Most Washingtonians like to escape to the beach over the summer and we sure have our pick of sandy spots: Bethany, Rehoboth, Ocean City or a small little beach in Delaware called Dewey Beach. While Dewey Beach may not be the most glamorous, a lot of young professionals spend their weekends there relaxing, unwinding, and lounging. I spent this weekend in Dewey with fourteen other lovely ladies as we celebrated my friend Emily's bachelorette party and one thing is for sure about this small beach town... there is a serious lack of good food. I know not to be a snob when going to a location such as this, but I at least want to be able to enjoy a meal that does not include fried onion rings or greasy pizza. Thankfully, there is a small diamond in the rough in Dewey Beach that dishes up a fun atmosphere, a laid-back attitude, and some pretty solid summer food called Nalu Surf Bar.
Nalu Surf Bar is on the main drag in Dewey Beach but immediately has a nicer look and feel to it from the outside when compared with the other dining establishments in the area. Nalu is located inside a cute house-like structure with sand, surfboards, and tiki torches lit out front. The inside has a similar easygoing feel with large fish and sharks hanging from the ceiling and a grass hut that acts as the roof overtop of the bar. Even the menu is presented in the shape of a surfboard (pictured above).
We had a very large party and we immediately asked if we could rearrange the tables to create a more comfortable seating setup. Most places would have been quite annoyed at this request, but it's clear that Nalu has dealt with many a large party before... and also many a bachelorette party. The staff could not have been nicer and more accommodating and the service was great. We started with some blended drinks that ranged from $7-$10 each and others had beers for about $4 each and half bottles of wine for approximately $20 each. We also ordered a delicious selection of appetizers including fried calamari, crab dip, coconut crusted shrimp and loaded nachos. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and had a delicious coating but the nachos were pure heaven. They were smothered in cheese, salsa, guacamole, veggies and sour cream. These were devoured in approximately ten minutes max.
For dinner many of the girls ordered the "made to order" tacos. Nalu offers one taco each with all the fixins for $5 and there is a choice between tuna tataki, beef, grilled chicken, shrimp tempura, pork and a taco of the day. This allows for each person to order multiple tacos with whatever arrangement of their choosing. I had the tacos last time I ate at Nalu and particularly loved the tuna tataki. This seemed to be the winner of the evening this past weekend as well.
I decided to go with the crabcake sandwich which was a tough decision for me. Crabcakes are one of my favorite things and I grew up in Maryland so I do consider myself to be a bit of a crabcake snob. I prefer a very meaty crabcake and I have little tolerance for one that is made of mayonnaise and filler. I was promised by the waitress that this crabcake was legit and she was right. The cake was made of chunks of lump crab meat and came with a delicious teriyaki glaze on top which provided a surprisingly delicious combination of flavors.
Although none of us ordered it, we all found ourselves very intrigued by the Ono Burger on the menu which consisted of American cheese, two fried eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. We were not daring enough to give it a try but I hope someone else will give it a whirl when they visit Nalu. I have a feeling it might be delicious. In addition to the burgers, seafood, and tacos, there were also many salads, wraps, and other options on the menu to please all members of any party. And even better, when our bill came after we had ordered drinks, appetizers and entrees it ended up totaling about $35 per person making it an affordable, reasonable, and delicious meal in a perfect beach setting.
Nalu Surf Bar works for families, dates, friends and essentially every occasion if you are in Dewey Beach. It's the perfect spot for some eats after a long day at the beach and keeps you in the laid-back summer element while you enjoy your evening meal. I'd call it "a must Dewey".
Nalu Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grille
1306 Coastal Highway
Dewey Beach, DE 19971