Worth Trying 2019

Welcome to our ninth annual Worth Trying Issue. Though we feature Worth Trying suggestions monthly, each January we devote much of the magazine to personal recommendations from staff, contributors and friends of Out & About. These suggestions on where and what to eat, drink, see and do are scattered throughout these pages, interspersed with our usual assortment of feature stories, news items and other fun stuff.

Enjoy, and have a very happy New Year!

 

Get Looped
The Art Loop is not just a showcase for Wilmington’s visual arts scene, it’s a great way to meet people if you are new to town, and an inexpensive night out for those on a tight budget. The concept is simple: Synchronize free opening receptions for galleries throughout the city to take place the first Friday of every month (5 p.m. start), throw in complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and spread the word. It’s been a successful formula for 30 years.
— Jerry duPhily, Publisher


Joe Purzycki’s Story
In 1982, former UD All-American defensive back Joe Purzycki (brother of Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki) was famously hired as the first-ever white head football coach at Delaware State, a Historically Black College. The story of how he partnered with Athletic Director Nelson Townsend to turn around a faltering program is told in Mr. Townsend & The Polish Prince, by Purzycki and writer/broadcaster Mike Gastineau. The book, at $19.95, was already a top seller in Amazon’s football biographies category at press time.
— Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor


Main Event Entertainment
Opened just last summer, Main Event Entertainment in Newark is a great place for the whole family to enjoy. Inside there are so many things to try, including ziplining, laser tag, bowling, arcade and video games. Prices vary depending on the day you visit. On Mondays there is a discounted flat rate of $10.95 for ziplining, laser tag, and bowling starting at 4 p.m. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Main Event Entertainment is located at 2900 Fashion Center Blvd.
— Elizabeth Carlson, Intern

YMCA Skate Camps
Looking for an alternative to team sports? Let your kids try skateboarding. It’s is a healthy alternative activity that allows kids to advance on their own. Like most sports and activities, the more you practice the better you get. With skateboarding, there are no cuts, no choosing teams; kids simply advance on their own with no pressure. The Brandywine YMCA has partnered with Ben Jones of Kinetic Skateboarding to provide Skate Camps for kids. The camps teach kids who have never stepped on a skateboard all the fundamental skills required  for them to start to skate. Once they have the basics they naturally begin to try new things while improving their balance, and they continue to grow and enjoy the sport.
— Anthony Santoro, Contributing Photographer

Escape Rooms
If you haven’t heard of the concept behind escape rooms, it’s relatively simple: A group of two or more people is locked in a room, typically for an hour, and must find clues and solve puzzles to find the key to escape. It may sound a bit contrived, but well-made rooms provide an exciting challenge for friends, coworkers or, for the particularly brave, family. There are several options to choose from in New Castle County, though not all escape rooms are created equal. Look up online reviews and, if possible, ask a friend who’s done a few.
— Dan Linehan, Contributing Writer

Brookbend Interiors
Located in the thriving town of Elkton, Maryland, this unique shop has a little something for all. John and Steve have items to make any home more decorative: custom-made furniture, rugs made of recycled plastic, pictures and things to put on your walls. They have it all. It’s worth a short ride to visit this eclectic shop at 116 East Main St. in Elkton.
— John Murray, Contributing Writer



Kindred Skincare Co.
Frances Thrasher, owner of Kindred Skincare Co., created this all-organic skincare line after she developed overly sensitive skin and allergies from chemical overexposure at work. She used her background in chemistry to understand and craft oils to create skincare products that could gently cleanse and moisturize her allergic skin. I found her skincare line through the First State Health & Wellness Integrative Health Center and now I’m hooked. The Body Oil is a proprietary blend of more than 10 different oils and is the perfect daily moisturizer. At first it feels weird (read: greasy), but then something magic happens and it absorbs fully into your skin. In addition to the Body Oil, Kindred sells face cleansers and moisturizers for a full-body experience. Try the Starter Core kit with four sample-sized oils.

— Leeann Wallett, Contributing Writer

Stop Driving Everywhere
This tip is more for those Delawareans living in cities, but suburbanites and rural folk might find some use in it.  Evidence is piling up that the car is terrible for just about every aspect of urban life.  Parking lots create economic dead zones. Street planning sacrifices what’s good for the pedestrian to cater to the car. Public transportation suffers to the point that it stops being a viable way to get around. Then there are the obvious car accidents, air pollution, and the sheer expense of owning a car.  Recently, I’ve been struck by how walkable and bikeable Wilmington is and, as a result, I’ve been leaving the car in the driveway and biking into town. I like it because it connects me with the city, gives me a better understanding of the geography of my hometown, saves money, and makes transportation a healthier choice. I’m not saying you have to sell your car and burn your license, just remember that your feet can do more than push a gas pedal.
— Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Write

Simpson’s Hobbies
Simpson’s Hobbies has been a Brandywine Hundred tradition since 1951 and generations of kids of all ages have stopped there for, well, pretty much everything, from comic books to radio-controlled cars and planes. The Foulk Road shop has evolved over the years as technology has changed the toy/hobby market, but you can still get low-tech things like model airplanes, cars and ships, as well as trains and rockets, and even board games, which some kids today might not even recognize. Plus, the place has a special ambience that has built up for more than 60 years, and you can’t find that just anyplace.
— Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer

Elderberry Elixir
What if cold medicine tasted good? Prevent the cold from striking by making (or buying) your own elderberry syrup. To make it at home, all you need are dried or fresh elderberries, water and sweetener. Clinical studies suggest that it boosts our immune status, which helps combat viruses that cause the common cold and flu. Or, if you can’t find dried or fresh elderberries, Harvest Market carries this bluish-black elixir by Areté, a wellness company based in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The elixir can be used as a preventative or when you feel that distinct tickle at the back of your throat.
— Leeann Wallett, Contributing Writer

Hiya
This is a free caller ID app for iPhones. These days we’re getting more and more calls from numbers in our own area code that look like they just might be from a friend. But Hiya will tell you when it’s a spammer or a pesky telemarketer. Makes it easy to fend off unwanted calls.
— Larry Nagengast, Contributing Writer

Volunteering at Faithful Friends
Are you an animal lover looking to do more for your brethren? There’s no better way than volunteering at Faithful Friends Animal Society in Wilmington. Whether you do some cat or dog cuddling, walk dogs, or help to clean up behind the scenes (scientific fact: cats can’t do their own laundry), you’ll be doing your adoptable animal compadres at this nonprofit no-kill shelter a large. Call 427-8514 or go to faithfulfriends.us.
— Mike Little, Contributing Writer

Delaware Historical Society’s Museum Store
Celebrate the First State and its rich history and support this local cultural institution at its two museum store locations—Delaware History Museum in Wilmington and the Read House & Gardens in historic New Castle. Both museum stores include plenty of Delaware-themed tees, books and postcards, as well as toys and reproduction prints—and the highly-sought-after Joe Biden-scented candles. The Wilmington location even carries the signature coffee (Provocative Pairings Blend) and CDs of its performing arts partner, Mélomanie!
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer

Adopt a Highway
This statewide program is an ideal way to making Delaware a more beautiful place to live. Simply pick a mile stretch of roadway and recruit a group to commit to cleaning it up three times a year. DelDOT will provide bags, gloves and vests. As a thank you, your volunteer group receives a sign with its name placed on the roadway you adopt. Visit deldot.gov/programs.
— Julie Miro Wenger, Special Events   

 

 

Delaware Greenways
The state’s collection of trails and pathways has evolved way beyond a pedestrian path here, a bike-friendly path there. Delaware now has 57 named trails totaling 155 miles and three more are in the “real” planning stage. Out-of-staters have taken notice, regularly coming to places such as Delaware City, where they park for free and take advantage of the Castle Trail. Ditto for the Riverfront and Historic New Castle, the bookends of the new Markell Trail. For you, a Delawarean, these greenways are a benefit of residency. So, take advantage. Grab your bike, sneakers or hiking shoes and hit the trail.
— Jerry duPhily, Publisher

Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is a great way to spend time on the beach while trying your luck at catching a fish. From Fenwick Island to the banks of the Delaware River in Wilmington, surf fishing has been a popular pastime for many. During the summer months the beaches are lined with four-wheel vehicles and families fishing, barbecuing and enjoying the beach. Spring and fall produce the most sought-after fish for the true surf fisherman: bluefish, drum, flounder and stripers (aka striped bass). Water temperature, tides and moon positioning all affect fish activity and provide a guide to the best times to fish.
— Anthony Santoro, Contributing Photographer

Take a “Litter Lap”
Although we should do it more often, my family and I will occasionally grab the wagon and some trash bags to pick up litter around our neighborhood. We start with a “Litter Lap” around our local park and almost ALWAYS fill our wagon and bags. Unfortunately, more people are discarding garbage than picking it up, but every little bit helps, right?
— Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager

Gift Shop at Magic Car Wash, Naamans Road
Sure, the car wash part of this operation is fine: thorough, quick, reasonably priced. But take moment to examine all the cards, mugs, signs, games and other stuff packed into the short hallway leading from the back entrance to the front desk. Some unusual, quirky, often humorous items. You may find just the thing for that hard-to-shop for friend or relative.
— Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
You don’t need to be a birder to enjoy what may be the best winter bird-watching spot in Delaware, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Located along the Delaware Bay near Smyrna, the refuge is home to bald eagles aplenty along with lesser-known birds, like colorful bufflehead ducks. You can enjoy the refuge by car—making it a great choice for visiting family members—but there are plenty of places to get out and walk. The Shearness Tower Trail is a great spot to find swans and other waterfowl.
— Dan Linehan, Contributing Writer

PICKS OF THE FOOD VARIETY

Goat Kitchen & Bar
Goat Kitchen & Bar took a hit when it lost founder and Chef Dave Weir last year, but the Brandywine Hundred restaurant, tucked in an L-shaped strip center on Marsh Road, is more than holding its own under the direction of chef Ryan McDonald, an alum of Chelsea Tavern and Le Meridien in Philadelphia. The restaurant, which flies under the radar, remains a popular hangout for Arden residents. goatkitchenandbar.com.
— Pam George, Contributing Writer

 

Zahara International Food Market
Foodies and aficionados of all things Middle Eastern will want to check out Zahra International Food Market in Newark. The owners are both helpful and sweet, and the selection! You’ll find items such as fresh breads, excellent halal meats and exotic spices in this deceptively big little store, and it’s a tea lover’s Mecca. Seriously–where else are you going to find a box of delicious baclava large enough to feed a small midwestern city?
— Mike Little, Contributing Writer

Zoup! Eatery
The variety of its menu makes Zoup! a notch above other soup-and-sandwich shops. It all starts, of course, with the soup, which has a rotating schedule that includes Curry Thai Chicken, Corn and Crab Chowder, Fiery Chicken Enchilada, Mulligatawny and Chicken Pot Pie. And the best part is that if you’re uncertain which soup you want, you can sample as many varieties as you desire. The sandwiches also are excellent and include Chicken Toscana, Maple Bacon Ham, Southwest Turkey and Turkey and Bacon Club. Locations on Kirkwood Highway and Fashion Center Boulevard in Newark. Want to check out their daily menu? Go to zoup.com.
— Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer

Rehoboth Ice cream Store
Everyone knows about the Rehoboth Ice Cream Store – if you live in Delaware it’s the classic place to go for ice cream, with thousands of flavors to choose from. The store is always coming up with something new and the 2018 flavor of the year was Devil’s Breath Carolina Reaper Pepper Ice Cream. It might be a mouthful, but with Delaware’s obsession with the Carolina Reaper Pepper challenge, this flavor has to be something worth looking into. The Rehoboth Ice Cream Shop is located on the boardwalk, 6 Rehoboth Ave., and it’s open year-round.
— Elizabeth Carlson, Intern

 

 

UDairy Creamery
It may not be the season for ice cream, but it’s worth making an exception for UDairy Creamery, a University of Delaware-run enterprise named by Reader’s Digest as the best ice cream shop in Delaware. In addition to locations in Newark and downtown Wilmington, the students take the business on the road with the Moo Mobile. Its ice cream is made with milk from UD cows and operated by UD students, so there’s some positive karma to offset the pangs of calorie-fueled guilt. But, oh, it’s worth every milligram of cholesterol. I prefer mint chocolate chip, but the 32 flavors share an indulgent, rich taste. The prices are affordable, too, with a single scoop costing $3. But with options like the chocolatey Delaware River Mud Pie and blueberry-laden Delaware First, you’ll want to spend the extra buck-and-a-quarter for a second scoop.
— Dan Linehan, Contributing Writer

The Point Café
I have recently decided that when I go out, I want to expand my horizons. The first place I went after making this change was The Point Café in Rehoboth. They have fresh, daily-made pastries as well as an abundance of beverages. The two days that I went, we got a variety to test out. From chocolate croissants, which were flaky and perfectly chocolatey, strawberry macaroon, my first ever (and it was amazing), all the way to the Almond Joy cappuccino, which was one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had. There are many different flavors of coffee, smoothies, other drinks and food in both healthy (\and not so healthy options. It’s a quaint café right on the edge of the hustle and bustle of the outlets, and I can’t wait to go back and taste the other creations.
— Emily Stover, Intern

Farmer & the Cow
One of the most recent gifts Market Street’s ongoing revival has brought us is Farmer & the Cow, an excellent combination of a burger joint, shake shack (not the chain, just the general concept), and rustic whiskey bar.  For your meal, you can get one of the many delicious signature burgers with a beef, turkey, lamb, salmon, chicken, or veggie patty. There are plenty of craft whiskeys and beers behind the bar and a cocktail menu that is always being tweaked. There’s no lack of desserts, either, with plenty of milkshakes, each accompanied by a recommended spirit for spiking the shake. It’s a delicious night out.
— Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Writer

Honeybee Market
Conveniently located in Trolley Square, Honeybee has become at least a once-a-week stop for my family. The market is  fully stocked year-round with seasonal, local, organically grown items, including produce, dairy, meats, canned goods, frozen foods, cleaners and a full line of medicinal and culinary bulk herbs, spices and teas. I’ve recently needed to make a dramatic change to my diet and Honeybee is my best local resource.
— Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager

Taqueria Los Primos
A lot of restaurants talk a big taco game, but few deliver as deliciously and authentically as Los Primos. Just check out the Yelp reviews. If you like tacos, go there tomorrow. It’s a small place just off Kirkwood Highway, and you may need to know a little Spanish to order. Try the lengua. For dessert, head next door for chamoyada.
— Jordan Howell, Contributing Writer

PICKS OF THE LIQUID VARIETY

The Bloody Mary at Grain
Pricy and pretentious cuisine has thankfully never found a home on Newark’s Main Street. But there is something significant to be said about the manner in which Newark has grown in the past decade or so when it comes to the diversity and richness of dining options. One simple example of this trend can be found at Grain, where bartenders serve a bold and memorable Bloody Mary, spiced rim and all. Garnished with a stick of kitchen-made beef jerky to help stir, the cocktail may be non-conventional, but it’s a far cry from ostentatious. Instead, it’s flavorful in a frontier-style kind of way. There is a certain daring to it. The spirit of the place is captured in this signature cocktail, 16 ounces at a time. (Note: Grain has similarly adventurous locations in Kennett Square and the Summit North Marina).
— Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Beer Cellaring
As a beer lover, I have been starting to age or “cellar” beer bottles for a few years now. It’s a great way to experience the effects of time on a particular beer (just like wine). The best way to do this is to store the beer in the coolest part of your house or in a wine fridge. The beers I like to age mostly are high-ABV imperial stouts and barley wines (especially if they’ve been aged in bourbon barrels), as well as highly acidic sour beers. Usually, giving these beers the benefit of time helps mellow out harshness, but in a few rare cases, time isn’t on your side. In any regard, buy a few bottles —so you can taste one now and taste another in a year or two.
— Tyler Mitchell, Graphic Designer

Levitea Teas
Levitea tea shop, once a Wilmington brick-and-mortar business, has evolved into a thriving online and “pop-up” venture, enjoying distribution in local venues like Stitch House and the Hotel du Pont. Owner Tynisha Lomax has created a successful business model, selling to both consumers and businesses, and creating tea pairings for restaurants and food establishments. Levitea sells a variety of expertly blended teas and chai, as well as tea ware and accessories. Order all online at Leviteashop.com.
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer

Smoked Old Fashioned
My husband and I recently attended a dinner party at which the host handed me a drink with a golden colored liquor on ice that smelled of smoked barbeque. Skeptical, I took a sip; a subtle smoky flavor lingered in my mouth with a surprisingly smooth finish. Strangely, I liked it. It’s called Smoked Old Fashioned. I’m sure there are different renditions. What I had included smoky mezcal, agave syrup, club soda and angostura and orange bitters. Curious? Ask your local bartender to fix one for you.
— Adriana Camacho-Church, Contributing Writer

 

Brews in Yorklyn
Looking for a low-key, high-value night out? Dew Point Brewery in Yorklyn is just the ticket. This rustic brewery offers flights of very interesting brews sure to intrigue even the most discerning palate. The atmosphere is perfect for casual conversation as the room is bright, pleasant and has great acoustics. I’m personally drawn to the Nit Wit, which is a traditional Belgium witbier with pale and wheat malts and a little spicy on the tongue.
— Julie Miro Wenger, Special Events   

 

 

Midnight Oil Brewery
Midnight Oil Brewery has really come into its own in the last few months. The brewery has made great beer since it opened, but for a while it was allowed to sell beer only in the tasting room. I’m not sure what they had to do to change that, but you can now take cans and growlers home with you and it now offers wine from Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel and spirits from the Painted Stave down in Smyrna. I’d say their beer is straightforwardly different. And they’re not afraid to experiment, while retaining a tight grasp on the fundamentals of brewing.
— Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Writer   

PICKS OF THE MUSIC VARIETY

Music at Bellefonte Cafe
Listening to live music at the Bellefonte Cafe is a lot like inviting professional musicians into your living room.  The cafe itself is in a renovated house in Bellefonte.  When it was turned into a restaurant, no one knocked any walls down or changed the floor plan of the house, so they really are inviting musicians to play in a living room. That turns the gig into a much more improvisational event.  There’s very little separating the musicians from their audience and the two will frequently interact in ways that are decidedly not heckling. It’s more like the venue lets the musicians pull the audience deeper into the emotion of the music, but casually.
— Dillon McLaughlin, Contributing Writer

Beastie Boys Book
If you grew up in the late ‘80s and ‘90s listening to hip-hop, Beastie Boys Book is for you. It’s a trip down memory lane for one of the most iconic bands of the era, and it covers topics from Ron Artest to Zulu Nation. The literary quality won’t garner any sort of Pulitzer-worthy praise, but if you love the way Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D spun rhymes with abandon, you’ll love this ill communication, too. ($18.50, Amazon)
— Rob Kalesse, Contributing Writer

Delaware Children’s Theatre
Seussical is playing throughout the month of January, a perfect time to experience this historic city theater dedicated to classic children’s tales performed by children. Seussical is a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty based on the children’s stories of Dr. Seuss.
— Julie Miro Wenger, Special Events   

 

Music in Kennett Square
Last January, I wrote about the improving music scene in Delaware. It’s a true blessing to see a similar trend in live music taking place right over the border in Kennett Square. For years, the Kennett Flash has brought a mix of local and touring acts to its intimate stage. Just this past month, the venue showcased Francis Dunnery and Jeffrey Gaines, among others. Similarly, just next door, La Verona has had a relatively long history of hosting bands in its often-crowded bar area.

More recently, the scene has been enhanced by Kennett Brewing Co., whose owners exude a love of music, hospitality and beer. Just down the street, Grain KSQ offers a selection of solo artists, duos and trios, for a more unplugged feel.  And to the relief  of its many fans, in November The Creamery reopened. The venue will feature live music year-round—just another reason for Delaware music enthusiasts to make the drive.
— Jim Miller, Director of Publications

Radio 104.5 Free Concerts
One of the coolest things about concerts is that there’s nothing going on except the genuine love of music and being surrounded by people who are just having fun and enjoying the experience with you. Unfortunately, concerts are not always in everyone’s budget. That’s why I love Radio 104.5 FM. The station sponsors free concerts every year, and it’s mind-blowing how easy it is to get tickets via timed ticket downloads or giveaways at events, as well as calling into the station at specific times. Every month, starting in May and going to August, the station hosts Summer Block Parties at Festival Pier in Philly, a full, free day of some awesome music. The Endless Summer Show closes out the season in September. Then, to break up the lull in between, there’s Winter Jawn, at Xfinity Live! which takes place in January. For years, my friends and I have been going to these concerts, and we always have a day to remember.
— Emily Stover, Intern

So, what do you think? Please comment below.