OCEAN CITY – A bargain can be found about five miles down Route 54 from Coastal Highway at Mermaid Cove where the specials are to dive for.
Mermaid Cove features a scene painted from the waves of the ocean to the constellation of stars in the sky. Owner Tina Littleton explained that the different concept from the simple under the sea theme was merely created from her love and accumulation of mermaid décor.
“The moon and the stars down by the sea,” Littleton described it.
She has owned and operated restaurants in Ocean City for the last 30 years and her experience has gotten her to where she is today.
“You pick up tons of tips along the way and you get an idea of a business you would like to have,” Littleton said.
Mermaid Cove opened on Nov. 5 of last year. She came across the location one day driving down Route 54 and it wasn’t much time later that the restaurant was born.
“We took over this spot and we were up and running within three weeks,” Littleton said, adding opening a bar that serves beer and wine is in the works for next year.
The menu runs from breakfast to dinner, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and according to Littleton every ingredient is top of the line.
“We have gourmet every day,” she said. “We have seafood and American cuisine, so we have something for everyone.”
Littleton said everything is homemade from the soups and salads to the coleslaw and macaroni and potato salads.
Chef Heather Rust has no boundaries while in the kitchen at Mermaid Cove.
“She has the freedom to come up with any specials like her Prime Rib St. Michaels, which is prime rib with crab meat and cheese,” Littleton said.
Breakfast is served from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and there is always a line out the door for 222 Tuesdays special which includes two eggs, two pancakes and two pieces of bacon.
Littleton said lunch is the busiest of all. Lunch specials are listed at only $5.99.
“Our signature sandwiches are definitely the crab cake and prime rib,” she said. “We also serve comfort food like hot turkey and hot roast beef sandwiches.”
Littleton added that if you’re in the mood for something healthy the salads are super fresh, like the tropical salad that features shrimp, pineapple, mandarin oranges and honey mustard dressing.
“We’ll do grilled tuna or salmon on top of a salad … we’ll pretty much throw anything on top of a salad,” she said.
Most of Mermaid Cove’s platters are under $10 and that includes lump crab cakes, steamed shrimp, prime rib, rockfish fingers, salmon or tuna filet, fish and chips, coconut shrimp and flounder, plus two sides.
Littleton said what sets them apart from the rest is continually putting a unique spin on traditional meals. For example, instead of a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup you get grill cheese croutons. They even have hotdogs on pretzel rolls, ham and cheese sandwich with fried green beans, or Eggs Neptune which is crab imperial on top of eggs and a potato muffin.
“You get a plate full,” Littleton said. “All of our food is served on beautiful plates. It is a feast for the eyes when they come out. … When you come here you feel special, we make you feel special. When they find out where we are, they become loyal customers.”