It took me a while to decide on a category for The Point Coffee House & Bake Shoppe. They do serve great breakfast sandwiches, but they also have light and fresh lunches. They not only make pies, cakes and (amazing) pastries, but they also bake delicious bread. Yes, you can buy a cup of coffee there, but they also import, roast and grind their own signature blends of coffee as well. So that's my disclaimer. I'm not going through all the work of creating a new category.
The Point is owned by true locals Jen and Jeff Zerby, who also own and operate the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel and Victoria's restaurant. The Victoria's Blend coffee that you enjoy after dinner at the hotel starts in a big burlap bag full of raw beans at The Point; selected, roasted, cooled and blended in-house. The fresh bread that appears at your table at Victoria's is baked from scratch up there at the end of Rehoboth Avenue.
The big Probat coffee roaster takes center stage in the front window. In the words of the legendary Ron Popeil, “And it really, really works!” After hours, when all is quiet, raw beans are selected from real honest-to-goodness burlap bags (you can just imagine them slung over the back of Lana, Juan Valdez' intrepid burro. (In reality they arrive in a truck.) The burners are fired up on the massive machine, the beans are loaded through a huge stainless steel hopper, and they are literally babysat through the roasting process. They make little noises as they heat up, and those sounds signal when to disgorge the 450° beans into the stirrer/cooling tray. Each batch is “cupped” over a three day period to determine where it lies on the flavor spectrum.
I strongly suggest the Wreckless Abandon blend. It has an unusual flavor that makes you want to go back and get more. If you're a bike rider, check out the proprietary Pedal Faster and Boardwalk Cruiser blends. The guys down the Avenue at Bike to Go even sell it there, and I'm told if you buy a nice bike they'll give you a bag.
Another tasty bean is the Papua New Guinea. Like the powerful Kenya AA, it's a single-bean coffee, and both will set you free.
Their salads are usually quite good, and the menu board changes regularly. Lunchtime will almost always have some sort of club sandwich, and if you are there when egg salad is featured, get it. If you order a sandwich, try to get them to make it on the savory and brightly spiced focaccia.
No sense in giving you an address (though you can map it if you are a lucky owner of Rehoboth In My Pocket), because The Point Coffee House & Bake Shoppe is the very last business on the left at the end of Rehoboth Avenue if you are driving west. You can't miss their sign. They open at 7 a.m. and close at 5 every day in-season. Hours do vary in the off-season, so give them a call at 302-260-9734. You can also get custom-made cakes and pies (including wedding cakes) and, of course, coffees are available by the bag. By the way, the terminally cute graphics that adorn the coffee bags are created by none other than Jen Zerby herself. Clever girl, that Jen.
So morning coffee, a vanilla-topped donut or a good sandwich with some freshly brewed iced tea are must-dos in Rehoboth. Those of you looking for opening manager Tommy Gross will be disappointed: as of late summer 2013, Tommy has moved on to the concierge position at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel. His wonderful personality will be as much a benefit to the beautiful oceanfront facility as it will be a loss to The Point. The good news about The Point's location is that it's as easy to access for highway dwellers as it is for downtowners. And for goodness' sake try the donuts. (B., L., carryout). Price range: Inexpensive +.