Jeff Hamer of Fins Hospitality Group likes to call himself El Jefe Gordo. Well, he’s not THAT big a guy, but he IS the boss, and he DOES have a big sense of humor. He has taken over the ill-fated-from-the-start Beachside location (next to Catchers & Hotel Rehoboth) and recreated it into the Mexican-flavored El Jefe Gordo with tacos and tequila. It’s nice to see the lights on in there once again. And the food is better.
It was originally named Beachside for a reason: A large front patio with glistening light strings draws customers in their bating suits and flop flops. The inside still feels like the outside with casual decor. The bar area is a bit tight, but that’s part of the fun. It’s right by the kitchen window (where the food is delivered to the servers) so you can watch the cooks going about what they do. There always seems to be a traffic jam there in that corner, but again, it’s all part of the informal and beachy experience.
The Mexican street corn is one of the go-to apps there. So not miss it. We also liked the unusually spiced chili con queso (there are several selections of queso). Enchiladas and burritos are all served in the regulation style, and the experience is enhanced by a fun list of unusual cocktails (like a cucumber margarita with mezcal!). Scroll through the gallery to take a look.
El Jefe Gordo is at 251 Rehoboth Avenue in the third block, north side next to Catcher’s and Hotel Rehoboth. In-season hours are 11:30 to 9:30. Call for info at 302-212-5631
Hamer’s Fins Hospitality Group has expanded at lightening speed over the past few years. They have expanded their original Fins/Claws concepts on Rehoboth Avenue to include Fins Ale House/Big Oyster Brewery on Coastal Highway, the new Big Oyster Brewpub on Kings Highway in Lewes, yet another Fins across from the Sea Colony highrises in Bethany Beach, and yes, another Fins in downtown Berlin, Md. Big Oyster’s brews have met with quite a bit of success and Jeff’s team has been shipping as much beer out to other restaurants as they have been serving in their own.
Fins carryout and fish market will soon open across Kings Highway from the new brewpub, sharing the little strip center with Mr. P’s pizza and Hing Wang Chinese carryout.