Localize it. That’s the underlying theme in everything about Fat Fish in West Ocean City. When we pulled into the parking lot on Sunset Avenue this week, we recognized local customers with surf boards hanging out of their pickup truck beds. As we breezed past the outdoor tiki torches, palm trees, mellow lighting, and outdoor seating with umbrellas, we recognized longtime local Sean Robins bartending inside. And, as we perused the healthy menu, we knew that the fish are fresh off the boats at Sunset Marina, and the vegetables are straight from Eastern Shore farms. Even the beer is stocked with locally sourced kegs from the popular Burley Oak brewery in nearby Berlin, and Hoop Tea from boardwalk-headquartered Backshore Brewing Company.
Before we discuss the menu, we want to say a few more things about the radical ambiance at Fat Fish. The walls are covered in vibrant murals, created by local artist Sam Elman, and are reminiscent of old school tattoo art. Reggae rock streams through the speakers, softly playing some of my favorite songs by Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, and Citizen Cope. Large table tops provided by Plak That feature photographs of Ocean City sites. Each table’s varying height invites you to sit wherever you’d like. I honestly felt cooler just walking through the door. And, the restaurant is one of the first we’ve seen to display its festive Halloween decorations.
Considering that Fat Fish only recently opened its doors, the local reception has been stellar. I’ve seen many photos of the restaurant’s tacos, burritos, and sandwiches on social media. I was ecstatic to finally sample the menu.
Our server, Samantha, recommended her three favorite dishes on the menu—Grilled Red Shrimp Tacos, Jaws Beach Burrito, and Fat Fish Sandwich. These selections are the restaurant’s best sellers. Fat Fish Tacos are only $4, and consist of fresh Thai slaw, pico de gallo, and sour cream. With catchy names like “Ripper” and “Fat Wave,” the available taco flavors are Snapper, Rockfish, Blue Crab, Sesame Tuna, and the local catch. Our Grilled Red Shrimp Tacos were perfectly complemented by the tasty Thai slaw.
The number one seller—Fat Fish Sandwich—was my favorite of the three savory dishes we enjoyed. Tempura battered tuna and shrimp are piled with wasabi mayo, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and cilantro crema. The fixings on this mammoth sandwich are fresh from the produce stand, and the tuna steak is thick. I highly recommend giving this sandwich a try.
The Beach Burritos at Fat Fish are overstuffed with white cheddar, pico de gallo, cilantro crema, and rice and black beans as the basic ingredients of a variety of choices. The Jaws Burrito that we devoured is bursting with shrimp, bacon, and chorizo. The generous portion is more than enough to share. The 50 Bridge Burrito consists of crab, shrimp, roasted red pepper, avocado, and sriracha. A vegetarian burrito is on the menu, as well as the Stinky Beach (named after a local stretch of West Ocean City that overlooks the inlet), which is dripping with grilled steak asada and pulled pork. And finally, the Shore Break featuring tender chicken and potatoes. You may have seen a picture of this posted by coconuttimes.com editor Brenda Golden, a frequent patron.
In the mood for a Handcrafted Sandwich? Fat Fish has you covered with Cuban, Hot Ham & Cheese, Organic Grilled Chicken, Roast Beef, and Big Boy BLT. Fat Burgers are made from hormone-free beef only. I’m going back to Fat Fish for the Loco Moco—a burger topped with white rice, gravy, provolone, sunny side up egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and onion on a toasted brioche bun. The Kahuna Joe’s Burger is piled high with grilled pineapple, mango salsa, pulled pork, American cheese, and all the fixings. Jaimie’s Soul Surfer is topped with arugula, tomato, onion, avocado, sprouts, and almond butter on a toasted onion roll.
Fat Fish offers tempting starter dishes, such as Big Joe’s Nachos, Calamari, and Wings. Madi’s Momo Dumplings are lemon grass and chicken fried dumplings with Asian slaw Godzilla sauce. Surfing Pig Belly Buns sliders and Carne Asada Taylor Tots are a couple of unique starters at Fat Fish.
An ample Greens menu features plenty of healthy salads, while Chilled options include Ceviche, Ahi Tuna Tostadas, and Smoked Salmon Roll. Ribs, flatbreads, and wraps top off the menu. Also on my list of things to try in the near future is the Captain’s Quarters—triple decker Texas toast with shaved ham, provolone, Havarti, avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Old Bay mayo. A children’s menu is available, along with soups, sides, smoothies, sangria, beer, and wine.
Fat Fish features many high definition, flat screen televisions that broadcast the Sunday NFL Ticket. Stylish apparel with dazzling designs and colors are available for purchase. Bartender and Manager Sean revealed that the restaurant, which is open year round, will soon renovate to add a second level with a larger bar and more seating. Check out Fat Fish, ideally situated between Route 611 and Golf Course Road at 12703 Sunset Avenue. Visit www.fatfishoc.com
, find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or dial 410-390-5006 for more details.