Few things say “vacation at the beach” more than a nice big breakfast with all the fixin's. And Crystal Restaurant couldn't be much more “beachy” or “breakfasty.” There's no ceremony or pretense at Crystal– it's beach eats all the way, and in-season waits can extend to an hour, with people strolling around outside or by the register getting in everybody's way. It's what morning at the beach is all about.
Breakfast is indeed the star at Crystal. I'll tell you right now that their pancakes are moist and buttery. I've had pancakes at other places that tout themselves as Emporiums of Pancake Perfection (I made that up), but none of these approach Crystal. You can also have fun creating your own omelet from a long list of fillings, including feta cheese, gyro meat, four kinds of cheese, plus the standard breakfast meats (including the ever-so-local scrapple – ask for it well done!) and veggy fillings. They even have three kinds of Eggs Benedict. I love breakfast sandwiches, especially if I'm in a hurry. The selection is basic, but serves the purpose: I get the egg, cheese and (well-done) scrapple on toast. Of course I do. It's Delaware, for goodness' sake.
I mentioned fixin's, and they've got 'em, including creamed chip beef, fried tomatoes, grits and crunchy home fries. Coffee is magically refilled just when you need it by somewhat detached but efficient servers. The semi-open kitchen is replete with all the busy-diner clangs, crashes and clatters. And you'll probably run into somebody you know. Or somebody you met last night….
As penance for the gastrophony of carbs that are part of vacation breakfasts, they do offer some interesting salads. I have actually had the Fresh Fruit Fantasia. No matter what the season, they always seem to have fresh strawberries, apples, cantaloupes, etc. That's the only time I will eat cottage cheese. Of course there are burgers, and lots of them. They even have a Monte Cristo–served on French Toast! Don't forget the hot and sprawling open-face sandwiches and the standard clubs. You won't need dinner after those, so don't be mad when they wheel you out of the place at 3pm.
Crystal is at 620 Rehoboth Avenue. Double-check their hours in the off-season: 302-227-1088. By the way, they are open on Christmas Day! Crystal has no online menu. (B., L., D., Bar) Price Range: Inexpensive -.