Chaps Famous Pit Beef: Sneak Peek

/ Updated on April 14, 2019

Rehoboth finally has its own pit beef joint! The old “Bull on the Beach” mainstay (unrelated to this company) in OC has sadly gone downhill, so our need for Famous Chaps Pit Beef in Rehoboth is clear and present. Brothers Chris and Gary Desch have brought pit beef back to where it belongs – on our plates! Baltimore’s iconic CHAPS opened on Tuesday, March 12th at 11:30AM, directly behind the Iron Hill Brewery on Coastal Highway, by Holland Glade Road in front of the Epworth UM Church.

Meet Gary & Chris on the podcast of their Sip & Bite Show broadcast from 9/8/18. CLICK HERE to listen.

So what, you might ask, is pit beef? Isn’t it just BBQ? NO! Pit beef is different from barbecue in that the whole roasts (and hams) are cooked overtop of an open fire, then kept warm (or on the grill itself) as sliced of meat are sliced to be placed on sandwiches. Memphis BBQ, on the other hand (think Bethany Blues) is smoked at very low temperatures, often overnight, to tenderize and flavor the meat with whatever wood is used to fire the smoker (often hickory or oak).

There are 38 (count ’em – 38!) choices of sandwiches, ranging from cutely named combinations like Guy’s Triple D Beef (to honor Food Network’s Guy Fieri who canonized Chaps Pit Beef in Baltimore) to simple, traditional behemoths like the Pit Beef Sandwich and the Minced Pork BBQ Sandwich.

Available meats can make decisions difficult for the non-initiated. I suggest starting with what they are known for: The pit beef sandwich. You can ask for rare, m-rare, medium or well. I LOVE combining the medium with the holy grail of both pit beef and BBQ: The Burnt Ends. These are the crispy and delectable parts that have been exposed to the fire the longest. The combination is a textural rollercoaster in your mouth!

The fixins’ bar consists of freshly ground horseradish (a staple of the pit beef sandwich – beware – the horseradish at Chaps is high octane!). Use is sparingly. It adds a whole now dimension to the roasted meat. There is a choice of sauces (I like the Ken’s), crispy pickles and onions. Sandwich sides that can be ordered include cheese, gravy, green peppers and onions, jalapenos, bacon, various specialty dressings … you get the idea. Remember: Start with what made them “famous”: Pit beef, mixed-in burnt ends, horseradish, onion and a bit of sauce.

There is also a selection of soups, fries, salads, chili and wings. All the meats can be purchased in quantity for take-home. Sides, rolls and condiments are sold by weight.

Check out this little spot on Coastal Highway. Just turn in where you see Iron Hill Brewery and drive around to the side. You can’t miss it. More photos to come!

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. Han Aydinel says:

    Having lived in Baltimore for decades,I have enjoyed a great pit beef sandwich hundreds of times and was thrilled to see Chaps come to town to offer an authentic Baltimore style sandwich which eludes many other coastal restaurants trying to offer “pit beef”. Gary,Chris,and their mother are a delight to talk to,and are doing a fantastic job serving up fantastic food and great,personable service.Highly recommended.P.S. do not let the busy parking lot deter you, as many of the cars are patronizing other businesses in the center, and service at Chaps is quick and efficient.

  2. Steve says:

    We love Chaps. We have been waiting for the Rehoboth Chaps to open. We were on our way to a Dr’s appointment in NY. We checked on line and found out Chaps was now open. We took a little detour and stopped for lunch. We had a great meal. So good in fact that a couple days later we stopped back in for another meal on our way back home. They were busy but the owner recognized us and thanked us for another visit. We will be back.

  3. Paul says:

    I was really looking forward to CHAPS but was disappointed on our first visit (3-30). Ordered the basic Pit Beef with gravy (add $1.50). The roll was so soggy from the gravy I had to eat with knife and fork which is difficult with the paper wrapper blending in with the roll. The meat was somewhat chewy and the gravy had little, if any, taste. I had to enhance it with salt and the various sauces. The sauces have names but no flavor profile – so you are guessing about whether it is hot, mild, sweet, or whatever. They have a nice beer selection with some locals on tap. Overall, not a good experience but will try again. It’s only been open a few weeks.

  4. Jack Bostic says:

    Had a great lunch at Chap’s after I filled my growler at Iron Hill Brewery. They will definitely be a hit at the beach. A lunchtime filled restaurant with lots of patient help, excellent PIT food (had PIT ham/turkey two-meat. Good Luck, Chap’s; you’re a meat eater’s delight

  5. Fred and Judy Miller says:

    What a wonderful food experience. Very tasty and generous portions. Excellent staff who enjoy their work. Warm and inviting atmosphere.

  6. Sharon Breidenbach says:

    Excellent, can’t wait! From Baltimore, we also loved The Canopy, several locations, really great pit beef sandwiches, etc. Been keeping an eye out for Chaps opening and so glad it’s finally soon.

  7. Michael says:

    Love the pit grilled food. So many selections. Absolutely awesome! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. When I lived in Baltimore I used to stop in 3X per week. I am psyched to have one at the beach. They will do crazy good business in Rehoboth.

  8. Bill says:

    This is fabulous. I have seen the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show on the Food Network and two summers ago I visited the one outside Baltimore. It was a great experience but Baltimore is too far to go so it will be a welcome addition here.

  9. Rob says:

    Been Praying for a mission barbecue here. This comes close. I’m happy

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