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Where do you buy your seafood?


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I was excited about this thread because I rarely by seafood. I love it but my wife doesn't, so it's usually something I save for eating out. My wife went out of town this weekend, though, so I wanted to try making linguini with clam sauce, one of my favorites. I went to Han Ah Reum in Wheaton, which was the most convenient place for me of those suggested on this thread and I was very impressed. The clams were fresh, delicious and inexpensive. Yay!

John

"If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I buy seafood from basically two places, Super H or Han Ah Rum . They have the variety, price and quality that surpasses almost everyone else. The "high end" store mentioned above do have very nice products but they are not at the prices for most items that these two store offer.

BTW, I didn't mention Lotte because their seafood section has really gone down hill. Has anyone figured out why they put magazine pictures of scantily dressed women on the price signs for their seafood. It is strange.

I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market. Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295. Good prices on lobster.

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I dropped into Black Salt the other day for oysters and shrimp. The oysters were fine but the shrimp had obviously been out a day or two. Of course, I get shrimp from a place in Pensacola, Florida a couple of times a year where they load the shrimp directly from the boats into the store (Joe Patti's, for those keeping store). Still, for premium prices, it was a little unsettling.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I had a miserable seafood experience this afternoon. I should have known better than to buy bivalves on a Monday.

I stopped at The Fishery on Connecticut Ave. on my way home from work to pick up some clams for dinner. Big mistake. Of the dozen and a half clams, two were clearly dead when I got home (opened and wouldn't close when I tapped on their shells). After 1/2 hour of cooking ONE had opened all the way and one had opened a crack. The rest remained completely shut. Needless to say I was pissed and disappointed. I am contemplating taking them all back tomorrow :angry:

Fortunately a friend called just as I was giving up and we had an amazing dinner at Sushi Ko :smile:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I would be really interested to know a little more about the inner workings of the waterfront markets, or even of fish markets in general - is anyone versed in this, or know where I can find out? I ask because the borrowed-nostalgia-craving part of me instinctively jumps - It's open-air! It's old-timey! Grizzled men in galoshes will sell me shrimp, which I'll peel and eat on the dock! - but I don't really have any idea when any of the wares were caught, how they were stored, who brought them in, or even where they came from. I've never had any problems with anything I've bought from there, but it's probably disingenous for me to be so smug about cooking up a wharf-purchased skate wing if its only street cred is getting defrosted in a market fridge instead of mine.

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

As of a year ago there was only one retail market in Jessup. It had a fraction of what can be found on Maine Avenue and was more expensive overall.

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I rode my bike down to Maine Ave this past weekend. Most of the vendors are open, and there appeared to be some good offerings on hand. Snapper and grouper looked especially fresh, and a few of the large whole salmon looked like they could make a hell of a main course at a dinner party for 10 or 12.

Avoid the pre-cut cling-wrapped stuff. God knows how long it's been sitting around. I've had mixed results buying various mollusks so I tend to be wary.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

As of a year ago there was only one retail market in Jessup. It had a fraction of what can be found on Maine Avenue and was more expensive overall.

Joe H.

I think there were two retail places the last time I went and to be honest I wasn't blown away. I just walked around the loading docs of the wholesale area and asked a few of the folks (I was looking for very specific items). It was about 10am so must of the activity had been done, I got a price of $8.99 per pound regardless of size. I remember I got a couple pound and half lobster and two 3 pounders. I was specifically looking for larger ones because of the person I was cooking for.

As for Maine Ave, I've been a number of times but I don't go anymore. I can find better stuff at better prices at Han Ah Rum or Super H.

Soup

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

As of a year ago there was only one retail market in Jessup. It had a fraction of what can be found on Maine Avenue and was more expensive overall.

Joe H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb.

I think there were two retail places the last time I went and to be honest I wasn't blown away. I just walked around the loading docs of the wholesale area and asked a few of the folks (I was looking for very specific items). It was about 10am so must of the activity had been done, I got a price of $8.99 per pound regardless of size. I remember I got a couple pound and half lobster and two 3 pounders. I was specifically looking for larger ones because of the person I was cooking for.

As for Maine Ave, I've been a number of times but I don't go anymore. I can find better stuff at better prices at Han Ah Rum or Super H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb. For 21/25 and 11/15 shrimp Maine Avenue is better and less expensive. For smaller shrimp Super H is superior. NEITHER is good if you are looking for fresh shrimp. Once a month I'll make bouillibasse/Kinkead's Portuguese stew/cioppino. Over the years I've tried everywhere even driving from Reston to Jessup, note that Super H is only ten minutes away. For my purposes it is really a combination of places with Whole Foods having excellent farm raised mussels, clams, etc. which neither Maine Avenue or Super H do as well. For produce Super H is outstanding. But Whole Foods and Wegmans are too; unfortunately they are more expensive for the same quality.

Soup

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

As of a year ago there was only one retail market in Jessup. It had a fraction of what can be found on Maine Avenue and was more expensive overall.

Joe H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb.

I think there were two retail places the last time I went and to be honest I wasn't blown away. I just walked around the loading docs of the wholesale area and asked a few of the folks (I was looking for very specific items). It was about 10am so must of the activity had been done, I got a price of $8.99 per pound regardless of size. I remember I got a couple pound and half lobster and two 3 pounders. I was specifically looking for larger ones because of the person I was cooking for.

As for Maine Ave, I've been a number of times but I don't go anymore. I can find better stuff at better prices at Han Ah Rum or Super H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb. For 21/25 and 11/15 shrimp Maine Avenue is better and less expensive. For smaller shrimp Super H is superior. NEITHER is good if you are looking for fresh shrimp. Once a month I'll make bouillibasse/Kinkead's Portuguese stew/cioppino. Over the years I've tried everywhere even driving from Reston to Jessup, note that Super H is only ten minutes away. For my purposes it is really a combination of places with Whole Foods having excellent farm raised mussels, clams, etc. which neither Maine Avenue or Super H do as well. For produce Super H is outstanding. But Whole Foods and Wegmans are too; unfortunately they are more expensive for the same quality.

Soup

Joe H.

Bouillibasse sound real good but I'm intrigued by the stew. Mind sharing the recipe.

On the Super H and shrimp and mussel, I'd agree. The large shrimp I actually get at costco. For 11/15 shrimp, Costco has it for $9.99 lb. That's where I get the shrimp for that size. I also buy the mussels there (the size is good and most are alive) and I get those at costco for $1.19 per pound. The issue with the mussel is you have to buy it in 5 lb bags but that is not a problem as my family can down that without much issue.

Now, were can I find softshell crabs for a reasonable price? I think the season is soon?

Soup

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One question that I have about Super H and Han Ah Rheum is where do they source their fish? While prices may be good, I would rather pay more knowing where my next meal was swimming before it was caught. Anyone have any info on this?

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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One question that I have about Super H and Han Ah Rheum is where do they source their fish?  While prices may be good, I would rather pay more knowing where my next meal was swimming before it was caught.  Anyone have any info on this?

I've never asked and I assume I don't want to know. We only buy the live stuff there.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I've also gone a few times up to the MD seafood whole sale market.  Its between Baltimore and washington just off 295.  Good prices on lobster.

What do you consider good prices on lobster? It depends on if I'll make the trek over there or not...!

As of a year ago there was only one retail market in Jessup. It had a fraction of what can be found on Maine Avenue and was more expensive overall.

Joe H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb.

I think there were two retail places the last time I went and to be honest I wasn't blown away. I just walked around the loading docs of the wholesale area and asked a few of the folks (I was looking for very specific items). It was about 10am so must of the activity had been done, I got a price of $8.99 per pound regardless of size. I remember I got a couple pound and half lobster and two 3 pounders. I was specifically looking for larger ones because of the person I was cooking for.

As for Maine Ave, I've been a number of times but I don't go anymore. I can find better stuff at better prices at Han Ah Rum or Super H.

Super H is good for specific things: fish of 3+ lbs which are skinned, fileted and returned with the frame, head and filet are not among them. Maine Avenue does this extremely well, better than anywhere I've found in the D. C. area. Plus they have Carolina/Crisfield lump crab meat for $21 to $23/lb. For 21/25 and 11/15 shrimp Maine Avenue is better and less expensive. For smaller shrimp Super H is superior. NEITHER is good if you are looking for fresh shrimp. Once a month I'll make bouillibasse/Kinkead's Portuguese stew/cioppino. Over the years I've tried everywhere even driving from Reston to Jessup, note that Super H is only ten minutes away. For my purposes it is really a combination of places with Whole Foods having excellent farm raised mussels, clams, etc. which neither Maine Avenue or Super H do as well. For produce Super H is outstanding. But Whole Foods and Wegmans are too; unfortunately they are more expensive for the same quality.

Soup

Joe H.

Bouillibasse sound real good but I'm intrigued by the stew. Mind sharing the recipe.

On the Super H and shrimp and mussel, I'd agree. The large shrimp I actually get at costco. For 11/15 shrimp, Costco has it for $9.99 lb. That's where I get the shrimp for that size. I also buy the mussels there (the size is good and most are alive) and I get those at costco for $1.19 per pound. The issue with the mussel is you have to buy it in 5 lb bags but that is not a problem as my family can down that without much issue.

Now, were can I find softshell crabs for a reasonable price? I think the season is soon?

Soup

This is the recipe for Bob Kinkead's Portuguese Seafood Stew. For the stock I use a fumet which incorporates frames and heads from approximately 6-8 lbs of red snapper/grouper/sea bass that I buy on Maine Avenue. As complex and time consuming as any seafood stew I have ever tasted; certainly as good.

http://starchefs.com/chefs/BKinkead/html/recipe_05.shtml

Edited by Joe H (log)
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Shameless plug, and it's MONTHS away, but in the July issue of DC STYLE, writer Kara Baskin does a terrific rundown of seafood purveyors in DC, MD and VA, well researched and quite comprehensive.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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  • 1 month later...

Any suggested seafood purveyors for someone located in the Laurel, MD, hinterlands (east of I95, west of BWP). Looking for variety beyond that offered by the local Giant but as close to home as possible.

Thanks.

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Any suggested seafood purveyors for someone located in the Laurel, MD, hinterlands (east of I95, west of BWP).  Looking for variety beyond that offered by the local Giant but as close to home as possible.

Thanks.

If you don't want to go to Jessup, then Asian supermarkets are your best bet. Added bonus, they clean the fish to order. There's a Lotte right as you get off RT 29 to go into Ellicott City. There's also a Han An Reum in Catonsville down Rt 40, near the Silver Dinner and it might actually be better bet then Lotte.

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Any suggested seafood purveyors for someone located in the Laurel, MD, hinterlands (east of I95, west of BWP).  Looking for variety beyond that offered by the local Giant but as close to home as possible.

Thanks.

If you don't want to go to Jessup, then Asian supermarkets are your best bet. Added bonus, they clean the fish to order. There's a Lotte right as you get off RT 29 to go into Ellicott City. There's also a Han An Reum in Catonsville down Rt 40, near the Silver Dinner and it might actually be better bet then Lotte.

Thanks, Meredith. I will definitely chech out your suggestions

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It is always difficult to know where your seafood is coming from. Too many people go to Maine Avenue, see the seafood sitting out and/or being unloaded and think it was caught somewhere local and just yesterday. ISeveral different specific seafood industries over the past few years have asked the Government for help in competing with imported product, including shrimp, mussels, salmon, catfish, crawfish, and crabmeat. Much of what we see of these more popular seafood items in many stores/markets is imported. I am not saying whether it is a good or bad thing, just a fact - the idea of US fisherman bringing fresh caught anything to our table on a regular basis is becoming a rarer and rarer event in many US seafood industries. For example, in the US there is a single (commercial) producer of mussels - with many more coming from Canada. Salmon can be fileted and deboned far more cheaply in Chile than in New England. For shrimp, the US industry argues it has been devastated by among other things imported shrimp from Thailand, Vietnam, India and other countries. However, shrimp can come from many many countries, and you have little way of knowing if your frozen/thawed tiger shrimp started its journey to your table in Belize or Bangladesh. There are few places where shrimp cannot be farmed. Even those god awful black plastic shrimp rings that they sell all over during the holidays may have been imported. If it matters, check the origin labels on anything you buy, or ask the counter staff. If they don't know the answer, then I don't know that I would buy seafood there. For the wider availability stores (as opposed to small markets that many people cannot visit on a regular basis), I like Harris Teeter's approach of labeling by country of origin all their seafood - while I love a bargain as much as the next person, I also like knowing that I can purchase North Carolina white shrimp or pink shrimp from the Florida Gulf/Keys. While imported shrimp has been frozen and is largely farm-raised, even any wild-caught shrimp from the Florida Gulf has been flash frozen at some point since the boats stay out for several weeks at a time. Much of the crab meat we find in the stores and used in restaurants is imported from any of several Asian countries, even if done so by long-standing and reliable (and local) US companies. It is a difficult argument to balance, where the cheaper imports have broadened the availability and lowered the price of a wide range of seafood to consumers throughout the US - how many people in the midwest had crabcakes on almost any restaurant menu even 10 years ago - but at the expense of US fisherman. FYI - I tend to buy my seafood at Swedish Fish, American Seafood in Arlington, Whole Foods, and now BlackSalt, because they are on my route home from work and I have had quality product from them. I have never enjoyed the Maine Avenue experience, largely based on a wicked reaction to some bad shellfish several years ago - somehow it just pales in comparison to Seattle. And, I am a fan of the inexpensive Costco flounder for quick weekday meals.

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I like Harris Teeter's approach of labeling by country of origin all their seafood - while I love a bargain as much as the next person, I also like knowing that I can purchase North Carolina white shrimp or pink shrimp from the Florida Gulf/Keys. While imported shrimp has been frozen and is largely farm-raised, even any wild-caught shrimp from the Florida Gulf has been flash frozen at some point since the boats stay out for several weeks at a time.

It's now the law that retailers must put the origin of the fish on the package or next to the fish/seafood displayed. Most do not however...

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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