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Murph’s Beef & Ale

/ Updated on August 13, 2015
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Joanne Ketler and Patricia Cipollone have opened their brand new Murph’s Beef & Ale in the space that hosted the ill-fated PrimoHoagies on The Avenue in Henlopen Station center near Signarama, Casa DiLeo and the former Big Sissies (now The Swell). Lots of visibility and tons of free parking.

It’s important to make one thing clear about Murph’s Beef & Ale: If you go in there expecting a “roast beef sammich on whole wheat with mayo, lettuce and tomato,” you’re in the wrong place. You can get a nice one of those at Arena’s. Murph’s style is very regional, sharing primary characteristics with Philadelphia, Chicago and Buffalo, NY. Like the Chicago Italian Beef (actually dipped entirely in jus), or northwestern New York’s Beef on Weck (a salty roll and gravy-covered beef), these sandwiches are made in a specific way: Beef is sliced onto a roll, jus is ladled over the top (enough to soak into the roll), and minimal toppings like cheese or gravy are available. In Philly, broccoli raab always accompanies the pork sandwich (think DiNics in Reading Terminal Market). OK, enough with the regional food lesson.

UPDATE! Well, the Murph’s girls are nothing if not responsive! They listened to the comments posted here at RehobothFoodie.com and sandwich orders now include a nice pickle spear right there on the large plate with the sandwich. So there’s even more to like as the proprietors continue to improve their little sandwich shop. Now back to the program in progress.

I’ve been to Murph’s twice so far, and I’ll tell you why I feel they are on the right track:

1. Their kaiser rolls (key to a good sandwich) are delivered daily from none other than Amoroso’s Baking Co. in Philadelphia. The 9th & Passyunk crowd is familiar with these soft, yeasty little gems.

2. There are banana pepper rings AND grated horseradish on the counter. You can apply as much or as little as you want. Let freedom ring!

3. They offer the “outside cuts” of the beef as an option when ordering, until they are all gone, of course. Outside cuts of beef or pork shoulder (we call them “burnt ends” in the BBQ business) are the reason we are not vegetarians.

4. They drizzle jus over the top of the meat – just enough that it soaks into the roll a little, but not so much that you have to eat the sandwich with a straw.

The gravy fries (get the beef gravy) are a sleeper there, and the chunks of beef make it even more appealing. Think Canadian poutine, but without the cheese. I am planning a return visit to check out some of the other starters.

Take a look at the gallery for photos taken so far. The ladies are still fine-tuning everything, but they seem to be going in the right direction. And yes, the teeny-weenie plates (seemed like a good idea on paper) have been replaced with nice big plates with a tall edge. So the juice and gravy stay put!

The bar is friendly and has a particularly nice touch: They have New Belgium Fat Tire on draft! Murf’s Beef & Ale is open Sun-Thurs 11a-12 midnight, Fri & Sat 11a ’til 1a. Stay tuned for more pics, and listen to Joanne and Pat on my radio show on Saturday, 7/11. They are a hoot.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

37169 Rehoboth Avenue Extended

302-212-5355

Sunday
Open 11 - midnight
Monday
Open 11 - midnight
Tuesday
Open 11 - midnight
Wednesday
Open 11 - midnight
Thursday
Open 11 - midnight
Friday
Open 11 - 1
Saturday
Open 11 - 1
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

“My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less.”

View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Hosting says:

    Amazing food! The beef was super tender and packed with flavor. The sharp provolone was a perfect compliment. Definitely order the cheese fries – the homemade cheese sauce was fabulous. Owners are so nice and really dedicated! Great atmosphere!

  2. A.D.Myers says:

    Lovely pub, good food, & great beer selection; but we really can’t enjoy the evening entrees like good old Shepherds Pie, on paper plates with plastic silverware. That works with the sandwiches, but not for the comfort food nightly specials. Just sayin.

  3. Tony Logan says:

    This has my mouth watering. Always like trying new places when we’re in Rehoboth, which, now that I live in the Midwest, isn’t nearly often enough.
    Really appreciate your reviews, RF–think you do a mighty fine job giving a complete and honest review of a particular restaurant. The info you provide really helps me narrow down the list of places I want to visit. Keep up the good work!

  4. Always Hungry says:

    I liked PrimoHoagies, except for the (at times) nonexistent service. However, Murph’s appears to be a friendly, down-to-earth and tasty replacement. The pork/broccoli rabe rivals what I’ve had at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. I shared the mushroom beef gravy and fries with my co-diner, and it was some of the best beef gravy I have tasted. I like the nice bar, too. Definitely worth stopping by.

  5. Ed says:

    I must have eaten at a different place… beef was dry … served on small paper plates … service was below par … when ordering a sandwich you expect at least chips or a pickle .. here nothing… I like new place .. I may try again but lots of improvement needed

  6. Dan Dutcher says:

    The french fries are a treat to accompany your sandwich, have them with 1 of 4 gravies (with or without chunks of meat) or cheesy provolone sauce. My one friend loves them with both beef meat and cheese gravies together. Love this place.

  7. Barbara Dorsey says:

    Popped in here for a quick lunch. I had the roast beef at the suggestion of the bar maid. I ordered it with provolone and the “gravy” on the side. The chef carved it to order, and even scratched out some of the inside of the kaiser roll. It was so good! I went at it french dip style. Beer was cold, parking easy and the price was very fair. I saw another dish that had broccoli rabe on it and that might be the next time I go to next time. And there will definitely be a next time.

    I am not a big eater, I brought half the sandwich home to my son and he thought it was awesome!

  8. Gladys Ward says:

    My turkey sandwich, Murphed (with sharp provalone) was great. One suggestion: please provide a plate larger than the roll! That big guy needs a little more room!

  9. Susan Walker says:

    Two suggestions the roast beef sandwich should be offered with a side of Au jus and the turkey sandwich and entree with a side of cranberry sauce. The roast beef could be sliced a bit thinner also. It’s good now but could be even better.

  10. Walt Harding says:

    A Philly style beef & beer joint in slower lower! Wow, what a great idea and long overdue. While we found the atmosphere and the staff at Murph’s to be great, my wife and I found the roast beef and roast pork sandwiches are not quite ready for prime time yet. Perhaps it’s because the volume of sales at Murph’s doesn’t yet approach that in the Philly area beef & beer pubs, but my wife and I found that the sandwiches didn’t taste much like those we grew up with in Philadelphia and it’s burbs. That could change if the traffic at Murph’s builds, as the meats would then turn over much faster and thereby be fresher. Two more suggestions I have for making a genuine Philly beef & beer pub out of Murph’s would be to ditch the gravy on the pork sandwiches and add long hots at no additional cost for customers who want them. Authentic Philly style beef & pork sandwiches are coated with au jus, not gravy, and paying an additional $3 for Italian long hots to add to a sandwich makes for a rather expensive sandwich. Most of the places in the Philly area have fried or roasted long hots sitting in a bowl on the bar and/or tables at no additional cost.
    I don’t mean this to be critical of Murph’s. I am simply offering suggestions that I believe could help them to succeed, and succeed is what I would like to see them do because there are few things I would like better than to be able to get a good authentic Philly roast beef or roast pork sandwich without having to drive 100 miles to get it.

  11. bob elliott says:

    Great food. You should stop in. You will like it

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