Long-time restaurateur Yolanda Pineda is no stranger to Mexican, Salvadorean and Spanish food. Within viewing distance of the Atlantic Ocean on Wilmington Avenue, the Rehoboth Beach Mariachi is one of the most consistently good places for that sort of food here at the beach. Yolanda's personality is definitely one of the main courses at this large, 2-level facility, and when she opens her arms and says, “Mi casa es su casa!”, she really means it. If you go there a few times, you can't help but get to know her.
When the waiter reads the list of specials, listen carefully! Every special that has been ordered in my presence (at least so far) has been good. Don't miss the Queso Fundido Con Chorizo, a decadent casserole of creamy queso topped with crispy chorizo. Though you might start out intending to share, things might not end up that way. Try not to stab anybody with your fork. Another must-get is an order ot Yolanda's handmade tamales. They are delicious.
All the standard Mexican goodies are there: nachos (with that creamy cheese and crispy peppers), quesadillas, guacamole, etc. Branch out and try the sweetly irresistible Platanos (fried plantain), the Ceviche (a nice firm white fish marinated in lime juice, onions, peppers and cilantro), and the plump little Pupusas, each one lovingly stuffed with flavorful pork and cheese.
A simple salad that I always get is the Ensalada De Guacamole. Nothing more than a standard dinner salad with a mound of cool guac in the middle, for some reason it satisfies the texture/taste needs of this Foodie's pre-prandial nosh. The light, citrusy vinaigrette dressing tops it off perfectly. The Plato Verde is delicious and light: Cheese enchiladas covered in green tomatillo sauce along with a crispy guacamole taco, rice and black beans.
Regulars here at RF.com know about my ruts. That's why I take as many people with me as I can when I write about a place. My Mariachi rut is the Plato Norteño, a combination of a chicken burrito (spiced and shredded white-meat chicken), a rich cheese enchilada and, of course, guac. I love Tex-Mex and that does it for me. Fortunately, my regular dining companions like to branch out a little more. The seafood enchiladas are stuffed with lots of marine goodies and bathed in a happy tsunami of cheese and a cream sauce (didn't think you'd read the words “happy tsunami” today, did you?).
Chicken lovers should not miss the Pechuga al La Parilla, a boneless breast with lemon and a great sauce. The Spanish specialties have always been consistent and authentic, including such goodies as beef tongue, trout, sirloin steak, and what is reported to be wonderful Paella (it's not always on the menu), all decked out with shrimp, mussels, squid, scallops, fish and clams perched atop a savory saffron rice. Been there? Post your comments below.
Another tasty dish is the Masitas de Puerco, a savory dish of cubed and seared pork with Spanish rice and beans. Sort of like Carnitas, but with a Spanish accent.
Yolanda's legendary Tres Leches cake.1/19 Mariachi2/19 Queso fundido3/19 Handmade pupusas with that delicious spicy slaw.4/19 Sopa de Lima. Bright, acidic and delicious5/19 Nachos.6/19 My favorite, the Plato Norteno7/19 A sangria and a margarita. Two of the 4 basic food groups!8/19 Masitas de Puerco9/19 Yolanda's famous sangria10/19 Masitas platter with plantains, rice and broccoli11/19 Plato Verdi (vegetarian — and good!)12/19 Brazilian Salad13/19 Camarones Cancun14/19 Mariachi15/19 Mariachi16/19 Mariachi17/19 Mariachi18/19 Mariachi19/19
Don't forget the Sunday brunch at Mariachi! Scrambled eggs with homemade chorizo, chorizo eggs Benedict, Yolanda's decadent and delicious Platanos (fried plantains with sour cream), her handmade pupusas, and lots of mimosas and sangria. If you have a little group, and Yolanda isn't busy, she might even make a little breakfast family-style platter for you. Can't hurt to ask….
Surprisingly, in this wonderful whirlwind of pork, chicken and seafood, they have six tasty sounding vegetarian dishes, including a wonderful Plato Rojo, a cheesy chile relleno, deep fried, of course. Almost makes you forget it's vegetarian. Check out our resident plant chewer's thoughts in Grilled Cheese & Beyond. Mariachi has possibly the most delicious dessert in Rehoboth Beach: Yolanda's Tres Leches cake. Trust your Foodie on this one.
I finally got out of my Plato Norteño rut and ordered the Camarones Cancun. Where have these been all my life? This generous portion of tender butterflied shrimp arrive at the table fajita-style, hot, noisy and sizzlin' like all-get-out. They are deliciously spiced with just a touch of heat which the butter smooths out perfectly. Like shrimp? Get these. You won't be sorry. They arrive with flour tortillas, pinto beans and Yolanda's wonderful yellow rice. Careful — the plate is hot.
Mariachi is a three-story building at 14 Wilmington Ave, on the south side, just a half-block from the Boardwalk. Be sure to call to check their hours (302-227-0115). By the way, if you decide you just can't go even one day without Yolanda's food, they have a wonderful, huge and airy apartment on the top floor (ocean view both front and back) that is available for rental and/or parties. One flight down to nirvana.
Speaking of apartments, having an affair? Yolanda will cater it! Click here to view the lunch, dinner and brunch menus.
(Sat. (in season), Sun. Brunch, L., D., Bar) Price Range: Moderate -.