Shark Attack! Great food from Scratch!

I wanted to try a new place for my blog, but where to go?  I got word from a friend who is an OC native and he recommended The Shark!  Go figure, the Shark is right across the street from my other fav lunchtime spot, the Sunset Grill.  My friend referred to it as the building on the stilts.   As soon as I got out of the car, I was attacked with the smell of the ocean.  I’ve lived near the ocean for most of my life and that is one of my favorite smells.  I’m not a huge seafood person, especially when I go out, but I do love some every once and a while.  Could today be the day?

To my surprise, the Shark also offers a $5.99 lunch special, even on the weekends!  Today’s options included fish tacos, soup and sandwich or arctic char sandwich.  The Shark on the Harbor prints their menus on paper and changes their menu to keep things literally fresh.  They are open all year long for lunch and dinner.  What makes the Shark really stand out is that they boast the use of fresh, local and organic ingredients and the dishes are made from scratch.  I was pleased to see they have an in house Pastry Chef as I don’t know many restaurants around here that have one.  In their paper menu you can take to go, you can see the list of local suppliers they use.  Real food, from scratch without chemicals or preservatives. Sounds good to me.  But where to begin? Everything on the menu looked good! Let’s take a look around first.

The Shark is kind of cozy. The dining room is central and open, but this place is always super packed!  The huge windows overlooking the water open up the place and make for a more enriching dining experience.  It’s very bright and casual.  However, the food is nothing casual.  The popular “Fisherman’s Stew” contains Andouille sausage, vegetables and seafood which changes daily, in a creamy base.   They seaweed salad is also a unique option…mixed organic greens, four types of seaweed, crabstick and squid with a soy-wasaibi vinaigrette.   Love salad and want to make it a meal?  Well at the Shark you can choose any sort of meat or fish you would like and add it to your salad for an additional fee.  Options  include organic chicken breast, mako shark steak, local day boat sea scallops, sashimi grade tuna steak, duck breast, jumbo shrimp, tenderloin filet or jumbo lump crab cake…all cooked to your liking.

A true Ocean City restaurant has to include steamed shellfish on the menu.  The Shark has Steamer Bag Starters including a steamer pot, shrimp, clams, or shellfish and sausage.  The small plates and starters sounded so good, I couldn’t pass up trying any.  Shrimp and lobster dip, shark bites, bruschetta, wasabi tuna, gingered calamari, Big Ben roll, steer and spuds?  How about Tikka Takka Hummus!! Curried goat cheese (you had me at goat cheese!), roasted red pepper and artichoke hummus served with warm triangles of soft whole wheat Naan bread and fresh carrots, cucumbers and celery.

I felt no guilt devouring this with my mom.  The hummus was a thin consistency, but was full of flavor and loaded with chunks of artichokes.   If I wasn’t starving, this could’ve made a delicious meal on its own.

In addition to the $5.99 lunch special, other lunch options include crab cakes, steak burger, “Stinky Beach” flatbread pizza, bison burger and herb encrusted chicken sandwich.   The menu also included special “Lunch Features.”  Items on this menu included broiled flounder sandwich, grilled tilefish sandwich and lobster roll.  I was stuck between the lobster roll and the chicken sandwich.  Obviously, that was an easy decision.  I loooove lobster (lived on Martha’s Vineyard for years, in fact) and never really caught onto crab.  How on earth could I have ever had not had a lobster roll?  To me, it always just seemed like a variation of chicken salad on a hot dog bun.  Why would you take such delicious meat and turn it into that?  I don’t know what other places do, but they should take a lesson from the Shark.

I got all of this deliciousness, and a moment of bliss for only $12.

Huge pieces of fresh and succulent lobster tail and a few pieces of claw meat, are lightly dressed in a homemade mayo, mixed with chunks of celery and lying on a bed of alfalfa sprouts over a toasty yet soft buttered hot dog roll.  It was so loaded with lobster, I couldn’t pick it up…fork required.  I loved the addition of alfalfa sprouts.  They added another layer of flavor and lightness to a rich dish.  The lobster roll was also served with a mound of sweet potato fries.  All the fries and potato chips and cut/made in house from scratch, which is so much better than pre-made.  The fries were outstanding, but would have been better without the Old Bay.  What can I say, I’m a purist.  Either way, such an amazing lunch!

My mom chose the mixed green salad, which is how a hearty and delicious salad should be.  Mixed organic greens are mixed with seasonal veggies, Julienne of Granny Smith apples, candied pecans, dried cherries and apricots, golden raisins mixed with a cave-aged bleu cheese vinaigrette.  It started at $8, but for $12 more, mom got 4 humongous perfectly grilled sea scallops.  The grill marks added delicious flavor to the sweet scallops.  All of the flavors blended beautifully and the bleu cheese was not overwhelming at all.

Different colors, textures, flavors all in perfect harmony.  Absolutely worth the price.  My mom surprisingly ate it all and enjoyed every last bite.

At this point, we are so full, but with an in house pastry chef, I was curious and couldn’t say no.  My family has a weakness for brownies, so we decided to share “the Ultimate Brownie” for $8.  It was described as “A double layer fudge brownie frosted with ganache and caramel.  Topped with toasted pecans, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and toffee bits.  Served a la mode.”

The brownie was so warm it was steaming and melting the whipped cream into a lovely sauce.  However, it was a single layer, thick cake-like brownie.  I found the white chocolate chips and the pecans, but not the milk chocolate chips or toffee bits, or the caramel sauce for that matter.  It was good, but definitely not the “ultimate.”  Nevertheless, some of the other options sound delicious too…seasonal bread pudding, cupcake, creme brulee with smoothie “Shooter”, mocha tart, seasonal cheesecake, sundaes, cookies and milk, etc.  They even offer doggy dessert!  The proceeds from the purchase of these dog treats goes to the Worcester County animal shelter which is a no kill shelter.  I can’t imagine anything sweeter than that! 🙂

I will most definitely return for lunch (most likely with coworkers) and hopefully sometime for dinner to try their entrees.  Follow the Shark on twitter to find out what the daily $5.99 lunch specials are!  No need to be afraid of this shark!

The Shark on the Harbor

http://ocshark.com/   Check out their site! I just learned they offer cooking classes too!

12924 Sunset Ave

West Ocean City, MD

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