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Purple Parrot Grill

/ Updated on May 12, 2014

Purple Parrot Grill is well-known for its drink specials, its party atmosphere, its perfect location (what's more fun than those big 6-tops towering over Rehoboth Avenue!?) and for its raucous, campy entertainment. It is not particularly known for its food. But, y'know, I suspect it knows that. The place is so upbeat and so much fun that it's easy to overlook the food (and the occasional spotty service) and just get with the program. Not happy? Then you shouldn't be there. Order another drink.

In all fairness, there are some bright spots on the Parrot's huge menu (as of this writing, 20 appetizers, 10 salads, 28 wraps/burgers/subs and 21 entree platters!). We never miss the Oriental Pot Stickers appetizer. I suspect these arrive at the loading dock frozen, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, they are quite tasty slathered with the bright and salty sesame dipping sauce. Another impressive appetizer is the Baked Brie. The kicker on that platter has to be the roasted garlic bulb. The soft brie and assorted veggies (most recently it was cool and fresh cantaloupe) play politely with the warm, buttery cloves of garlic.

My preferred Foodie-at-Large loves the Hot Spinach Salad. The spinach, mushrooms and boiled egg have always been fresh, and the warm bacon dressing (served on the side) is bracing and sweetly savory.

On our last visit I ordered the “Ours, Not-Chos.” Yes, you figured it out: It's a big pile of nachos. You never know how these are going to come out of the kitchen. Sometimes they are hot, with creamy cheese flowing over crunchy, colorful chips studded with pickled jalapeno slices and topped with a pint of cold sour cream and bright green guacamole. Other times, like last night, they are tepid, with crusty dessicated cheese burned onto room temperature chips. The guacamole was already turning brown (it oxidizes when it sits too long). Maybe it spent too much time in the window under the warmer? Who knows.

One appetizer not to be missed is the Parrot Poop Dip. This is a wonderfully named puree of black beans, avocado and some well-placed spices through which you dredge crackly blue corn tortilla chips. We also like the Fried Crab Balls. They are made of the same stuff the entree crab cakes are made of (not bad either, with a tasty spice mix). Get some Tabasco to stir into the cocktail sauce.

The uncontested star of the show in the “wraps, clubs, baskets, burgers and subs” department is the French Dip Wrap. Carnivores cannot go wrong with the tender slices of warm prime rib encased in a bright green spinach tortilla with crunchy, spicy fries. (By the way, these tasty fries also start out frozen, but I served the very same ones at my restaurant for years and people always complained when we ran out of the frozen ones and made them fresh. The wonders of modern technology!)

Burger lovers almost always include the Parrot's Infamous Mumbo Jumbo Burger on their list of beefy delights. It weighs a pound and is cooked to order. (They warn you not to order it if you are in a hurry.) But it's worth the wait. Get extra pickles, mustard, and a slice of tomato (only if tomatoes are in season). Another good bet is the Maryland Lobster Wrap, actually a langostinos/crab salad in an Old Bay-laced tortilla. Not unlike The Foodie himself, the thing is fully packed and quite good.

Last night, accompanying diners ordered the Cheese Quesadillas, joined by cool pico de gallo and actual fresh guacamole. They also got the Hand Dipp'd Beer-Battered Fish & Chips. White, flaky frozen halibut fillets are fried to a particularly tasty crunch, with those spicey fries doing perfectly fine duty as chips. Both dishes are good — not great — but again, this is bar food, and we never promised you a rose garden.

The menu is huge, and I suspect you probably have your own favorites and not-so-favorites. Why not share them with us below? The Purple Parrot has been in Rehoboth Beach for ages, and they must be doing something right. It has always amazed me that in the dead of winter when everything else is deserted, the Parrot is hoppin'. And in the summer … well, the only thing missing is Jimmy Buffet and his blown-out flip-flop. Friday and Saturday they have karaoke, and Sundays feature the timeless antics of Tara Austin's Bird Cage Bad Girls. This is Rehoboth Beach, after all.

If you're looking for fine, candlelit dining. this is not your place. If you're looking for a fun, noisy, crowded beach bar with good drink specials (plus a huge selection of reasonably interesting food), right smack in the second block from the ocean, then this is where you want to be. Check out the Purple Parrot's menu here. Give 'em a call if you need to know something like the entertainment schedule (302-226-1139). They are open 11 am 'til 1 am weekdays, and weekends from 9 am 'til 1 am. (B., L., D., Bar) Price range: moderate.

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)

134 Rehoboth Ave.
(302) 226-1139

Open 9 - 10
Open 11 - 10
Open 11 - 10
Open 11 - 10
Open 11 - 10
Open 11 - 10
Open 9 - 10
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. Avatar John Iglar says:

    Visit rehoboth 4 – 5 timrs a year. First stop was always pp. Not anymore. Menu changed. It’s a shadow of its former self. Snow crap app was always superb. Best quality crab legs. No more. Dry and mealy. Took favorite brie and roasted garlic off. Used to spend 2 – 3 hours a day noshing and spend $100 each time. No more. Maybe since they bought the Iguana they don’t have money for old level of quality at pp?

  2. Avatar Sandi says:

    Service was bad! Glass was chipped but no apology. Had to flag down our waiter and then keep flagging him down. Just got up and got our own drinks. Food is good bar food. Drag show was fabulous!

  3. Avatar Bonnie H says:

    I had a shrimp po boy with potato salad and also a oyster sandwich and they were great I will order again, Mom is great and has a good heart.Go to the Purple Parrot for good food and drinks.

  4. Avatar patron says:

    I visited this restaurant summer 2013, I ordered two drink for the outside bar, received the drinks and no change. Gave bartender a 20. I waited for my change but was ignored by bartender as if I was not standing right there. I had to ask for my change. Did he really think I was going to give him a 10.00 tip for two drinks??? He went back to register, pull out a 10, and slapped it on the bar next to my hand. Very rude – I don’t even know why!!! Will NEVER go back again. Did not even finish the watered down drinks.

  5. Avatar Frank says:

    I have seen many comments about the reception person. It is a shame because that detracts from a great place. The specials are great and they have 1/2 priced apps some nights at Happy Hour.

  6. Avatar Ann toner says:

    The Wednesday off season special of half priced crab is something not to miss! Great crab cakes and fries, slaw or potato salad! Hurry over on Wednesdays-you won’t be disappointed!

  7. Avatar edie says:

    I had lunch yesterday in the Biergarten. The wait staff was friendly, although just learning the menu and being oriented, by Wayne, a very personable bartender. We had a nice meal (I had the schnitzel, with awesome red cabbage; my friend had a burger and fries- she said the beef had good flavor) The food was very good, in fact everything I saw walking past me I had to know what it was, as it all looked GOOD! The quesadillas, spinach salad, nachos. It was a nice casual outdoor venue. Will be back. I thought my cosmo was a pricey.

  8. Avatar fightingbluehen says:

    The only place in town I know of where you can get stone crab claws with the dijon mustard sauce.

  9. Avatar P_O_P says:

    We have tried the Parrot many times, and have found the food awful, the service worse, and god forbid you ask to talk to management. You will never be served there again. I have spent a great deal of time in Key West, and rarely cooked while there, I have not yet seen not a successful restaurant/bar with a snobbish owner, grumpy entertainers, and even grumpier waitstaff.

  10. Avatar Mike M says:

    I love the 1 lb burger on Mondays with the fixings bar.. Freshly made 1 lb of ground beef, cooked to your liking. They offer potato salad or fries and the fixings bar consists of a couple cheeses, friend and raw onions, mushrooms, bacon, pickles, and the usual condiments. I always wind up taking a little home, it’s actually too much to eat, all for $6.79. Good bar food.
    The service is okay, the staff has always been friendly to myself and my wife. The noise is a bit much at times, but it is an upbeat atmosphere for sure.
    If you’re looking for a gourmet meal with incredible ambiance, then go to a gourmet restaurant!
    I can’t buy a McDonald’s quarter pounder for $6.79, let alone a freshly made burger.
    Foodie…thank you for all the info you provide here, it is appreciated.

  11. Avatar Chris R says:

    Love the pot roast sub… For the type of food they serve, Purple Parrot is consistent and good, not great, but good.

  12. Avatar Mary Lou mc says:

    I wrote a comment last august(see above) but I just want to respond to the reviewers who complained about the food.my friends and family consider me a bit of a food snob and armature gourmet foodie but ther is a time and place for everything.like the rehoboth foodie said this is beach bar food minus jimmy buffet,the salads,wraps,burgers r as good as any TGIF Fridays,hollihans,Applebee’s,etc….good but not some great gourmet dining.when I go I usually order a crab cake salad and we share the nachos.one exception is…we were there a year or so ago and they had a special fried grouper sandwich that was great, the smell alone was amazing. Ps … The bloody Mary’s on Sunday r a great deal,I think they were 2 or 3. Dollars,they were served in a pint glass and they did not skimp on the vodka…yum!

  13. Avatar Fran says:

    I have been to the Purple Parrot many times, but only in the off season. You can’t beat their specials; $10.75 for any entree (dinner). Two LBS of snow crab legs plus vegetables and fresh mashed potatoes, 1 LB prime rib with all the fixings, skewers of excellent steak and large scallops over wild rice. These are three of my favorites but there really is a large selection. The food is decent and even excellent on some nights. Service is spotty but they are quick to accommodate. It is a great place to go to shake off the winder doldrums. One question, last winter the special was on Tuesday and Thursday. Do you know if it is the same as last year and if it already started?

  14. Avatar mary lou m says:

    my husband and i love this place ,fun, good food and a bit of key west( our favorite placr). we love the outdoor area,our yard at home is set up the same way and everyone thought my husband was crazy when he had tons and tons of sand delivered,so obviously we like the great attitude here. bloody mary specials on sunday are the best! i would like to respond to the comment by brian g.,my husband and i visit the pp a few times a year and we always sit at the tables at the front by the porch and it is only the 2 of us.

  15. Brian G. Brian G. says:

    We had an experience like that there last spring. The restaurant was empty, and we dropped by for a drink about 3:30 in the afternoon. We had 4 with us, and I asked for one of the front tables by the windows. The guy at the front door said they didn’t seat less than 6 there. Fine. I get it. But the place was empty on a May weekday. He was just plain rude and walked away from us. We went somewhere else. We haven’t been back to the PP since. Somebody should remind that guy where his paycheck comes from.

  16. Avatar Jerry says:

    Don’t EVER go to the Purple Parrot! We were there with an out of state friend this past Saturday. We stopped in and had a drink, then walked the boardwalk for an hour. We returned at 7:30 when the place started filling up. They would not let us in because they could not find the expiration date on our friends CT drivers license. All three of us are 49 years old and were just in there an hour earlier and the doorman knew it! He was extremely rude! I guess we were not young enough or gay enough to join the evening’s festivities. Discrimination for sure!! We will never spend another dime in that place!

  17. Avatar frank says:

    It is true that the Parrot is noisy, but those who know the Parrot go there for the fun atmosphere. We took friends from NJ there last week nd had an awesome lunch. There is a huge selection of sandwichs. Everyone had a great lunch. Also true that service is a bit slow but we didnt mind. Had a couple drnks and good conversation

  18. Avatar Jessica says:

    When the purple parrot originally opened it was wonderful! Great food, Great Service, Excellent entertainment. That being said as the years have gone on it’s gets worse and worse. We used to eat there once a week now if someone brings it up we give a flat NO! In recent months the service at the bar has been terrible due the rude bartender. Service at the tables is so-so, but the food god help them is awful! I love bar food but there is a difference between bar food and Junky slopped togethor bar food. I miss the old purple parrot!

  19. Avatar anna march says:

    why thank you foodie, that does indeed explain! xo

  20. Avatar anna march says:

    why thank you, foodie. that does indeed explain it! xo

  21. Avatar The Foodie Replies says:

    I was hoping somebody would ask that.
    This was a difficult place to rate. It is a fun bar, with lots of good and downright silly entertainment. As I said in my review, the bar food is abundant, with something for everybody. Though there are few, if any, culinary home-runs, the overall experience at The Parrot makes it a timeless Rehoboth Beach destination. In short, you don’t go there for a fine-dining meal. Go there for a fun evening where you might happen to eat.
    So the “9” overall is an average of the upbeat, noisy, beachy, alcohol-laced atmosphere, the good drink specials, the terrific location and view (if you sit in the front facing Rehoboth Avenue or out back facing Wilmington Ave.). The “6” is for the OK food.
    This is one of the times I wish I had more rating categories, but the Ratings Box is about as big as I can make it.

  22. Avatar anna march says:

    how did it get a 9 overall when food got a 6? ‘splain, lucy. xo

  23. Avatar Brian and Rose says:

    Love your site, Mr. Foodie. We check it before each trip here. You’re right about Parrot. And it’s funny…if the casual service is any indication, they DO seem to know that it’s bar food and you should get over it and just get another cocktail.
    We never miss the Parrot especially on Sundays.

  24. Avatar T&T says:

    Sunday night is fun there. The food is mediocre, but if you must have bar food, this place is where to get it. So much on the menu, there’s bound to be something you’ll like.

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