Nage Pantry

/ Updated on December 19, 2015

The slogans say it best: (1) Crafted Foods to Go, and (2) Relax. We take the worry off your plate. In fact, that pretty much sums it up.

The slogans are cute, but that last one is what brings people into Nage Pantry (formerly Root Gourmet) to see what it’s all about. It just seems natural to capitalize on the popular “Nage” brand when they first opened this place, but for some reason they didn’t. Root Gourmet suffered some fits & starts as it tried to figure out what it wanted to be when it grew up. After a couple of years, it did: As of late spring 2015, it is now Nage Pantry. And hopefully it can faithfully and consistently live up to that name.

The equation is simple. You take a look at their menu, call in your order, pick it up, take it home, transfer it to your plates, pots and pans, hide every last bit of the packaging, and tell everybody you made it yourself. Easy, huh? Of course, you can also order from the chalkboard menus, select something that looks good and plop yourself down for a nice lunch with some soup and perhaps a cup of tea.

I have planned a new review of the revamped space, but I have left the old article below for your reference. But remember: They have reinvented the spot, so things will be different when you go in there. Our first order from the old Root was pork loin. They slathered it with a softly savory mushroom garlic gravy. Another entree is the charred flank steak with a perfectly spiced chimichurri sauce. People also like the cilantro-garlic mojo shrimp skewers and the herb and goat cheese stuffed portabellos. Do not that, like Root’s sister, Nage (next door), and most other restaurants in Rehoboth, that the menu and selections change often. Do don’t get too attached to any one thing.

Sadly, I have also received emails about inconsistency in service and food quality. It has taken them a while (and some personnel changes), but it appears that they are taking giant steps toward resolving this issue and getting back to the sort of thing we enjoyed when they first opened. GM Rich Garrahan seems to be in-house and on the ball every day. One of the issues is (or was) the amount of food they displayed in the cold cases. After a while it started to look … well, a little worse for wear. I suggested that they perhaps display less of the items so it would always look fresh. I suspect that seasoned restaurateur and owner Josh Grapski didn’t quite appreciate my suggestions, but interestingly, they have begun to do that. And now the items in the cold case look they way Rich and Josh obviously want them to.

One of the values-added at Root Gourmet is their fresh bread. We mourn the loss of Keith Irwin, the original baker (I called him the “Bread Whisperer,” and he is now whispering at his Old World Breads in Lewes). But with adversity comes opportunity: Those duties at Root Gourmet have been taken over by the locally celebrated chef Liz Kornheiser. Liz has a long list of local culinary conquests, the most recent of which was Blue Moon. If you are lucky enough to be in there when the red velvet cheesecake is in the case. Buy it. Angela Nye is another shining talent, and her amazing truffles are for sale at Root Gourmet.

As I said, the menu tends to vary, but as of this writing the sides include 5-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese, cucumber & red onion salad and the grilled asparagus with sea salt. There are at least 16 others on the menu, plus 6 salads and 12 main courses. You can mix and match if you want, but they also have pre-matched platters there for you to grab ‘n’ go. With names like “The Beachhouse,” “The Big Game,” and “The Seafooder,” you pretty much get the idea. And there are 11 more, plus 20 hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.

Remember the super-trendy Merry-Go-Round and Chess King clothing stores of the ’80s? They were on the leading edge of style for the time, and reacted quickly to the changing needs of their customers. One of the forces behind that concept was brought in to this project make sure you smile when you walk in to Root Gourmet. Marketing and branding expert Steve McLerran’s talents are evident all over the place. (Take a look at the natural “Root” display table by the front door.) Manager Rich Garrahan now runs the joint. Opening chef Brenton Wallace has also moved on (at this writing he is cooking at Dogfish Head in downtown Rehoboth), but Liz has taken up the challenge and is doing a great job. Root Gourmet is in good hands, and we hope it returns to its former glory. During a recent lunch there all indicators pointed to a major improvement. I do want to call your attention to the very cool front door pull — using an actual repurposed pitchfork — another McLerran touch).

There are some upscale grocery items, cheeses and some tasty sips in the back cooler case, but it’s all about the take-home entrees, sides, salads, sandwiches, soups, desserts and breads. Root Gourmet is an interesting concept, and once you’ve visited you’ll see why it’s best to let them do the work while you take all the credit.

Nage Pantry is located at 19724 Coastal Highway, sandwiched between Nage restaurant and Touch of Italy. They are directly across from Tanger Seaside Outlets and Chipotle Mexican Grill and are open every day 11-8 year-round.

By the way, they have a cute cafe menu for eating-in or out front on the wooden arbor deck. Check out the cafe menu here. You can call them for takeout at 302-727-5664 and take a look at their to-go menu here.

The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Jerry B Jerry B says:

    I thought i’d give Nage pantry a try, though my experiences with Root Gourmet were not good. Nothing has changed but the name. Overly salty food that looks outdated. And pastrys that maybe started out good, but sat too long. I tried!

  2. Leigh harman says:

    Expected a luscious cake, 6 layers, 8 inch round, white cake and icing. (60 dollars)Very disappointed, cake was very, very dry and crumbled when cutting. Icing ok. Guests said the same. It went in the trash.

  3. Rose says:

    I just bought some potato salad at Root, It was more than a little expensive. The guy took it out of a big plastic container marked 5/18, as today is the 22, I should have told him to keep it. I asked for 1/2 lb. When I got to the register he charged me more, I asked about it, he said it was more than a 1/2. There were no markings of the weight on the container and I did not receive a receipt.
    This place is a real rip off and I won’t be back.

  4. RehoboLee says:

    We did take-out for four this evening and it was a great disappointment. The pork loin was dry and totally bereft of sauce or gravy – had to use steak knives to cut! The mac & cheese was nicely flavored but also dry – and a bit skimpy. There was a melange of veggies (because they did not have enough for four) – and they were hard and undercooked. Our desserts were probably good a few days ago. Including a nominal tip, our $65 dinner was pretty much a total bust. That’s a good bit of money for lousy take-out. We will never go back.

  5. Ashlee says:

    Finally a great lunch spot in Rehoboth. Their curried chicken salad is amazing. I love that they offer it in a quick prepackaged form too. Also enjoy the salads. You can choose from one of their options or build your own (highly recommend the lemon vinaigrette). They are very accommodating to food allergies as well. Two thumbs up!

  6. Deborah Dilts says:

    My husband died in September and our family wanted to spend Thanksgiving together at our home. I ordered a whole turkey, stuffing, gravy and mac and cheese from Root Gourmet, based on my previous positive eating experiences there. It was absolutely wonderful. My order was ready as scheduled, the friendly staff helped me transport it all to my car, and shared detailed instructions on heating and serving. The turkey was moist and the seasonings perfect; gravy was a hit, and the mac and cheese will be a new annual dish. If others weren’t as pleased, could it possibly be due to not adhering to reheating and prep instructions? Following the instructions, our food fare was spectacular and I plan to order again!

  7. Raul says:

    My entire family was getting together this Thanksgiving in Lewes and we needed a great catering option to help us out with the meal. Two friends suggest Nage which led us to the Root Gourment. From the start, we received great service and Rich was quick to respond when we needed to understand ingredients due to food allergies. The day of pick up we were tended to quickly and with a smile. We were provided clear instructions for heating up everything and all our food was tasty and of good quality. We espcially liked the stuffing and brussel sprouts! (I know, the Brussel Sprouts were good!) … we will definitely return to the Root Gourmet this summer and I would recommend the catering to anyone. Too bad there is not a location closer to us in Newark

  8. Rose Furio says:

    I am a huge fan of Root Gourmet, having ordered take out on several occasions. Most recently, I ordered side dishes for our Thansgiving dinner. The food was delicious, well portioned and well packaged. Prior to Thanksgiving, I ordered a feast for a dinner party. I went to Root, and Cathy patiently sat with me while we thoroughly reviewed their large catering menu. Once we were done, I was very pleased with our selections. Even more pleased on the night of the event. I got rave reviews from our guests. The london broil was fabulous, the root vegetables were delicious. I could not have been more pleased with the appetizers, side dishes, salad, and desserts. I’m having a holiday party next weekend and getting ready to place my next order. By the way, did I mention they deliver and set it up too?

  9. T&T says:

    Well, Foodie, you struck out on this one. Susan is right — After reading your article, we ordered food for family during Thanksgiving week. It was NOT good. Overseasoned — tiny portions — sloppy packaging. If they can’t afford to do it at 4 for $44 they should do it right and raise the price.
    Would have been better off at burger king.

  10. Susan says:

    I was never more disappointed in a meal than the one we purchased for 4, last night! The food was over cooked and the portions were very small. The macaroni and cheese was so vinegar-y that we couldn’t even eat it.

    This is a dining opportunity we will skip.

  11. Margie Forester says:

    With our Mom recently deceased and Dad just diagnosed with terminal cancer and requiring from us 24/7 around the clock care, we just weren’t up to the preparation of a big holiday meal. So… a member of our family ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Root Gourmet. The turkey was so over-seasoned that it tasted like cheap sandwich meat. The stuffing had no taste at all… just mushy bread. The gravy was bland and tasted like it was made from instant powder or cheap low-sodium bouillon. The scalloped potatoes were inedible as were the taste deficit sweet potatoes. The only thing that wasn’t horrible was the roasted veggies. Doesn’t mean they were good… just not horrible. We paid a decent amount of money for a meal that was an absolute disaster. Trust me… none of us will be going back.

  12. k the falc says:

    A girl is a young female child, as a boy is a young male child. I’m surprised an educator cannot distinguish children from adults.
    Let us hope that Scott has “many [ELECTED] positions on local commisions and boards.” I hold out hope too that his grammar improves.
    Let’s talk about the food, not our Foghorn Leghornness.

  13. Scott says:

    Lived here all my life…a retired DE local educator. Not impressed with the staff. I worked as a bartender and waiter at many local establishments when off in the summer. I never treated customers as an inconvenience. Your one morning girl would be fired for her rude and unkept persona. I am on many local commissions and boards…I do not recommend you.

  14. Ellen in Rehoboth says:

    Root is almost around the corner from our home and I have now brought home a lunch and a dinner at two different times. The food is a little pricey, but worth the taste and convenience. We’re sold!

  15. Terry says:

    I have stopped a couple of times on my way to work. The first time I picked up a blueberry scone and ginger cinnamon coffee. WOW the scone had huge blueberries and very tasty. The coffee was awesome very hot and had great flavor to go with my scone. I also picked up curry chicken salad sandwich, tarragon potato salad for lunch. I felt the bread on the sandwich was a little to tough and took away from the awesome chicken salad (happy to say the next time I stopped they had made it into wrap YUM) The potato salad was so good I had to look up a recipe to try and recreate it at home. The last trip in I picked up a blueberry crumb pie, WOW the fresh blueberries and the flavor in that crumb topping was well AMAZING! Love this place, Nage and the people who work there.

  16. k the falc says:

    Stopped in for a small bite and to check it out. Got chick salad. Thankfully, no grapes or raisins added, the way people have lately messed up chicken salad. Let’s hope that fad passes. This was perfectly prepared. I plan on trying the meal for 4 deal when things get less social in my hut. I know they change menus frequently, so I depend on you, Food, to keep us updated!

  17. Dennis says:

    They will not sell you the hamburger rolls. I was just there. Very disapointed. See what you can do. Thanks!

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