclaim. The Mayan Stacked Hashbrowns, particularly. A messy pyramid of potatoes, eggs and an addictive cheesy sauce, it’s the epitome of a weekend treat. More traditional options—French toast, classic eggs and bacon—seem equally wonderful. And with $4 mimosas, it simply can’t be beat.

—Krista Connor, Associate Editor

Maki sushi, two rolls isolated on whiteNasi Malay Thai Sushi in Bear

A friend of mine bartends at Nasi, and I have to thank him for turning me onto this spot. It’s ideal for sushi newcomers—the menu has some traditional options for any picky eaters. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. So stop in and ask for Jorge.

—Ryan Alexander, Contributing Designer

Remaking Murdertown

This podcast series about Wilmington’s crime and violence problem and how it’s connected to the vast economic poverty experienced by many of its residents has been getting a lot of buzz this summer. Released in May, with support from the Delaware Center for Justice, it features host Zac Phillips interviewing various people who know the causes, including Ricky Reyes, who grew up experiencing the city’s street life first hand. It’s a sobering reality that faces scores of cities in America in the age of vast income inequality, and a case study on how urban violence is the result of poverty. I think it’s something quite a few people need to hear. Give it a listen at remaking.murdertown.us.

—Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer

Worth Trying – Aug. 2016

Suggestions from our staff, contributors and readers

Constitution Yards

The new seasonal beer garden is the perfect addition to the Riverfront. Located at Justison Landing and open seven days a week, the summer go-to destination offers backyard games, classic barbecue fare and of course, a variety of beers and cocktails. Grab a summer ale and get in line for giant Jenga!

—Krista Connor, Associate Editor

Quinn’s Café

Whenever I go out to breakfast with family or friends, my first instinct is to go to Quinn’s. The eatery has been around for a while, but became known as Quinn’s Café in 2011. This Hockessin favorite tends to be a little crowded on the weekends, but the delicious food is made to order so it’s always worth the wait (quinnscafe.com).

—Emma Driban, Intern

Mini-Cannoli from Toscana To Go

I went with my mom to pick up dinner from Toscana To Go, and after I bugged her enough she let me get a dessert. But she would only let me get the cannoli because they were small and only cost $1.50. I was nervous because she said there was cheese inside, and that kind of sounded gross. I didn’t like it. I LOVED it! The outside was like a thin cookie, the inside was sweet and creamy, and there were chocolate chips sprinkled on it. You have to try one.

—Oliver Poot, 1st grader and Wilmington Resident

Movies on Tap

When the good folks at Premier Wine & Spirits sat down with our friends at Penn Cinema, they conjured up some sweet synergy. The meeting’s magic resulted in the “Movies on Tap” series at Penn Cinema, which pairs cult-classic films with seasonal offerings of local breweries. For film geeks, it’s a great opportunity to see some popular movies of the past on the big screen in a fun setting. For beer freaks, it’s a chance to meet area brewmasters and get a taste of their latest concoctions. That these nights raise money for local charities is simply icing on the cake. Caddyshack with Mispillion River Brewing, Ghostbusters with Sicilian cannoli with chocolateYards Brewing Co., Pulp Fiction with Evil Genius Beer Company and The Blues Brothers with Blue Earl Brewing Co. were big hits. This month, it’s The Goonies with 2SP Brewing Co. on Wednesday, August 17. To reserve your seats, go to penncinema.com.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Worth Trying – May 2016

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

grain-nachosOMG Nachos

Despite my initial hesitation about having to say Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen’s “OMG Nachos” while ordering, they’re the best I’ve had on Main Street in Newark. A massive serving of house-made chips piled high with melted cheese and house-made salsa, jalapeño and guacamole, the nachos are great for sharing… and even better for hoarding as leftovers. Additional options are toppings of chicken, brisket or pulled pork, although the appetizer/meal is very filling on its own.

Krista Connor, Associate Editor

A Home Garden

Behold! The seeds have officially been planted! Every year the garden at our home gets larger, and every year I try to harvest something new. It’s not only fun for the kids to ThinkstockPhotos-459902907participate, but it’s also one of my favorite hobbies. What’s more rewarding than growing healthy foods the whole family can enjoy?

—Matt Loeb, Creative Director/Production Manager

The Seafood Salad at Pizza by Elizabeths

The menu item I crave at Pizza by Elizabeths isn’t pizza or even the infamous tomato soup ThinkstockPhotos-464749653(although those things are also delicious); it’s the seafood salad: field greens, shrimp, crab, chopped tomatoes, artichoke hearts and bacon with creamy Dijon dressing. It’s not something I’d typically order. I’m not even a huge fan of shrimp. Don’t substitute the dressing—I promise you’ll be happy.

—Marie Graham Poot, Director of Digital Media

Dogfish Head Squall IPA

It’s neither as exotic nor as sexy as most of the other experimentally far-out brews that Dogfish concocts regularly from its Milton-based brewery-cum-laboratory, but the Squall is extraordinary in its own right. And it’s back!

Essentially an unfiltered and naturally-carbonated variation of Dogfish’s classic 90 Minute IPA, the Squall was originally released in 2009, then in wider release the following year to rave reviews. Soon enough it was gone. Everywhere.

I have one bottle that I’ve been saving for a special occasion since 2011, but was elated to be able to add more to the collection. If you’re a fan of bottle-condition beers, citrusy hops paired with sweet malts, and double-IPAs in general, then the Squall is a storm you will be more than pleased to experience.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Worth Trying – April 2016

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

rarjpgRaR Brewing

Hopslam hit Delaware stores a few weeks ago, which was pretty exciting. However, the same day that became available I also grabbed RaR Brewing’s Nanticoke Nectar from Cambridge, Md. Knowing nothing about it, I had zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised. It’s a really citrusy American IPA weighing in at 7.4 percent ABV, and it smells delightful (the aroma is stronger than the taste). I look forward to trying more of their stuff. rarbrewing.com

—Marie Graham Poot, Director of Digital Media

kc_blue_purse(1)The Bobino Key Clip

Anyone who knows me also knows that I always lose my keys, despite the fact that they’re the size of a janitor’s ring. My girlie pal recently set me straight with a clever gift—the Bobino key clip. This little gadget fastens inside my purse, holding my keys securely in a spot that’s easily accessed. Get yours at Francesca’s in Greenville, The Container Store, or online at bobino.com.

—Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer

mt.harmonMount Harmon Plantation

Mount Harmon Plantation is a beautifully restored 18th century plantation on the banks of the Sassafras River. It was a very profitable tobacco farm with a tobacco house, a colonial kitchen and a boxwood garden. Mount Harmon is open to the public May 1 through Oct. 31. Bring a picnic lunch and walk the nature trail. Enjoy the variety of ecosystems and wildlife, including endangered species protected on this preserve. Mount Harmon is located in Earleville, Md., 20 miles south of Elkton. There is an entrance fee, but it goes to help preserve this beautiful and historic area. For more, visit mountharmon.org.

—John Murray, Contributing Writer

tacosTaco Tuesdays at Two Stones

Wow, that’s a mouthful! The tortillas are fresher than the Prince. The filling options are varied, and you get to mix and match your selections. My favorite from the Newark location is the Superman. The roasted pumpkin and butternut squash puree is really what makes it over-the-top good.

—Ryan Alexander, Contributing Designer

Worth Trying – March 16

Fishing hook

O’Neill’s Irish Flies

This online business is dedicated to all aspects of fly fishing. It was founded two years ago by Tim O’Neill, of Hockessin, who began fly fishing at the age of 10 and managed Delaware’s only full-service fly shop from 2009 to 2014. “When you say ‘fly fishing,’” says O’Neill, “most people get a vision of a guy in a tweed jacket standing in the middle of a river catching trout. While Trout are certainly one of the fish we chase with fly gear, there are a multitude of other opportunities out there. The shad migration, or ‘shad run,’ is an example. The peak of the run is usually in early May. Fishing for shad is not very technical and catches can reach 100 fish per day.”
oneillsirishflies.com/blog/shad-school.
—Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor

kylie-lip-kitKylie Lip Kit

I received the Kylie Lip Kit as a gift last month and fell in love with it. At $29, it’s inexpensive compared to other cosmetics and it comes with a lip liner and a lipstick. Made by Kylie Jenner, it’s formulated to moisten your lips and create a color that’s guaranteed to last all day. The six colors have been selling out in record time. For more information visit kyliecosmetics.com.
—Shawn Caparelli, Intern

ThinkstockPhotos-91083117

Arena’s Sandwich Night

Relatively new to Newark and originally from Rehoboth, Arena’s Deli and Bar on Main Street is one of my favorite laid-back sandwich shops. Sandwich night is a weekly promotion where sandwiches are half-price after 6 p.m. Growing up in Sussex County, I spent many Wednesday nights eating the “California Club Dude” sandwich.
—Allison Hageman, Intern

Bouquet of roses

Petal Pushers (Floral Designs by Alexis)

Although I’ve known Alexis since childhood, I just recently saw her talent first-hand. Like
any other deadbeat husband, I needed to find some last minute gifts for Valentine’s Day. Remembering Alexis had opened a retail location in Trolley Square Shopping Center, I decided to swing by. Absolutely beautiful arrangements, unique options and affordable prices. petalpushersdel.com
—Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager

Worth Trying – Feb. 2016

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

The Michael Castle Trail

Winding, flat, hilly—this paved trail with varied terrain along the C&D Canal is ideal for cycling, running and walking. Currently under construction in Delaware City and Chesapeake City, Md., the 10-plus-mile trail will eventually connect both waterside towns. Three phases of the trail are complete, and within the next year a bridge crossing wetlands will be the final link to the two towns. I biked this trail a lot during the summer and fall, and it was definitely an outdoor highlight of the season.

—Krista Connor, Associate Editor

konjac_spongepureSOL Konjac Sponge

I received the pureSOL Konjac Sponge as a stocking stuffer this Christmas and have been pleasantly surprised by its cleaning powers. It’s a natural sponge made from the konjac root that gently rubs away dead skin cells and leaves your face feeling fresh. The best way to describe it is as more sanitary than washing your face with your hands but gentler than using an electric face brush. For more information visitpuresol.com.

—Allison Hageman, Intern

Jessica Jones, Netflix / Marvel Original Series

I have not finished season one, so don’t worry about spoilers. This 13-episode series is distinct and divergent from most Marvel productions. First thing you notice is the diversity of the cast and characters. Despite the Marvel label, it’s not exactly advisable for all children. There are major themes involving control, abuse, and some sexual content. Choosing this role was a great career move for Krysten Ritter, who previously starred in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (not worth trying). The show also stars David Tennant in a role so different from his famed rendition of The Doctor it will break Whovian hearts. Jessica Jones is a testament to Netflix’s ability to produce high-quality cinematography in tandem with great writing.

Ryan Alexander, Contributing Designer

Vinyl Records

What a hipster thing to say: “vinyl records.” But not really. Actually, real hipsters have moved on to the more obscure territories of collecting 8-track tapes and cassettes, the resurgence of vinyl becoming too popular for their tastes. Yet, regardless of fad or fashion, what the vinyl renaissance means to me is a reawakening to the artistry of music. A record encourages actual listening sessions. It asks that you sit back, relax, and hear the artist for more than just a few minutes. Beyond just the imagery on the album cover, it creates a conversation, starting with: “What is the artist trying to say? Or make me feel?”
The stark, ADD-inducing alternative of iTunes and MP3s has pushed on us forgettable, cookie-cutter confections that lack substance. Vinyl offers a deeper physical experience: the magic that occurs when the needle hits the groove, and physical vibrations transmit signals through your speakers. It’s not lasers, or ones and zeroes, or mega-compressed computer files. Rather, it’s something you can feel.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Worth Trying – December 2015

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

Walnut tree isolated

Delaware Center for Horticulture

The DCH offers a Low Cost Tree Sale where city residents can purchase trees for just $10 while non-city residents pay $40. This is a great opportunity to help add beauty to your yard and neighborhood. I got four trees for $40 and could not be happier! I look forward to watching them bloom year after year. For more information, check out thedch.org/content/low-cost-tree-sale.

—Kelly Loeb, Account Manager, Catalyst Visuals, LLC

Bullets_at_OddityThe Bullets at Oddity Bar

For those who have dared to venture there, Oddity Bar lives up to its name. It’s a twisted, tongue-in-cheek take on the neighborhood corner bar, where arcane art hangs from the dark red walls, reconfigured Ouija boards function as table tops, and Magic 8-Balls serve as bar guides for those who can’t decide which of the 100-plus craft beers and ciders to try. Amid the off-kilter fun, The Bullets have found a fitting home. In addition to their own rollicking originals, the long-standing rockabilly trio brings a Brian Setzer-type swing to unlikely radio hits by David Bowie, Oasis, and, yes, even Pink Floyd. With the help of the band’s faithful following, there’s revelry at the Oddity every Thursday night.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

IMG_1339Caramel Apple Pancakes at Drip Café

My fiancée and I decided to check out Drip Café on a whim after trying food from their Brunch Box food truck a while back. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been there sooner—the coffee and food were nothing short of amazing. I tried the caramel apple pancakes, and was blown away from the first bite: two huge, fluffy pancakes topped with bits of smoked bacon, roasted apple slices, and a house-made salted caramel sauce. If you aren’t drooling by now, I suggest you go find out for yourself in Hockessin’s Lantana Square. dripcafede.com

LLL-WebsiteCity Theater Company’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

OK, so I haven’t actually seen it yet. But I saw CTC’s production of American Idiot last spring, and then I went to the launch party for the upcoming season a few weeks ago. And if those shows were any indication, then you’re in for a treat. I can’t wait! Dec. 4-19, city-theater.org.

—Marie Graham, Director of Digital Media

Worth Trying

Suggestions from staff and contributors

Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Hiking Boot

For anyone up for a mini road trip, this picturesque town just under three hours away is an autumnal treat. Nestled serenely in the mountains between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, it’s a small village with intriguing—and important—colonial and Civil War-era roots. Small shops, pubs and cafes dot the hilly, cobbled sidewalk that winds through town. Lush woodlands and hiking paths, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail, surround Harpers Ferry. Walking a few miles along the trail through the foliage during this time of year is enchanting.

—Krista Connor, Associate Editor

Incline at Manitou Springs

inclineOK, so this is a bit of a hike (pun intended), but if you ever find yourself in Colorado Springs, you have to tackle this unique physical challenge. Originally built as a cable car to carry materials to help build pipelines on Pike’s Peak, The Manitou Incline is now a strenuous one-mile vertical hike up approximately 2,744 railroad ties that has become a must-do for Olympians training in Colorado Springs and a bucket-list cardio challenge for locals and visitors from around the world. It ascends 2,000 feet over the one mile with an average grade of 41 percent and the steepest grade at 68 percent. Oh, and there’s a false summit…and you’ll be hiking above 6,000-feet of elevation. But you can do it (just rest frequently) and you’ll take great pride in saying you did. The hike is free; parking is $5. manitouincline.net

—Jerry duPhily, Publisher

Terrain at Styer’s

10956044_10153144444211095_4685158028516634032_nGo north on Rt. 202, turn right on Rt. 1 and look for this hidden gem on your right. It’s a nursery, mammoth gift shop and high-end restaurant all in one location. The furniture, kitchenware and gardening supplies include many unusual, even unique (and often pricey) items. The restaurant features hand-selected local produce, meats, and dairy products, with menus created from the seasonal harvest of nearby farms. Careful, though: despite the size of the place, the entrance is easy to miss—at 914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, Pa.—610-459-2400.

—Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor

Super Subs

It’s easy to take the good things in life for granted, like Wilmington’s rich heritage of savory sandwiches that we all know as subs. Within a mile radius of the intersection of Lancaster and Union, we have perhaps the best collection of sub shops on the East Coast. Yet where’s the fanfare?

The Union Street Capriotti’s, where the world-famous Bobbie was born, merits a plaque or monument in the street simply for putting our city (and state) on the map for foodies nationwide. Slightly north, Yatz’s goes so far as to make every sub to order, carefully slicing every tomato, onion and hot pepper on the spot. And just across the border in Elsmere shines Casapulla’s, a family-owned business that has been making hearty and delicious subs for nearly 60 years straight.

This “Holy Trinity” of sub shops deserves greater acknowledgement and pride in our area—as well as your business.

—Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Worth Trying – Oct. 2015

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

23610826

I’m Trading in my Chevy for a Kayak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak

Our area has so many beautiful outdoor adventures that we don’t take advantage of often enough. My wife and I recently spent the day kayaking down the Brandywine for my birthday celebration. The scenery and experience made us forget that we were only 20 minutes from home.

Don’t take my word for it: check out Wilderness Canoe Trips on Concord Pike. They drop you in and pick you up when you’re done. They also have canoe and tubing trips available.

—Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager

Cancun Shrimp at Santa Fe Wilmington

I recently went to Santa Fe of Wilmington and decided on the Cancun shrimp tacos, and boy, I’m glad I did. They were delicious. You get two shrimp tacos with melted cheese, pickled onion, fresh cabbage, crispy bacon, tomato, scallions and the house Azteca sauce. Pair that with a margarita and you have yourself a perfect Mexican meal. I can’t wait to go back.

—Kelly Loeb, Search Engine Optimization Manager, Catalyst Visuals

Dottie’s Donuts at Brew HaHa!

I have a serious sweet tooth sometimes, especially when I’m trying to wake up in the morning and need some sugar to give me a boost. If you’re like me, try Dottie’s Donuts available at Brew HaHa! These all-vegan donuts are a perfect complement to coffee at any Brew HaHa! location and are offered in lots of original flavors. I recommend the cinnamon sugar for the uninitiated or, if you live dangerously, try the hibiscus donut.

—Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer

parallesParallels (2015)

This movie, available on Netflix, is dense with suspense, and leaves you asking for more. It’s distinctly a sci-fi /adventure film in which a small group of family and friends explore parallel earths. Constance Wu, of ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat, gives a strong performance. The production and writing lend themselves to a television production rather than a movie, so the film may spur a sequel, series or mini-series.

—Ryan Alexander, Contributing Designer