When I think of a beach vacation, I think of relaxed breakfasts with endless hot coffee and made-to-order food. Jimmy’s Kitchen in Fenwick Island is a great place for both. It couldn’t be more “beachy” in its strip-center location, facing east and just steps from the Atlantic. The first thing you see when you enter is none other than Jimmy himself, manning the flattop grill. He may be up to his you-know-what in tickets, but if you happen to catch his eye he will always say hello and welcome you.
Most of my experience at Jimmy’s is with breakfast. Those of you who have been here at the shore for a while might remember “General’s Kitchen,” a motel restaurant in Ocean City that proudly touted its Creamed Chipped Beef. Well, in the early days, that was Jimmy’s signature dish, and he brought it with him to Fenwick Island. If you like S.O.S., you will LOVE this. You can get it lovingly slathered over a biscuit, toast, or even with crispy hash browns. Other combinations are available, of course, including Creamed Chipped Beef on a waffle, pancakes or all alone as a side. You can also buy it to carry out. Just heat and pour it over your favorite carbohydrate.
Three-egg omelets can be wrapped around S.O.S., bacon, several kinds of cheese, vegetables … the combinations are endless and, in fact, have yet to be calculated in the free world. Jimmy’s Spanish omelet (he makes the sauce himself) has been reported to be the stuff of Fenwick legend. You can even get a hash brown omelet. Yup, those crunchy little rascals are wrapped up right inside the eggs! Of course, scrapple is on the menu. This is Delaware, after all, so stop frowning and order it (well done!). It’s local, rich and crispy.
My favorite combo is the Nor’Easter: hotcakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, grits (or hash browns) and, of course, the obligatory side of S.O.S. You’ll need to be removed with a forklift, but you’ll be smiling all the way. I’ve had some experience with Jimmy’s lunches, and my all-time favorite is the Chicken Salad Club sandwich with bacon (add cheese, please). The chicken salad is slathered on two layers. Of course, it’s homemade every day, so when he runs out of it, he runs out of it. So there.
Other standard beach-style lunches include cheesesteak subs, burgers, BLTs (delicious!), various wraps, and quickie breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese and pretty much any breakfast protein you can come up with. Jimmy also whomps up his own egg salad and tuna salad pretty much every day, so get it early before it’s gone.
I’ll never forget the afternoon at Jimmy’s when he called out from the kitchen, “I’m runnin’ out of eggs! Somebody lock the door” Announcements like this are fairly standard at Jimmy’s (that’s why I like sitting at the bar/counter in the front, within eavesdropping distance of his running commentary).
Jimmy’s Kitchen is open at 6:30am for breakfast and lunch only, and might be closed or open limited hours in the middle of the off-season (302-537-2423). It’s a bit of a haul from Rehoboth (about 25 minutes, I guess), but if you find yourself trekking south, and you’re hungry for a great sandwich or a hot breakfast, turn into the Ocean Bay Plaza and give Jimmy’s a try. You won’t be sorry. Jimmy’s doesn’t have an online menu available. (B, L) Price Range: Inexpensive-.