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!