Restaurant Review #103: BJ’s on the Water (Ocean City, MD)

Broiled seafood medley.

We ended up here by accident. Why this was is cause for another post, but everything happens for a reason. I am glad fate brought us to BJ’s on the Water. I ate here once as a child, when I was about 13. I did not remember anything except sitting outside by the bay. This time around, we were inside. The place was packed, getting ready for live music. You could barely walk through the bar area. The dining room had a few empty tables, including one by the window overlooking the bay. I did not even think to ask for it, but the host brought us to it nevertheless. It was a nicer looking than I remember. Dimly lit with candles on every table. Not fine dining, but the atmosphere you would except on the border between casual and upscale. 

Any place where you can get a frosted mug of Yuengling for $2.50 is alright to me. That was just the start. Since we were going to the movies later on, we skipped over appetizers. My friend went with the seafood salad wrap, which he never had before. He thought this would be the right place to try it, and was not disappointed. There was hardly any mayonnaise and a good amount of crab and shrimp. Meanwhile, I debated back and forth between getting a sandwich and ordering an entree. But this is Maryland, one of the seafood capitals of the eastern seaboard.

I ordered the seafood medley, which included broiled flounder, a deviled crab and crab cake, a clam casino (finally some bacon on this trip), three broiled shrimp, and a crab cake. I’ll say this: you know how much I love the Crab Bag, but this combo was even better than the one I had in December. The crab cake was of the same quality, but that flounder just blew me away. Flaky, tender, and buttery—literally, it was brushed with butter. It melted in my mouth and was not fishy at all. Possibly the single best piece of fish I’ve ever eaten. The rest was all good too, but next time I would consider just the flounder, which comes topped with Crab Imperial. I’d be willing to bet that would be awesome too. The meal also came with two sides (I had a baked potato and coleslaw) along with rolls and butter. A feast fit for Poseidon, for $21.99.

Much like the Crab Bag the first time around, I am giving BJ’s 4.5 out of 5 stars. But I think another visit would bring it up to the max rating. Looks can be deceiving. From the outside, it looks like a place for the locals. On the inside, you’re assuming a heavy bar crowd with decent food, but nowhere near the quality we experienced tonight. At the end of your meal, they even give you a $5 coupon for your next visit. Everything was simply spectacular: to be able to sit five feet from the water while enjoying fresh seafood like this was a fantastic experience.

BJ’s on the Water is located at 115 75th street in Ocean City, Maryland.


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