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Best Fish Markets in Chicago ?? [and beyond]

Best Fish Markets in Chicago ?? [and beyond]
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  • Post #31 - January 5th, 2008, 9:39 pm
    Post #31 - January 5th, 2008, 9:39 pm Post #31 - January 5th, 2008, 9:39 pm
    dddane wrote:
    RiverWester wrote:Who do the restaurants buy from? Plitt?


    i imagine different restaurants have many different sources (a few perhaps get it fedexed in from far far away).. but i see a plitt truck driving around downtown nearly every day it seems... so probably


    Within a block of my office is both a Morton's and a Gibson's. I regularly see the Supreme Lobster and Seafood truck making the rounds of those two places. Salmon and Tuna are both excellent choices at each of those houses of Beef.
  • Post #32 - January 5th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Post #32 - January 5th, 2008, 11:46 pm Post #32 - January 5th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Are they open Saturdays? Whole Paycheck is breaking my bank with its seafood prices these days.


    Rubino's is usually open Saturday until 1pm, but call first. There are times when both Rubino's and Isaacson's are closed on Saturdays, but most times at least one will be open. We've really enjoyed their sea bass and scallops, and great deals on king crab legs.

    Whole Foods is really hit or miss with seafood. Usually overpriced, not always the freshest. Trout, crab rangoon, and whitefish are all we usually buy there. Salmon if it is in season and on sale. Otherwise, we go elsewhere.
  • Post #33 - January 6th, 2008, 9:16 am
    Post #33 - January 6th, 2008, 9:16 am Post #33 - January 6th, 2008, 9:16 am
    La Petite Bulle wrote:
    Whole Foods is really hit or miss with seafood. Usually overpriced, not always the freshest. Trout, crab rangoon, and whitefish are all we usually buy there. Salmon if it is in season and on sale. Otherwise, we go elsewhere.


    Crab rangoon? :shock:

    Image
  • Post #34 - January 6th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Post #34 - January 6th, 2008, 9:24 am Post #34 - January 6th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Jay K wrote:
    Crab rangoon?



    Yes. The Whole Foods crab rangoon is better than what you get in many Asian restaurants! They use genuine crab, none of that artificial crab 'stick', and add cranberries to the mix - interesting touch. They're creamy and delicious, and only 99 cents each. Yum!
  • Post #35 - January 6th, 2008, 9:27 am
    Post #35 - January 6th, 2008, 9:27 am Post #35 - January 6th, 2008, 9:27 am
    Glad this thread was resurrected.

    We've been frequenting two places regularly for the past year or so and have yet to be disappointed: Whole Foods at Ashland and School, and The Fish Guy on Elston. (I think that most WF in the city should have pretty similar selections, but the Ashland location is the one we frequent most often.) Both consistently have fresh, interesting selection.

    As others said above, the Fish Guy is a smaller shop. But I've never seen anything there that wasn't really fresh and the staff has always been incredibly friendly to me. He also tends to have slightly more exotic stuff that WF doesn't.

    When I'm in the area, I try to pop into Burhops in Wilmette, a truly excellent place. See http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=168778

    The Fish Guy
    4423 N Elston Ave
    Chicago, IL
    (773) 283-7400

    Burhop's Fish & Seafood
    1515 Sheridan Rd
    Wilmette, IL
    (847) 256-6400
  • Post #36 - December 3rd, 2008, 1:10 pm
    Post #36 - December 3rd, 2008, 1:10 pm Post #36 - December 3rd, 2008, 1:10 pm
    Just got back from a visit to Rubinos and Isaacson.

    I went to Rubinos first. Limited selection (maybe 10 fish couple shrimp and then an assortment of oysters and scallops - they do have frozen items which I was not interested in) here compared to Isaacson, but what they had looked and felt pretty good. Prices were good. Picked up some Salmon and Marlin.

    Then I went to Isaacson just up the street. Much much bigger selection. Although, some of the fish looked to be not of the highest quality.

    My winter goal is to familiarize myself (cooking wise) with fish outside of trout, tuna, and salmon so I will be making many more trips to these places.

    Now onto to the Marlin for dinner. Anyone have any good recipes?
  • Post #37 - July 30th, 2009, 10:32 am
    Post #37 - July 30th, 2009, 10:32 am Post #37 - July 30th, 2009, 10:32 am
    Resurrecting this thread...I am a complete novice to in-home fish preparation, but having a new home with a nice kitchen is prompting me to make some seafood for myself rather than eating out all the time.

    What are the thoughts on the fish counter at the new Lincoln Park Whole Foods and how their prices compare to someplace like Dirk's? Both are fairly convenient to my home, but I ended up at WF due to shear lack of knowledge of where else to buy fish. I have to admit to some sticker shock at WF, but then again, I'm new to this fish-buying thing...
  • Post #38 - July 30th, 2009, 10:38 am
    Post #38 - July 30th, 2009, 10:38 am Post #38 - July 30th, 2009, 10:38 am
    I am not a regular shopper at Whole Foods, but I've noticed that the store in Northbrook has been running a weekend special the last 2 weekends. Two weeks ago it was sea bass (not Chilean) at $9.99/lb. and last weekend it was swordfish at about the same price. Bought some both weekends and it was excellent. I don't know if this is through the chain or if it is an ongoing every weekend promotion.
  • Post #39 - July 30th, 2009, 10:47 am
    Post #39 - July 30th, 2009, 10:47 am Post #39 - July 30th, 2009, 10:47 am
    I've always been impressed with the fish selection at Whole Foods. The have a nice variety, and a lot of line-caught fish. Although their prices are high, I think they are in line with what you'd pay at The Fish Guy, Dirks, Burhops, etc. As Rickster pointed out, Whole Foods runs a lot of specials (and not just on the cheaper fish). I generally buy the stuff that's on sale because of the price and because it is generally moving fast.

    I've only been to the new WF in Lincoln Park a few times, but I was very impressed with their fish section.
  • Post #40 - July 30th, 2009, 11:26 am
    Post #40 - July 30th, 2009, 11:26 am Post #40 - July 30th, 2009, 11:26 am
    For five years now, I've bought nearly all of my fish at the Whole Foods on Ashland. Occasionally I steer off path to check out Dirk's, the Fish Guy, the wholesale places off of Randolph, and other Whole Foods stores. Those experiences usually just reinforce that I like Ashland Whole Foods' selection, price and fish knowledge best.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #41 - July 30th, 2009, 11:33 am
    Post #41 - July 30th, 2009, 11:33 am Post #41 - July 30th, 2009, 11:33 am
    Have you used any of Whole Foods fish for raw applications? The reason I ask is that, anytime I mention the possibility of eating some of their fish raw, the WF fishmongers consistently freak out & tell me repeatedly that they would not recommend that. I made perfectly acceptable maki & tartare with raw WF maguro a few years ago, and I'm still alive & kicking, but after getting lectured by their fish guys, I'm leery now.

    Do you ignore their raving & enjoy WF-sourced sashimi, or do you go to Dirk's or Fish Guy that?
  • Post #42 - July 30th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Post #42 - July 30th, 2009, 11:48 am Post #42 - July 30th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Have you used any of Whole Foods fish for raw applications? The reason I ask is that, anytime I mention the possibility of eating some of their fish raw, the WF fishmongers consistently freak out & tell me repeatedly that they would not recommend that. I made perfectly acceptable maki & tartare with raw WF maguro a few years ago, and I'm still alive & kicking, but after getting lectured by their fish guys, I'm leery now.


    Me, no. I would suspect that the warning from WF has more to do with corporate liability management and avoiding lawsuits than any intrinsic difference in the fish.
  • Post #43 - July 30th, 2009, 11:51 am
    Post #43 - July 30th, 2009, 11:51 am Post #43 - July 30th, 2009, 11:51 am
    Khaopaat wrote:Have you used any of Whole Foods fish for raw applications? The reason I ask is that, anytime I mention the possibility of eating some of their fish raw, the WF fishmongers consistently freak out & tell me repeatedly that they would not recommend that. I made perfectly acceptable maki & tartare with raw WF maguro a few years ago, and I'm still alive & kicking, but after getting lectured by their fish guys, I'm leery now.

    Do you ignore their raving & enjoy WF-sourced sashimi, or do you go to Dirk's or Fish Guy that?


    haven't done sashimi or tartare, but have done ceviche many times. I certainly wouldn't be any more worried about using WF fish for it vs. other places. I'd just be absolutely certain that the fish was previously frozen. I don't think I'd tackle sashimi at home using never-frozen fish.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #44 - July 30th, 2009, 12:19 pm
    Post #44 - July 30th, 2009, 12:19 pm Post #44 - July 30th, 2009, 12:19 pm
    rickster wrote:
    Have you used any of Whole Foods fish for raw applications? The reason I ask is that, anytime I mention the possibility of eating some of their fish raw, the WF fishmongers consistently freak out & tell me repeatedly that they would not recommend that. I made perfectly acceptable maki & tartare with raw WF maguro a few years ago, and I'm still alive & kicking, but after getting lectured by their fish guys, I'm leery now.


    Me, no. I would suspect that the warning from WF has more to do with corporate liability management and avoiding lawsuits than any intrinsic difference in the fish.


    I started to write the exact same thing, but was interrupted when my puppy let it loose on the floor.
  • Post #45 - July 31st, 2009, 1:04 am
    Post #45 - July 31st, 2009, 1:04 am Post #45 - July 31st, 2009, 1:04 am
    If you haven't lived on a coast and been exposed to what fresh fish should look like, smell like and taste like, it would be helpful to if you are anywhere near a coast, go to a large supplier of truly excellent quality like Browne Trading and calibrate your self.
    That said, I have not found any supplier in the Chicago area since the defunct Chicago Fish House that supplies truly excellent quality fish except one. Note that you must judge each individual fish by its attributes when you are purchasing, so its difficult to make a blanket statement about a supplier but If I observe sub standard quality fish being sold, I leave. Isaacson is just plain awful, The Fish guy is so-so as is Whole Foods. Burhops has been in and out of different ownerships so many times that i no longer go at all. H-Mart in Niles can have some good values if its alive and kicking but I believe they soak even thier whole fish in a preservative.
    The one consistant venue is Mitsuwa in Arlington Heights. Its the only place i can purchase sashimi grade fish and have confidence that the management understands this level of quality. If you think that you can go to Whole Foods and purchase any fish for a raw application, you are mistaken.
    Mitsuwa wil be having its Hokkaido Festival coming up where fish ,crab, squid and octopus are flown in fresh from Hokkaido. For a truly fresh fish experience, give it a try.-Dick
  • Post #46 - August 2nd, 2009, 12:04 am
    Post #46 - August 2nd, 2009, 12:04 am Post #46 - August 2nd, 2009, 12:04 am
    Dick has some great insight.

    Now that I've left Chicago, I will let the cat out of the bag (although it's been out numerous times on LTH), but Tensuke has all the establishments beat... hands down... If you're going to venture as far as Mitsuwa, just go down the street (Higgins & Arlington Heights Rd) to Tensuke. The best sashimi-grade anything you'll ever find... AND the best "big kaisen-don" in town (upscale version of chirashi). Also the widest array of seafood you'll ever encounter- off the top of my head: live spot prawns, trigger fish, flying fish, scorpion fish, bluefin, bigeye, abalone, live bai top (sea snails), fresh anago (not bbq'd pre-pack unagi), ALWAYS have uni, mirugai (geoduck), tsubugai (welk), ankimo, engawa, cobia, madai - Japanese snappers (brilliant scarlet fish - I always bought heads or bones for soup stock), ayu, Japanese sanma/saba (not just Norwegian or Spanish mackerel) - that's just the tip of the iceberg. I have seen THE craziest fish there - things I've only seen in aquariums or eaten in Japan... or seen in aquariums in Japan...
  • Post #47 - August 2nd, 2009, 11:44 am
    Post #47 - August 2nd, 2009, 11:44 am Post #47 - August 2nd, 2009, 11:44 am
    I have heard of Tensuke but just never found the place. Now I will make it a priority to stop when in the area.Thanks for the insight. -Dick
  • Post #48 - August 2nd, 2009, 1:17 pm
    Post #48 - August 2nd, 2009, 1:17 pm Post #48 - August 2nd, 2009, 1:17 pm
    Dick- As you may know, they've got a great little lunch counter/sushi bar/eating area (one of the best kept secrets in town) offering affordable (almost borderline cheap) Japanese food in addition to their regular market, seafood and sashimi-grade areas. It's got the best raw offerings in town; We've learned not to stray anywhere else when we're in the mood for Japanese. Perhaps inauthentic, we love the spicy hotate maki set (different from the spicy scallop maki or handroll). Our standby's are below:

    Image
    Big Kaisen Don

    Image
    Spicy Hotate Roll
  • Post #49 - August 5th, 2009, 7:45 am
    Post #49 - August 5th, 2009, 7:45 am Post #49 - August 5th, 2009, 7:45 am
    Fresh farms International on West Touhy in Niles has an interesting, although you have to be careful in choosing and do not hesitate to ask questions, selection of whole fresh wild caught fish. They do all the cutting themselves.
    And the prices are super attractive. I had good experiences with Alaskan wild salmon, but a poor one with cod ( dry and not that fresh)
  • Post #50 - April 2nd, 2010, 10:30 am
    Post #50 - April 2nd, 2010, 10:30 am Post #50 - April 2nd, 2010, 10:30 am
    Kennyz wrote:For five years now, I've bought nearly all of my fish at the Whole Foods on Ashland. Occasionally I steer off path to check out Dirk's, the Fish Guy, the wholesale places off of Randolph, and other Whole Foods stores. Those experiences usually just reinforce that I like Ashland Whole Foods' selection, price and fish knowledge best.


    Need to bump this because, apropos on Good Friday/Passover, WF Ashland has pristine Great Lakes whitefish right now for around $7 a pound, which is nuts for fresh, local-ish fish of that quality. So good that last night I just steeped it in miso broth. Wish they carried other locals 9perch, walleye, etc.)

    Speaking of which, note the new Meijer ad campaign focused on the never frozen fishes -- and they do cover the lakes well.
  • Post #51 - April 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm
    Post #51 - April 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm Post #51 - April 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm
    JeffB wrote:Wish they carried other locals 9perch, walleye, etc.)


    I picked up some beautiful just in Mahi Mahi at Dirk's for dinner tonight. I noticed they were running a spcial on yellow lake perch. Get there soon.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #52 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:09 pm
    Post #52 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:09 pm Post #52 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:09 pm
    Steve Z I must have just missed you :) I also got the Mahi Mahi at Dirk's tonight! It's marinating as I type. One thing, I didn't realize you can't eat the skin. I am grilling it on the skin since I don't want to lose any of that nice flesh. If I were sauteeing or baking I would have asked them to take it off.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #53 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:22 pm
    Post #53 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:22 pm Post #53 - April 2nd, 2010, 6:22 pm
    leek wrote:Steve Z I must have just missed you :) I also got the Mahi Mahi at Dirk's tonight! It's marinating as I type. One thing, I didn't realize you can't eat the skin. I am grilling it on the skin since I don't want to lose any of that nice flesh. If I were sauteeing or baking I would have asked them to take it off.



    I'm grilling it over hardwood. The skin comes off easily once cooked.

    P.S. I didn't know you couldn't eat the skin, either. I wonder why not.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #54 - April 4th, 2010, 1:35 pm
    Post #54 - April 4th, 2010, 1:35 pm Post #54 - April 4th, 2010, 1:35 pm
    Well, we ate the skin :) I grilled it skin side down, so it was pretty crispy. But it is thick and tough, and every recipe I have seen says to remove it, but I wasn't able to take it off the raw fish. Once grilled the skin came right off, but we ate it, not wanting to waste any of those good for us fish oils.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #55 - April 14th, 2010, 7:26 am
    Post #55 - April 14th, 2010, 7:26 am Post #55 - April 14th, 2010, 7:26 am
    Can anyone comment on Supreme Lobster vs. Rubino's or Isaacson and Stein? Is it worth a schlep to Villa Park? The chicagofishdude twitter feed has some interesting looking stuff.
    trpt2345
  • Post #56 - April 14th, 2010, 8:39 am
    Post #56 - April 14th, 2010, 8:39 am Post #56 - April 14th, 2010, 8:39 am
    I prefer the selection of fin fish and shellfish at Issacson to that of Supreme Lobster. To me, it is fresher and I like that there are whole fish and that they'll cut to order. I think Supreme is a bit more costly, in general. Supreme has a much larger selection of frozen fish, fwiw. It's probably not worth the schlepp to Villa Park...
    "Barbecue sauce is like a beautiful woman. If it’s too sweet, it’s bound to be hiding something."
    — Lyle Lovett


    "How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray
  • Post #57 - April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm
    Post #57 - April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm Post #57 - April 14th, 2010, 2:22 pm
    budrichard wrote: H-Mart in Niles can have some good values if its alive and kicking but I believe they soak even thier whole fish in a preservative.


    Just caught this tidbit reading over this thread.

    I've never heard anything about places "soaking" their products to keep them fresh longer or look better.

    anyone have any information on the process involved at the wholesale or retail levels?
  • Post #58 - April 15th, 2010, 8:40 am
    Post #58 - April 15th, 2010, 8:40 am Post #58 - April 15th, 2010, 8:40 am
    i posted this yesterday but it was either removed without explanation or didn't really post and i'm crazy...(I don't see how this is political but if so...)

    i went to the Fish Guy about two weeks ago for the first time (finally). I found:

    -They didn't have any whole fish smaller than 8-10#
    -The lady working said she didn't know how to scale or gut the fish
    -The place was warm, bordering on downright hot inside.

    is this abnormal for the place?
  • Post #59 - April 15th, 2010, 9:01 am
    Post #59 - April 15th, 2010, 9:01 am Post #59 - April 15th, 2010, 9:01 am
    dddane wrote:i posted this yesterday but it was either removed without explanation or didn't really post and i'm crazy...(I don't see how this is political but if so...)


    I've had many a post here removed. But generally I think I've always had a nice polite explanation via a private message for the reason they did it. I'd assume that courtesy is given to everyone.
  • Post #60 - April 15th, 2010, 10:18 am
    Post #60 - April 15th, 2010, 10:18 am Post #60 - April 15th, 2010, 10:18 am
    kenji wrote:
    dddane wrote:i posted this yesterday but it was either removed without explanation or didn't really post and i'm crazy...(I don't see how this is political but if so...)


    I've had many a post here removed. But generally I think I've always had a nice polite explanation via a private message for the reason they did it. I'd assume that courtesy is given to everyone.

    The post was not removed by any of us moderators. Either, you forgot to click 'submit' or some sort of glitch was encountered.

    As a point of reference, we never delete or move posts without sending a note of explanation to the OP.

    Carry on! :)

    =R=
    for the moderators
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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