Thurston's Pub's burgers and sandwiches owe their distinctive flavors to the restaurant's housemade sauces. Without the spicy chipotle dressing that blankets the baja burger or the barbecue sauce that drenches the wings, guests might pay far more attention to the dartboards and flat-screen televisions that line the pub's walls. The reality is that sometimes they must pry their eyes away from their plates if they hope to pay attention to the live sports broadcasts or the waiters politely reminding them to eat their Guinness stews with forks.
Steps away from the University of Delaware campus, 16 Mile Taphouse sources its frosty, barley-based nectars from the 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. Gourmet tavern grub pairs with the popular local brews, such as the Old Court Ale, full of citrusy zing and hints of caramel, or limited-edition batches such as the English Heraldry Series, flavored with notes of foggy weather and a respect for monarchy.
Diners sip wine and ale under lofty ceilings in the tiered dining space, surrounded by rugged brick walls and antique maps. These nostalgic touches pay tribute to the restaurant site's 255-year history; formerly known as The Stone Balloon, this locale was once home to colonial bureaucrats, a world-class 19th-century hotel and restaurant, a dingy 20th-century flophouse, and a 1970s rock ‘n’ roll joint that drew the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar, and Metallica.
Michael DiBianca, the James Beard Award?nominated chef behind Satsuma Asian Kitchen, curates a menu of fusion cuisine that's meant to be shared. Tables can pass around fresh sashimi with innovative accents or small plates of specialties such as oysters in green apple mignonette or Duck-Duck Disco fries loaded with pulled duck and truffle gravy. For larger appetites, there are more substantial entrees such as the coffee-braised short ribs.
Though creative cuisine is certainly a draw at Satsuma Asian Kitchen, it's not the only draw. Visitors will also find craft beer and cocktails and live music within the renovated Trolley Square destination, which formerly held Del Rose Cafe and Restaurant.
The recently opened Catch 202 entices guests with an extensive menu of casual American dishes. Diners can open meals with scoops of indulgent dip layered with lump crab meat and blended with cream cheese and green onions. Friendly servers then unload plates of crispy fish and chips, creamy shrimp primavera pasta, or fire-roasted sirloin steaks. During lunch, aromas of char-grilled burgers and chicken sandwiches fill dining room while guests chatter and end meals of lingering bites of homemade apple dumplings or oven-warm brownies. In addition to its diverse menu, Catch 202 welcomes revelers with a fully stocked bar.
At Badges Sports Bar and Grill, a dive bar dedicated to America's first responders and military, the beers get paired with guilty-pleasure bar foods, including gooey sloppy-joe dip, sauce-slathered wings, and loaded fries. The kitchen staff also whips up crab-cake sandwiches and hot dogs and tater tots wrapped in nature's wrapping paper: bacon. After a hearty meal, patrons can belt their hearts out during karaoke.
The 2010 Delaware Today Best of Delaware Critics Choice Award winner for Best Pub and Tavern Upstate, and the 2009 winner of the Best Late Night Food Award, James Street Tavern offers an affordable menu of cuisine. The spacious and inviting bistro's warm amber lighting, wood tables, and hints of rustic décor give it a friendly neighborhood vibe without the hassle of summoning Cheers cast apparitions. The eclectic menu ups the elegance with dishes like hoisin steak spring roll ($7), crab cake salad ($12), a bison burger ($10), and yellowfin tuna tacos ($8.50). Wash your gourmet grub down with its perfect pairing from the bar's vast selection of beer and wines while attempting to tell the bartender someone else’s life story.