The beaches of Delaware are home to more than a few local chain restaurants serving tourists and townies alike. Arenas is among them, spreading inland into the less touristy locations. Milford is home to one such location, and my husband and I are frequent visitors. There is much to this inland food stop located just a block off of the main downtown drag.
It’s the kind of place you can fall back on, and we all need that when we aren’t interested in cooking. I fall into this trap more often than I care to admit, but it helps to know I have a place nearby to back me up when I am bitten by the laziness bug. Not only can we eat well, there’s a lot to do there.
Every Friday is trivia night. Although we have never participated, we nearly always wound up eating there on a Friday night after work. It gets very busy. We often have to wait for a seat. Even the bar is full. The building is lively and people are happy. Families come to take part in the festivities. Star Wars trivia night was perhaps the greatest example of this. Parents brought their kids to do trivia while they had a few beers in a nearby corner. I loved it.
The Arenas in Milford has a standard bar food menu: burgers, wings, and the like. Nothing here is particularly out of the ordinary. If you don’t look hard at the menu, you won’t see the hidden gems or the healthy options. Their main menu is large, but not unwieldy. The options fill diet needs for pescetarians and vegetarians like me. It definitely makes the menu look bloated, but the benefits of that outweigh the negatives ten to one. It’s good to have vegetarian options that don’t make your vegetarian friend HATE your restaurant choice. No iceberg lettuce, please.
There is, however, a particular item on the menu that I will order every visit without fail, likely to the frustration of my husband who just wants to eat something else: Mac and cheese bites. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh my god, mysterious blogger, every bar has mac and cheese bites.”
You would be right, but those mac and cheese bites are not Arena’s mac and cheese bites. Does your local dive shape their fried mac and cheese into a triangle? Do they serve that delicious cheddar mac with a side of SRIRACHA RANCH? No. They do not. That sriracha ranch totally makes the mac and cheese bites pop with just enough spice to cut through the fatiness and the oil on normally gets from this bar food classic. I could eat them forever. You may as well call me Nibbler, because there are few things I like more than a good appetizer.
It’s places like Arena’s that have helped me to understand what the local community is really eating and really likes to eat. When I go in there, I see a variety of food and a variety of beer. Both of those are very good things for me. They encourage drinking locally, featuring brews from 16 Mile Brewing, Mispillion River Brewing, and Dogfish head just to name a few. There may even be more on the list since my last visit!
Arena’s first opened in Rehoboth in 1990 and has expanded since to seven total locations in Delaware. It absolutely is a staple of the local community. You can check out their main website for further information about their locations, or you can find them on facebook.
Arena’s Milford Facebook
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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