Arena’s (vegetarian review)

/ Updated on May 30, 2014

Arena's is one of those classic sandwich places where there are so many options that even the pickiest eater can find something. In addition to their numerous sandwich selections, they also have starters, soups and salads too. And there are three Arena's locations – two in Rehoboth and one in Lewes.

Under the “Vegetarian” selection there are six sandwiches to choose from. I almost always opt for the Veggie Burger because I think it's the best one to be found at the beach. It's a yummy combination of mushrooms, onions, rolled oats, brown rice, low fat mozzarella, walnuts, egg whites, bulgur wheat and more. While they don't make them at the restaurant, they taste terrific and very fresh. I do confess to substituting the Kaiser roll with a flaky croissant which makes it even better.

There's no soy in their burgers which is fine by me because often when veggie burgers contain soy, the soy flavor and/or texture dominates and makes the patty less interesting. I've seen less soy in burgers over time and an increased use of mushrooms or mycoprotein (a meat free protein derived mostly from mushrooms). But I digress….

Another very popular item on the Vegetarian section is the Famous Granny Smith Sandwich with cheddar cheese, tart apples, sprouts, carrot slices, onions, honey mustard and mayonnaise on whole wheat. My non-veggie friends order this more often than I do – they love it! Whatever sandwich you decide – there's a plethora of breads to choose from or you can always make any sandwich a wrap.

Another great veggie choice (though decidedly NOT low cal) is the Arena's Famous Nachos. This thing is the size of Rhode Island and contains tortilla chips topped with a blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, shredded lettuce, sour cream and southwestern salsa. You can add guacamole for $1.99. The nachos arrive in a huge basket, are quite tasty and enough for a small country to share.

If cheese is your thing, you can order the potato skins with melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar (sans bacon, of course). Or try Arena's Cheese Fries with Monterey Jack and Cheddar, the Mozzarella Sticks or Broccoli Bites (battered broccoli and cheese fried lightly).

Stop by for breakfast and try the Popeye Omelet with spinach and feta – oh yeah, now we're talking! It comes with your choice of hash browns or tater tots and how can you not love a place that offers tater tots. In Rehoboth on Rehoboth Avenue in the Village by the Sea center (302-227-1272) and Highway One next to Big Fish grill (302-226-2233), in Lewes in the Villages of Five Points (302-644-0370), in Milford across from Abbott's Grill (302-422-3354), Long Neck (302-547-4799) and the Terminal at the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown (302-856-3297).

Deb Griffin

About the Author

has been a vegetarian for 45 years. "I have been very pleased to see restaurants offering more and more options for meatless dining. We've gone from one vegetarian item on most menus (the faithful grilled cheese) to restaurants whose entire menu is vegetarian. Together we'll explore all that the beaches have to offer." View all articles written by Deb Griffin

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