Cask ’n Flagon
804 Plain St., Marshfield
Hours: Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight; Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
All major credit cards accepted
A slice of Fenway has been transplanted to the South Shore with the arrival of the Cask ’n Flagon off Route 139 in Marshfield.
Open since October, the restaurant has done exceedingly well, with management reporting full crowds for football games and steady traffic as winter approaches.
Even on a quiet Sunday night without a football game, the restaurant was bustling late into the evening, dozens of giant TV screens positioned in every corner of the room buzzing as patrons sat throughout the bar and dining room.
The restaurant has an eerily similar feel to its Boston counterpart — a fixture in the Fenway neighborhood for four decades — and is a dramatic change from the location’s previous inhabitant, AA Buffet, which was a restaurant and nightclub.
Gone is the dark, cavernous dance floor and lengthy angled bar, replaced by an open and well-lighted room that borders on the majestic, with an oval-shaped bar in the center.
A smaller bar sits in another corner of the restaurant, with the remainder of the space occupied by giant, cozy booths and dozens of tables and chairs.
Not to be forgotten are the TVs — little ones, massive ones, located above every inch of the bar, inside almost every booth, on every wall, and even mounted next to a patio for those waiting outside for a table.
But I was not at the newly minted restaurant solely to watch TV.
Within seconds of walking in, my group had a booth in the dining room, and large menus in hand.
The menu features some items that are available at the Boston location, but the selection was a bit smaller and more varied. Hoping to get a good feel for the food, the three of us ordered an assortment of items and sat back to wait.
Yet before our food even came out, I was pleasantly surprised.
Several doughy pillows of salty pretzel rolls were placed on the table, accompanied by a dish of honey-mustard whipped butter. Though the butter was more mustard than honey, the side was flavorful.
The “rolls” by themselves were delicious. I could have satisfied my appetite right there.
Yet I didn’t get a chance. Food came out quickly and was served hot, starting with the appetizer combo platter ($16).
Consisting of buffalo chicken dip, pulled pork sliders with coleslaw, and Philly cheese steak spring rolls, the platter had more than enough food for the three of us. The buffalo chicken dip was tangy, accompanied by baked pita chips for a unique flair.
The spring rolls were the favorite of the night. Crunchy, cheesy, and coated in what appeared to be Thousand Island dressing, they were sinfully good.
Though the pulled pork was tender, and the small toasted bun and coleslaw both welcome additions, the meat could have packed more flavor.
Barbecue chicken pizza ($11) was up next, which everyone raved over.
The thin-crusted pizza had a sweet tang of barbecue, followed by a lasting and subtle flavor from the cooked apples in the topping.
The tailgate barbecue platter also did not disappoint. With the option to choose two meats ($18) or three ($26), we decided on the former, choosing the barbecue chicken and the baby-back ribs. The well-cooked ribs, slathered in barbecue sauce, literally fell off the bone, and the chicken thigh, also slathered in sauce, was moist and tender.
Glazed carrots were sweet and soft, corn fritters a delightful side.
Even the big-cut steak fries, a side with another entrée, were cooked through and crispy while still maintaining a soft potato texture inside.
The Middlebrooks BBQ mac ’n cheese sandwich ($13.75), however, received mixed reviews. A barbecue brisket coated with macaroni and cheese on thick bread, the sandwich was heavy, messy, and one note.
My compatriots found the dish flavorful, but the brisket was too fatty for my liking, and the mac ’n cheese hidden in the soggy bread.
Whatever misgivings I had with the sandwich were quickly remedied by dessert. S’mores ice cream sandwiches ($6.25) were gooey, mouth-watering, and sweet. A thick graham-cracker cookie enveloped sections of chocolate-chip vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and marshmallow. With three toasted marshmallows on the side, the dish had an authentic feel and pleasing presentation.
The three of us left exceedingly full, with enough leftovers for the next several days.
And as fun as the experience was, I can only imagine what it’s like during a game day. I plan to go back to find out.
-- Jessica Bartlett