Cape Gazette

Steppin' Up To The Plate

When the going gets tough, the tough stay dry

By The Rehoboth Foodie | Jun 27, 2013
Photo by: Arlene Carmel The deceptively peaceful rainbow as seen from the Back Porch’s back porch.

I love restaurants. I especially love well-run restaurants that operate on the seemingly obvious premise that there’s more to quality dining than just positioning a plate in the vicinity of your mouth. Several high-end restaurants here in Rehoboth Beach fall into that well-run category, and one of the most notable is the Back Porch Café. I had an experience there a couple of weeks ago that left me with an even better impression of the place (if that was possible).

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I was trying to wow some out-of-town guests (a bunch of lawyer friends attending the Md State Bar Association confab in Ocean City) by securing reservations at the Back Porch Café on a Friday night. Somehow I made that happen – without a lawyer – and the perpetually accommodating Keith Fitzgerald even offered us al fresco placement on the upper deck. Ahhh! The holy grail of elevated Rehoboth munching. The view across the rooftops is the stuff that photographers dream of.

We were just about finished our entrées when a beautiful rainbow appeared over the ocean. Diners ooh’d and ahh’d, and it seemed as if the evening was enchanted (in spite of the lawyers). Then that dark, nasty cloud appeared out of nowhere. No sooner had the oohing and ahhing stopped than it started to rain. Hard. And that’s when the Back Porch Café sprang into action.

An army of servers, bussers, bartenders and even an owner or two descended (or in this case, ascended, since we were upstairs) on the outside dining area, scooping up plates and drinks and quietly directing guests downstairs to specific tables. Before we knew it, there we were: Seated in the front dining room (often kept vacant for this very contingency) replete with clean silverware and new napkins, candles lit and dessert orders being taken. In their 39 seasons here in Rehoboth Beach, I’m guessing that this has happened more than once at the Back Porch Café.

The storm raged for about 20 minutes, producing an unsettling offshore waterspout. But onshore we were dry, cozy, and none the worse for wear as we enjoyed a round of Flaming Coffees.

Did I mention that I love well-run restaurants?

The Rehoboth Foodie is the author of the popular iPhone and Android travel app, Rehoboth In My Pocket. Arrive as a Visitor, Live Like a Local! Contact at

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