GoBrit! owner and long-time Rehoboth Beach resident Alison Blyth is no stranger to Rehoboth Beach dining. This seasoned restaurateur is responsible for the storied La La Land (and its magical bar), as well as the pan-Asian flavored Yum Yum (both long gone). Her authentic fish + chip shop, GoFish!, is just steps from the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk and is always busy.
It's no secret that it can be a challenge for Lewes residents, visitors and highway dwellers in general to brave the in-season downtown traffic, the crowds, the parade of J-walkers. the police radar lurking around every corner, and the 25¢ for 12 minutes parking meters — all of which contribute so much to the charm of downtown Rehoboth Beach. So if you can't bring the people to the fried cod, then you bring the fried cod to the people.
GoBrit! has taken over that old Deli 88 space in a big way. Huge lighted signs beckon to southbound traffic and also directly out onto the highway. Colorful graphics of London's telephone boxes greet you at the door. The place is cheerful, bright, and always busy. Did anyone expect anything less of our favorite Limey?
The menu for this adventurous franchise prototype is very similar to the mothership in Rehoboth Beach.
My favorite is The Codfather. A crunchy chunk of light and flaky cod is nestled in a delicious bun that's smooth and shiny on the outside with a crisp and toasty inside. It envelops the contents to make for a delicious bite. The dish includes cole slaw, which I urge you to spoon onto the top of the fish before assembling the sandwich. The cool crunch of the veggies against the warm fish surrounded by the toasted roll is not to be missed. At the risk of stirring up The Chronic Complainers (I love them, actually — they keep me in line!) it is indeed quite good.
Lose the roll, add shorty french fries (OK, chips, mate…) and you've got the Famous Beer Battered Fish + Chips. Mild tartar sauce and Lemon top it off. The same beer batter that encases the snow-white fish is also applied to fried shrimp, oysters, sausages, chicken breast and little crab cakes (crab balls, in fact). If you like the fish, you'll like these.
In keeping with the seriously British vibe, Alison has plopped a genuine antique Morris Minor (it's a car!) in the front corner. She pays proper homage to London's ubiquitous Indian influence with Tandoori Chicken Skewers (garlic-mint yogurt is on the side), English Chip Shop Curry Sauce and the East India Dock (tandoori chicken in a taco with chips). The mushy peas are creamy and delicious, and you can feel like one of the southern colonies by ordering the Tandoori Mushy Peas. There's no authentic Tandoori oven, of course, but the spices and sauces come close enough for an informal place with food served in paper that's printed like a London newspaper — you can actually read it.
In addition to standard fish + chip shop fare, the Homemade Shepherd's Pie is brightly spiced and quite filling. It's made with beef, by the way, not lamb. In keeping with the efficient franchise model, it is served in an aluminum baking casserole — but the taste is the same as that served at the mothership downtown.
Baked Fisherman's Pie (you'll like the creamy lobster sauce) and Bangers + Mash (flanked by mushy peas and English brown sauce) complete the British invasion.
My favorite: The Codfather. Add slaw, pickles and a bit of Tabasco.1/10 go brit! wrap2/10 Do your part!3/10 Yup. A real Morris Minor4/10 Just fish platter5/10 Cool front doors!6/10 7 come 11!7/10 Mushy peas, of course.8/10 The particularly good shepherd's pie.9/10 On a clear day you can see (it) forever.10/10
One particularly British offering is the Chip Butty. Alison is concerned that this one's throwing everybody for a loop, and it probably is. It's pretty simple, really: Chips (fries) on a buttered and toasted roll. Period. An acquired taste, to be sure, but what's not to like? If you are feeling particularly MotherLandish, try it. Post a comment below.
Alison's Homemade English Sticky Toffee Pudding is a legend in these parts and is not to be missed. It's everything it sounds like it is. Trust your Foodie and order it.
Service is very friendly and hi-tech, with orders taken at a 3-station counter using iPads. You choose your meal from a bright flat-screen with animated photos of your lunch and dinner moving about. Connections with the kitchen are over wi-fi, and orders come flyin' out of there almost as quickly as the signals fly over the Internet.
As a franchise prototype, you can expect a few tweaks here and there, and some items (like the Prince William's Groom's Cake) may or may not be there when you visit (it's really good–get it soon).
Before this article was posted, the Foodie received several emails about the not-so-heavy-duty plastic utensils at GoBrit! Apparently several visitors to RehobothFoodie.com had to wrestle a Caesar Salad using less than effective tools. Well, as we expected, Alison was way ahead of us all. Solidly built forks and knives replaced the thinner ones.
After making over 10 visits so far, there have been very few (if any) missteps in the preparation, presentation or delivery of the product. This lady knows her stuff and she has a great staff. Let's hope they keep it up.
GoBrit! is directly across from Bethany Blues, in Coastal Plaza right next to the Verizon Store. You'll see the huge GoBrit! signs long before you see anything else. Call (302) 644-2250 for their off-season hours (they're usually open 'til at least 8 in the off-season). Click here for a look at the menu. (L., D.). Price range: Moderate +.