New owner continues traditions, adds new menu at Ocean View Seafood
Jennifer Wojcik knows fish.
Since moving to the area some 20 years ago, if she wasn’t working behind the bar, she had most likely gone fishing.
In fact, just last year, Wojcik and her crew on the Reel Passion even took first place in the Wahoo Division at the annual Poor Girl’s open in Ocean City, Md.
So when Ocean View Seafood went up for sale this past spring, with owners Dave and Beth Long ready to retire, combining her love of fishing with her experience in customer service just made sense.
“It worked out perfect. The place found me,” said Wojcik, who has been the proud new owner of Ocean View Seafood since purchasing the business in May.
“I’m lucky enough that the Longs chose me. I want to make sure that I do the best I can. It’s a family-run business.”
Midway through her first summer at the helm, she said that, so far, business has been smooth sailing.
Ocean View Seafood has continued to offer an array of fresh seafood items, ranging from fresh-catch favorites such as local tuna, mahi-mahi, flounder, rockfish, halibut, salmon and grouper, to to clams, scallops, softshells, shrimp, lobster and mussels, and, of course, the largest local crabs that they can find.
“I go through every one of the crabs myself, hand-sorted. I’m not going to send a crab out that I wouldn’t eat,” Wojcik said.
“I haven’t seen crabs this beautiful, this big, in 30 years,” added chef/steamer “Uncle John.”
All of the items offered are ones Wojcik has caught before herself. And, along with her team of chefs and steamers, they pride themselves on not only serving up the freshest and finest, but sending customers home knowing how to prepare each dish.
“When people come in here, we always ask them what they’re going to do with the seafood, because we want them to cook it the right way,” Uncle John explained. “We’re actually telling people how to cook the softshells, how to cook the scallops, not to close the bags on the crabs, letting them know what we do with the fresh tuna we’re getting out of the Atlantic, the salmon, and how we cook it so that they can do the same thing.”
Not only is the team at OV-Sea letting customers know how to prepare market items, but with head chef Larry Bland and chef Mary Lou Mumford coming on board, they’re whipping up some original menu items as well.
House favorites include some of Mumford’s made-from-scratch soups, including cream-of-crab, Maryland crab and seafood chowder, Mary Lou’s shrimp salad, and side dishes such as her homemade red-skin potato salad, macaroni salad and cole slaw.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” said Mumford, who came over from Magnolia’s in Ocean View, of her recipes. “I’m enjoying myself. Everybody gets along great. It’s a team effort.”
Also a Magnolia’s veteran, Bland is bringing his own culinary creativity to the menu, whipping up a variety of appetizers, sandwiches and platters to go along with some of Ocean View Seafood’s unique sauces.
Some of the hits so far have included the crab imperial-stuffed deviled eggs, blackened tuna skewers, flounder or rockfish tacos with homemade mango salsa and pressed parmesan encrusted tortilla, crabby pretzels, bacon-wrapped barbecued scallops, coconut shrimp and Larry’s Seafood Platter — consisting of flash-fried flounder with house-secret seasoning, homemade crabcake, fried shrimp, scallops and clam strips, and served up with choice side and sauces ranging from Hawaiian BBQ, “Boom Boom” and Thai Chili, to the standards, including cocktail or tartar.
Working together for the better part of 20 years, when their kitchen chemistry was compared to that of Jordan and Pippen on the basketball court, Bland said it was more like Magic and Kareem.
“I’m blessed to have Larry and Mary Lou. They’re everything,” said Wojcik. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do it. They are awesome.”
“I tried to bring out some dishes, so that we’re known for food, as well as crabs,” Bland explained.
Wojcik said that Bland and Mumford were already working on a catering menu for the off-season, going on to explain that some of the best seafood comes from October to December, and that Ocean View Seafood is looking forward to helping cater some holiday parties.
As for right now, however, her next day off won’t come until next month, when she’s looking to defend her wahoo title at this year’s Poor Girls’ Open.
Planning on spending her only day off of the summer catching fish, rather than serving it up, she also said that she wouldn’t have it any other way — aiming to continue the Longs legacy at Ocean View Seafood while adding to her own.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I want to be the best. I want to be the best at the beach.”
Ocean View Seafood is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and until 8 p.m. on holidays and weekends. The market is located at 42A Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View, next to the Ocean View Diner. To call in an order, call (302) 537-7511. To find out more, check out their website at www.oceanviewseafood.com.