Liquid Assets and Nage: P’ordering at the Beach

Labor Day has passed, which for most people means weekends at the beach are over.  However, this past weekend I went to Fenwick Beach.  It’s never too late to talk about beach food as far as I’m concerned. For most people a trip to the beach is about sun and surf.  When I go to the beach, I secretly hope for rainy weather so that I can focus on my two favorite things.  Eating and shopping.  A number of years ago I went to the beach with my kids for 24 hours.  In that time period we managed to squeeze in trips to Fishers Popcorn, Thrashers Fries, Auntie Anne’s pretzels (in the days before they were at every mall), steak and cheese subs, and Nic-O-boli’s at Nicola Pizza. Now that I’m older, I have to pace myself.

I had dinner at Liquid Assets in Ocean City.  I am not going to spend a lot of time writing about my meal there.  Most of the people who spend time at the beach have already discovered this excellent wine store/bar/restaurant.  The menu is creative (try the tuna crisp appetizer (crispy wontons, wasabi siracha cream cheese, sesame seeds, scallions, and kimchee). The hummus with grilled bread is quite good as well.  Stay away from the fish and chips.  They lacked flavor and were soggy.  Go early because they don’t take reservations, and always seems to draw a crowd.

Another highlight of the trip was Maureen’s Ice Cream and Desserts in Bethany Beach.  I had an ice cream  flavor which featured pieces of graham cracker and bursts of chocolate.  Five Stars!

What I really want to focus on, however, was dinner at Nage in Rehoboth.  Nage is a farm to table restaurant with an innovative menu that has just started to feature fall ingredients.

I liked Nage right away.  The atmosphere was cool.  The menu was interesting.  But once I started to peruse it, I realized that I had a dining dilemma.  Everything looked good at first glance, but when I took a closer look many of the menu items featured ingredients that I don’t like.  Nuts.  Oysters.  Oxtail.  I was left agonizing over a couple of entrees.

Because dining out is so important to me, and because I now have people who actually read about what I eat, I felt an intense pressure to make the right decision.

I asked our server for his opinion.  I was torn between a crab cake over a “BLT” salad and a chicken breast with ricotta gnocchi, sugar snap peas, squash, and shitake mushrooms in a sage brown butter.  According to him, the choice was easy.  It was time to move away from the summerlike crab cake and toward the more autumnal chicken.  I took his advice.

Bad decision.  The chicken was a complete disappointment.  It was dry and virtually flavorless.  The ricotta gnocchi also lacked any discernable flavor.  I added pepper, which helped a bit.

That was when my friend introduced me to a new term, coined by her daughter, that I will forever embrace.  I had become the victim of p’ordering.  Poor-ordering.

Think about it.  How many times have you been out for dinner and everyone around you is raving about their food, and you are left poking around your entrée in the hopes that it will improve with age?  You like a restaurant’s ambiance, the menu has potential, but your meal fails to impress. It’s not that the restaurant is bad.  It’s p’ordering.

I don’t want to write off Nage.  I don’t want you to write it off either if you find yourself in Rehobeth, Delaware.  Just think carefully about what you order.  Remember that if you are going to rely on a server’s recommendation, you should be certain that they understand your criteria for a good meal.

But if you do find yourself p’ordering, maybe your dining companions will take pity and give you a few bites of their meal.  At the very least, treat yourself to a good dessert.


** A great drink can also take away from the sting of p’ordering.  I started my meal at Nage with an apple pie martini, which was out of this world.

Liquid Assets 94th Street and Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland
My rating (on a 1-5 scale): 4
Nage 19730 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (also a location at 1600 Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, DC)
My rating (on a 1-5 scale): 3.8

Questions or comments?
Send an email to