Metropolitan Seafood; photo by L. GoldmanWhile you are perusing this week’s Bucks County Herald, make sure you also read Diana Cercone’s piece, Farmers’ market provides the freshest seafood, about Metropolitan Seafood, the fish monger at the Stockton Farmers’ Market.

Diana interviewed owner Mark Drabich of Metropolitan Seafood, and got some good tips on buying and cooking seafood.

What should consumers look for when buying fish?

First, he says, know where you’re buying it. “If you walk in and there’s a fishy or ammonia smell, walk out the door. We invite customers to smell any of our fish – even bluefish.”

Second, establish a relationship with your fishmonger … Not only is it more enjoyable for everyone, he says, but “we get to know your preferences, your likes and dislikes. So if there’s something that you like that we don’t have because it’s not in season, we can recommend something else.

“Trust your instincts,” he says. Fish and seafood should look fresh, not dried or have any brown spots. There should also be a spring to the touch.

Another rule. Shop where they cut the fish they sell. “The less time off the bone, the less oxidation occurs,” he says.” [At present, fish at its Stockton market is cut at the Clinton store and, because of that, they offer a smaller selection.]

For the … fish that packs a wallop of Omega 3 and vitamins, you can’t beat sardines, he says, which he gets fresh from Portugal and Greece. [see the recipe below]

Seafood and fish to avoid? “Stay away from processed scallops,” he says, “which are treated with chemicals and added water to equal 20 percent of their weight.”

Then there’s farm-raised salmon. The only kind he carries is organically raised in Ireland and Scotland. Because of their good farming practices, he says, no antibiotics or hormones have to be administered.

But then this is in keeping with his whole approach to seafood as is offering fish and seafood in season. “There are certain times of the year that a fish isn’t available. That’s okay. Try something else. People around here appreciate the seasonality of foods.”

Diana managed to nab one of Mark’s recipes, this one for fresh sardines.


½ cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 ripe large tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup of white wine
¼ cup of flat leaf parsley plus 2 tbsp for garnish
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of sea salt
2 pounds of fresh sardines, cleaned, headed and butterflied
4-5 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Sweet paprika


  1. Rinse sardines and pat dry with a paper towel. P
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. When the onion and garlic soften, add chopped tomatoes, wine, parsley, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Using a roasting pan large enough to arrange the sardines in one even layer, distribute the sauce evenly over the bottom. Place the sardines folded over in a single layer (“okay if you overlap a little”). Arrange the tomato slices over the top, season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with a little sweet paprika.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20 min. Remove from oven and garnish with parsley.
  6. Bring the roasting pan to the table and serve with crusty bread – “serves 4 for dinner or a very grateful party of 10.”

Diana Cercone is a freelance writer and board member of the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. You can reach her at:

Here are some other local places for fish and seafood:

Bucks County Seafood
164 North Main Street
Dublin, PA 18917

Buckingham Valley Seafood
1489 Durham Road (2 mi. south of Rts. 202 & 413 intersection)
Buckingham, PA

Captain Bob’s Fresh Seafood
West End Shopping Center
609 Southwest End Boulevard (Route 309)
Quakertown, PA

Carroll’s Seafood and Produce Market
5840 Easton Road
Plumsteadville, PA 18949

Heller’s Seafood Market
1380 Easton Road
Warrington, PA 18976

Madara’s Seafood at the
Newtown Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers’ Market

2150 South Eagle Road
Newtown, PA 18940

Metropolitan Seafood at the
Stockton Farmers’ Market, (Fri, Sat & Sun) Bridge Street, Stockton, NJ, and…
Ottsville Farmers’ Market, (Fri aft) 8230 Easton Road (Route 611, Ottsville, PA

1405 Main Street (Valley Square Shopping Center)
Warrington, PA

If I’m missing any, PLEASE let me know! Thanks.

Look for Bucks County Taste on Facebook and Twitter!

3 Responses to Fresh seafood in Stockton…and Bucks

  1. Laura Segal says:

    Dear Lynne,

    Great list of seafood markets. What about the stand in the Newtown Amish Market? They even blacken & grill your fish for you…



  2. Thanks, Laura. I’ve added them.

  3. […] the beef? And pork, and lamb, and chicken… How about some nice seafood for the grill? Check out Fresh Seafood in Stockton…and Bucks. And for some wonderful grilling veggies – like summer squash, zucchini, spring onions […]

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