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A good fishmonger in Atlanta


Doodad
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I am about at my wits end on finding good and affordable fish in Atlanta. The Atlantic and Gulf are not that far away so how can it be so bad?

The choice seems to be either marginal previously frozen, poorly held way out of date, or fresh and WAY overpriced. It was not always this way here.

The places I usually go are Harry's, Super H and the local mega groceries. Harry's is almost always good even if it was frozen but wildy expensive at times, Super H is spotty and ranges from true bang for the buck to past prime, and the local chains are why I posted. I made the mistake being in a hurry one day to grab some shrimp at one of them. Never again. I said something to the manager on another trip.

Anyone have some secrets or suggestions they could share? I don't mind spending money on say tuna, but there has to be a happy medium as shrimp should not start at 11/pound for 50 count shrimp.

Thanks

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Thanks for replying. Ok, so I am doing the best I can I guess. How is Dekalb Farmer's Market these days, anyone? True story, as a very young guy some 30 years ago, I worked as a bagboy there. Just happened to live here at the time.

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I routinely buy fish at Dekalb Farmer's Market and am generally happy, but then I make a point of deciding what I'm going to get after I get there and get a look at what's on offer. I don't mind fish that's been frozen as long as it's very recently thawed (or still frozen), as we're far enough from the coast that it may as well be Ohio from a freshness point of view.

No question, ever, of purchasing fish from a grocery store here. Even my local upmarket Publix is out of the question.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Funny you should mention Publix. (rolls eyes)

And I am with you. I cook based on shopping and try not to do the reverse, but this was one of those dishes that needed shrimp and time was an issue.

We like to do dinner and a movie type stuff and shrimp was required. I threw them out as inedible and we ate around it. Not quite the same meal. Key Largo needs shrimp, see?

Edited by Doodad (log)
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Have you tried Whole Foods - once again ask plenty of questions, I buy my monk fish there - I also agree with trying Super H - the one here in Duluth has some of there's in a tank still swimming and waiting.

I get a little scared at the Dekalb Farmer's market about some of their seafood as I would be about a Kroger or Publix's. Just use good judgement and ask ask ask plenty of questions. If the fish people gets rude or can not answer a question I move on to the next store. If not make friends with them and they will tell you about up coming sales or when new product will be arriving.

Ask if you can smell the fish you have chosen and look at your purchase careful before you take it from the seafood counter.

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Atlanta is a big place, but if you find yourself on the northern side of town (GA 400, N of 285), then I would say to give Gulf Coast Seafood a try.  He gets several trucks of fresh seafood in throughout the week.

Tom Wilder

Gulf Coast Seafood Market

4055 Old Milton Parkway

678-624-9997

http://www.gcseafoodmarket.com/

Thank you so much for that!! That is what I was looking for AND it is on my way to and from work and close to the house. I know what I am cooking this weekend. Should I mention a name as referral to get you some brownie points?

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Have you tried Whole Foods - once again ask plenty of questions, I buy my monk fish there - I also agree with trying Super H - the one here in Duluth has some of there's in a tank still swimming and waiting.

I get a little scared at the Dekalb Farmer's market about some of their seafood as I would be about a Kroger or Publix's.  Just use good judgement and ask ask ask plenty of questions.  If the fish people gets rude or can not answer a question I move on to the next store. If not make friends with them and they will tell you about up coming sales or when new product will be arriving.

Ask if you can smell the fish you have chosen and look at your purchase careful before you take it from the seafood counter.

Yeah, Harry's in Alpharetta is now Whole Foods. They retained the head fish manager, and that location is the main processing center for all the Whole Foods in the area. I have never been disappointed, but the prices have escalated sharply since Whole Foods took over the location.

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I can 2nd that Gulf Coast rec, get his e-mail when you go in and he will mail you all the weekly fresh catches, specials etc.

I've done both Harry's and the new whole foods in Duluth and I prefer Harry's by far (their sausage section is sick :P)..prices are well whole paycheck style.

-Mike & Andrea

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Yeah, Harry's in Alpharetta is now Whole Foods.  They retained the head fish manager, and that location is the main processing center for all the Whole Foods in the area.  I have never been disappointed, but the prices have escalated sharply since Whole Foods took over the location.

At first I thought it was me when I started shopping at whole foods about the prices and I do agree with you much higher than Haryy's- Lived less than a mile from the harry's store in duluth - now just an empty building.

The only thing I hate it that Whole Foods do not have the same wide selection as Harry's did nor do they have the fish in the tanks or the live blue crab in the summer.

I'm was born and raised most of my life in Savannah and I sure do miss shopping off the docks and knowing my fisherman like I use to! Live is tough when you don't live on the coast! (smile)

Bree

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I just went by and met the guy at Gulf Coast. That is the way I want to see it. Clean, stock is what is fresh, and after two days it gets vacuum packed, frozen and discounted. I like shops that don't try to carry every known fish under the sun especially from 20 time zones away. Greg and Mike get a high five, and the shop gets my business tomorrow.

Shrimp in a wine sauce with grilled veggies tomorrow. Go Dawgs.

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I just went by and met the guy at Gulf Coast.  That is the way I want to see it.  Clean, stock is what is fresh, and after two days it gets vacuum packed, frozen and discounted.  I like shops that don't try to carry every known fish under the sun especially from 20 time zones away.  Greg and Mike get a high five, and the shop gets my business tomorrow.

Shrimp in a wine sauce with grilled veggies tomorrow.  Go Dawgs.

Sound like you found the right guys - might have to give them a try - I am not to far away - did they tell you if the shrimp was farmed raised or caught in the wild? And if caught in the wild - where?

I think there is a different in taste or maybe that's just me.

Hey it's the World's largest Cocktail Party tomorrow!!!! Use to get season tickets when my father was alive - sure do miss him during football season.

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I just went by and met the guy at Gulf Coast.  That is the way I want to see it.  Clean, stock is what is fresh, and after two days it gets vacuum packed, frozen and discounted.  I like shops that don't try to carry every known fish under the sun especially from 20 time zones away.  Greg and Mike get a high five, and the shop gets my business tomorrow.

Shrimp in a wine sauce with grilled veggies tomorrow.  Go Dawgs.

Sound like you found the right guys - might have to give them a try - I am not to far away - did they tell you if the shrimp was farmed raised or caught in the wild? And if caught in the wild - where?

I think there is a different in taste or maybe that's just me.

Hey it's the World's largest Cocktail Party tomorrow!!!! Use to get season tickets when my father was alive - sure do miss him during football season.

He was down on shrimp stock, but more is coming tomorrow around noon. They are wild off Appalachicola. He had pinks too which I think are from further south.

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I can 2nd that Gulf Coast rec, get his e-mail when you go in and he will mail you all the weekly fresh catches, specials etc.

I've done both Harry's and the new whole foods in Duluth and I prefer Harry's by far (their sausage section is sick :P)..prices are well whole paycheck style.

I can third Gulf Coast. He said he was also going to carry high end red meat soon. Any updates?

Nobody eats at that restaurant anymore. It's always too crowded.

---Yogi Berra

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I can 2nd that Gulf Coast rec, get his e-mail when you go in and he will mail you all the weekly fresh catches, specials etc.

I've done both Harry's and the new whole foods in Duluth and I prefer Harry's by far (their sausage section is sick :P)..prices are well whole paycheck style.

I can third Gulf Coast. He said he was also going to carry high end red meat soon. Any updates?

In today's email. (And I got a call from a vendor in the area willing to get foie.)

I'm also hoping to have MEATS in for the weekend !! I am meeting today, with the top provider of the highest quality of beef, chicken, buffalo, etc..in Atlanta. These will be certified Angus Aged Beef. I'm expecting to offer Filets, boneless Ribeyes, Strips, Ground, Kabobs, Sausages, and more. I'll have more information on this later in the week. Also, check my web site for daily updates.

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In today's email. (And I got a call from a vendor in the area willing to get foie.)

I'm also hoping to have MEATS in for the weekend !! I am meeting today, with the top provider of the highest quality of beef, chicken, buffalo, etc..in Atlanta. These will be certified Angus Aged Beef. I'm expecting to offer Filets, boneless Ribeyes, Strips, Ground, Kabobs, Sausages, and more. I'll have more information on this later in the week. Also, check my web site for daily updates.

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In today's email. (And I got a call from a vendor in the area willing to get foie.)

I'm also hoping to have MEATS in for the weekend !! I am meeting today, with the top provider of the highest quality of beef, chicken, buffalo, etc..in Atlanta. These will be certified Angus Aged Beef. I'm expecting to offer Filets, boneless Ribeyes, Strips, Ground, Kabobs, Sausages, and more. I'll have more information on this later in the week. Also, check my web site for daily updates.

Happy Halloween Doodad -

By any chance is the guy you are talking to have really good hot dogs?? Looking for an upgrade from the package kind - something special.

Did the Dawgs do it or what Saturday!!!!

Thanks for you help

Bree

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Bree,

You could try Patton's meat market or Adam's European market both in Duluth on Ptree Ind. I would think Adam has or could get you some interesting takes on wurst that would fit the bill.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Atlanta is a big place, but if you find yourself on the northern side of town (GA 400, N of 285), then I would say to give Gulf Coast Seafood a try.  He gets several trucks of fresh seafood in throughout the week.

Tom Wilder

Gulf Coast Seafood Market

4055 Old Milton Parkway

678-624-9997

http://www.gcseafoodmarket.com/

You have just made my day. Getting good seafood here is truly frustrating.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Have you tried Whole Foods - once again ask plenty of questions, I buy my monk fish there - I also agree with trying Super H - the one here in Duluth has some of there's in a tank still swimming and waiting.

I get a little scared at the Dekalb Farmer's market about some of their seafood as I would be about a Kroger or Publix's.  Just use good judgement and ask ask ask plenty of questions.  If the fish people gets rude or can not answer a question I move on to the next store. If not make friends with them and they will tell you about up coming sales or when new product will be arriving.

Ask if you can smell the fish you have chosen and look at your purchase careful before you take it from the seafood counter.

The problem I have with the Asian fish markets and even Whole foods is that you really need to pay attention to where their fish is coming from. It it's Snapper from India, or Thailand or China, it can be loaded down with antibiotics. It's a common practise at "Fish Farms" due to the high susceptabilty to disease when kept close together. The FDA tests imported fish, but the best they can do is samples. So a lot of what I would consider to be inedible fish comes in everyday unchecked.

Another problem prevelant in imported fish are the fish filets. I always select the fish whole and request it to be cleaned to whatever specifications I need. There have been repoerted cases of restaurants that unknowingly serve grouper filets that they bought and it turned out to actually be "Basa" a chinese catfish variety that looks and has the same texture as grouper but not the taste. Only when sent to a labratory for dna testing were they able to determine the fish's species. Once again farm raised and loaded down with sometimes illegal drugs. I've gone to the local asian market and could not visually find any difference in their grouper and basa filet displays. I could only conclude that they were not selling grouper.

The same goes for shrimp. I now look at the labels on the 1lb bags of frozen shrimp in supermarkets just to see where it is coming from, (Usually Thailand)

Kroger, Publix, Sams, Walmart, all foriegn imports and farm raised. Target however has "wild caught" Key west pink shrimp in their freezer. So at least at that point you only have to worry about the level of sulfites that have been added to "preserve freshness", which for me means I soak the shrimp for 30 minutes in a brine and don't make stock from the shells.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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I can 2nd that Gulf Coast rec, get his e-mail when you go in and he will mail you all the weekly fresh catches, specials etc.

I've done both Harry's and the new whole foods in Duluth and I prefer Harry's by far (their sausage section is sick :P)..prices are well whole paycheck style.

I stopped going to whole foods in Duluth when they moved away from Satellite Blvd. and the reason stated by Whole food's pres. was to move to more "Affluent Clientele". My money was just not good enough for them. It's ok though, because they are nothing like what Harry's used to be anyways. I personally hated pretty much everything that they made "in house" and served hot on their buffet steamtables.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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  • 2 weeks later...
I can 2nd that Gulf Coast rec, get his e-mail when you go in and he will mail you all the weekly fresh catches, specials etc.

I've done both Harry's and the new whole foods in Duluth and I prefer Harry's by far (their sausage section is sick :P)..prices are well whole paycheck style.

I stopped going to whole foods in Duluth when they moved away from Satellite Blvd. and the reason stated by Whole food's pres. was to move to more "Affluent Clientele". My money was just not good enough for them. It's ok though, because they are nothing like what Harry's used to be anyways. I personally hated pretty much everything that they made "in house" and served hot on their buffet steamtables.

I infrequently shop at Harry's now. When Harry Blazer was in charge, I shopped at the Alpharetta store about once every two weeks. Prices are higher and selection much less to my tastes. However, Whole Foods is making a profit and Harry's filed for bankruptcy protection.

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This ties into my earlier post on imported fish. I was listening to the radio on my way to work and WSB AM750 had this report this morning. I had previously read reports from florida about 6 months ago when I became cognizant of the risks involved in seafood selection. I expect however this will raise fish prices across the board.

Tightening Seafood Regulations

(WSB Radio State Capitol Bureau) -- State lawmakers want to tighten up regulations when it comes to fish that's sold in Georgia restaurants.

Dr. David Price, a Ph.D. with University of Florida, used DNA to identify fish sold in 56 Georgia restaurants, and found half that were supposed to be grouper turned out to be something else.

"Of the 23 grouper samples I tested coming from North Georgia restaurants and super markets, about half of them turned out to be other species of fish. The most common substitution was an Asian catfish," says Price who uses DNA testing.

He says usually its not the restaurants fault.

"The restaurant owner may be duped by the supplier giving him a box that says 'grouper' when it's really something else. On the other hand, the restaurant owner may suspect that it really isn't grouper, but if he has the paperwork saying it was he doesn't mind," says Price.

While no testing for contaminates was done on the suspect Georgia fish, there have been cases of fish with antibiotics, bacteria, and chemicals imported to the United States.

"The sanitation practices that are used in growing and processing these types of commodities is not near the level of what our expectations in the U.S. are," says Dr. Mike Doyle, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety.

He says the Food and Drug Administration, which has oversight of 80 percent of the country's food supply including fish and shell fish, isn't capable of handling the demand.

"Our F.D.A. is really swamped, and overworked and underpaid... and really (don't) have enough resources to do much inspection," says Doyle.

He says less than one percent of the food supply that's imported is visually inspected, with less than half of that actually sampled.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin told lawmakers he would supported the tightening of Georgia laws when it comes to regulating imported fish.

Edit* My kingdom for a spell checker!

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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