MARSHFIELD – Since 1937, the Haddad family has been serving everything from seafood to pizza, Italian food to ‘Cake by the Ocean’ at Haddad’s Ocean Cafe.
Located in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield, Haddad’s is a multi-generational institution in business for over 80 years. What started as a small family run spot has grown to a palatial space complete with an active bar with live music, a family friendly dining room and a fun deck that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, no matter what time of year it is.
“We’re in God’s country in Brant Rock, Massachusetts,” CJ Haddad said. “Just look around, you’re surrounded by the ocean.
“We’re not like a ritzy, stuffy bar. I mean, it’s a fishing bar. This is a fishing town. So it’s laid back, and it’s filled with hard-working, good people.”
You will always find CJ and his family back in the kitchen making sure every single dish that goes out is perfect.
There are Crispy Haddock Tacos topped with a sweet and spicy mango salsa; flash fried Calamari served with cocktail sauce Haddad’s has been making since they opened; bar style Pizzas come topped with everything including scallops and bacon. The dish nobody can get enough of is the garlic shrimp appetizer.
“We try and make the plate look like a starfish with the garlic bread,” CJ described. “You get the garlic, obviously the shrimp, and if you dip in that bread afterwards, all those flavors that you’re sautéing go into the bread.”
Since CJ is buddies with lots of the local fisherman, fresh off the boat lobster is a must – all boiled up in a massive cauldron.
You can get lobster rolls tossed with mayo and celery and served cold, or hot with drawn butter. If you want something different, order your lobster fried, and if you want something massive, get yourself the Baked Stuffed Lobster.
“Crab meat, Ritz crackers, Italian bread crumbs, a little bit of wine, some celery. And then we stuff it with just a pile of lobster, plus you put butter on top.”
Other seafood specialties include grilled swordfish prepared to your liking with a lemon pepper Cajun seasoning, and a fried seafood platter that could feed the whole boat.
“It is a monstrous plate from the ocean, basically. You get a pile of haddock, a pile of fried scallops, a pile of fried clams, a lobster tail and two shrimp. It’s a big meal.”
If big portions are your thing but seafood isn’t, there are large plates of tender Sirloin Kebabs served over a bed of rice with onions peppers and mushrooms, or a plate tipping presentation of Chicken Parm.
“If you can finish it, I’ll give you a tee-shirt. It’s huge. It’s a deep fried piece of chicken, and then a pile of angel hair, with house-made marinara sauce, meat sauce, and then just a bunch of mozzarella cheese on top. I have people tell me it’s like being in the North End, but they’re down in Brant Rock, so it’s pretty cool.”
If you can fit dessert, there are huge hunks of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and a Reese’s inspired sweet layered with chocolate, peanut butter and crumbled up peanut butter cups.
Not only does CJ think that cake is good; for him, life is pretty great too.
“Other than the cooking, you get to meet so many good people, and it’s like I see all my buddies come in. It’s a good time. It’s not really work if you like doing it.”
You can find Haddad’s Ocean Café at 293 Ocean Street in Marshfield, and online at haddadsoceancafe.com.
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