During dinner, we watched small families and couples come and go, some staying to eat, some taking their meals to go.

But all of them got big smiles from the staff and a healthy dose of DelMarVa charm.

DelMarVa's Southern Cafe

Back story: DelMarVa's Southern Cafe opened in Brewers Hill in September. The casual restaurant is the first of a planned local chain, serving capable takes on local specialties like fried chicken and waffles, crab cakes and Virginia ham.

Parking: Lot in front

Signature dish: DelMarVa's chicken and waffles is a solid example of the Southern classic, with light and fluffy waffles topped with nicely cooked chicken tenders, coated with crunchy batter.

Where: 3500 Boston St.

Contact: 410-327-1980; http://www.delmarvassoutherncafe.com

Open: Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Credit Cards: All major

Reservations: Not accepted, but catering is available.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

[Key: Superlative: 5 stars; Excellent: 4 stars; Very Good: 3 stars; Good: 2 stars; Promising: 1 star]