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Catchers Restaurant & Catering

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I’ve always thought of Catchers primarily as a catering outfit with a few seats in the front for wayward travelers. And in spite of the many emails I have received over the years suggesting I try it out, I remained remiss in my duties. The owner, Roland Buckingham, seemed like a pretty clever and funny guy, which prompted me to invite him on the Sip & Bite Radio Show. After the show, and after his descriptions of some of the dishes at Catchers, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

CLICK to hear the podcast of my radio interview with Roland Buckingham that took place on April 7, 2018 on Delaware 105.9FM.

So I went. And I’m glad. Fine dining? Certainly not. Quintessential beachy fish house in a frame building? Yes. Door propped open. Screened windows with a constant breeze. The owner busing tables and making drinks. Tanned, polite server ever so slightly in the weeds, but handling it all with a smile and lilting voice. Beer signs and assorted tchotchkes scattered about. And good, basic seafood with a clever twist.

The menu is divided into 6 sections, delineating a long list of “Pub Starters” – some of which vie for star of the Catchers show. Take the Coconut Lobster Tail, for example (think crispy crunchy coconut shrimp, then kick it up a few notches). Another uneventful-sounding dish is the Jamaican Meatballs. Just meatballs, you say? The burst of bright flavors brought on by a combination of jerk-style seasoning and pineapple is hard to describe. And of course they rest happily on a big pineapple dish that you eat after the meatballs have disappeared. Please do not miss these. Another dish that will be hard to resist is the Scallops ‘n’ Bacon. Large scallops are wrapped in properly crisped bacon for the perfect bite (underdone bacon is a crime against humanity). These are joined by 13 other apps, including the perfectly fried crab balls (note: perfectly fried = not a HINT of grease), with just a whisper of beer in the batter. Scroll the gallery to see these dishes.

Four house-made soups (including chili) are on the menu. We loved the crab bisque (at the urging of the tanned waitress) and I want to go back to try the oyster stew. Four taco selections include the Spicy Shrimp Taco which was suggested by Mr. Buckingham himself. Put all taco preconceptions out of your mind: Think the best stewed tomatoes you’ve ever had, spiked with pepper and grilled shrimp. The heat is definitely there, but won’t take your head off. The fried flour tortilla makes for the perfect vessel and I would order it again in a second (and it’s a bargain for two huge tacos).

There are 4 sandwiches available, along with three basket-style dishes: beer-battered rings, Old Bay fries (add cheese and bacon for a few bucks, of course) and a nicely prepared fish & chips. Feeling healthy? Three salads are there for your munching pleasure. While you eat lettuce there will be more onion rings and Jamaican meatballs for us. Oh, and by the way, the prices are quite reasonable, even for the fresh seafood. When queried, Roland gave me the over-the-glasses look and said, “Well, for one thing, the rent on that end of Rehoboth Avenue is a lot less than up by the Boardwalk.” And he pays that forward on his menu.

Over 20 mains are available including a beer-infused pizza (my curiosity is piqued. I must go back & try that), I am also strangely fascinated by the Buffalo Bucket. Like wings? You’ll love Roland’s description: “Chicken, Meatballs, Shrimp and whatever else we happen to grab … tossed in our buffalo sauce.” You can’t help but like this guy. Bivalve, crustacean and arachnid lovers will go for the Steam Bucket: lobster tails, snow crab clusters, blue crab claws, shrimp, clams and mussels all together in a big bucket. I saw it. It’s big. At $49.95 it’s a bargain. Another one to try is the Pineapple Curry Shrimp & Scallops over rice. A bit reminiscent of the Jamaican Meatballs, but waaayyy bigger and wonderfully curry-fied.

Catchers Restaurant and Catering is located at the intersection of Lake and Rehoboth avenues, immediately adjacent to the Hotel Rehoboth at 249 Rehoboth Avenue (3rd block from the ocean). I tried to nail Roland down on his hours, and he started talking about whether it is going to rain, and maybe he’ll be open…. Do not be put off by that: It’s part of the charm of this place. There are very few spots that that still remind you of a cross between a shrimp shack on the sand in the Keys and a fresh fish-fry spot on the beach in Bermuda. Catchers has a large bar and lots of informal tables. So kick off your shoes (well, ok… you’ll need them to get in) and bask in the way beachy restaurants used to be. Catchers Restaurant & Catering. Check their hours, for goodness’ sake, at 302-227-1808. Follow them on Facebook by clicking 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

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