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New Deal Fish Market Query

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Let me preface this by stating that I *love* the New Deal Fish Market. It warms me to know that I live within dog-walking distance of a fishmonger who always seems to have just what I am in the mood for on any given night, and quality, too. (An added bonus is that they do not give me the hairy eye when my greyhound joins me in the store). I shop there at least once a week, and often times three or four nights in succession. If you are looking for fish (including sashimi grade), New Deal is my favorite in Cambridge.

Now, my question:

Is is common practice at fish markets to weigh the entire fish, and charge by this weight, if the customer has requested filets?

Some nights I do not have the time or inclination to dress the fish at the house, so I have asked the friendly fishmonger to descale and filet my poisson. Just last night I was enchanted by the red snapper, but just did not have the time to prepare any of my favorite whole fish recipes. I asked him for just the filets and he plopped snappy on the scale, wrote down the price, and then cleaned him up. I was charged the whole fish weight, even though the filets alone are much lighter.

Any wisdom?

I'm not really bothered, because I can understand that he is likely charged for the whole fishy, so why shouldn't I be charged as well. But, I know for the larger fish that are not sold whole, the price is simply per pound of filet or steak.

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  1. Fish mongers will charge you for the whole fish and normally warn you that you can lose up to 50% of total weight from filleting. You can always ask for the the bones and head to use in fish stock. Fillets are considered value added and consequently cost (on average) twice as much as a whole fish.

    1. As a dog lover, I appreciate your desire to bring your dog in with you. As a food service professional, I know that the Cambridge health department would not be happy about this practice. Pets do not belong inside any establishment that sells food.

      1. Thanks for the replies. This is what I thought. Just wanted to confirm.

        1. If they aren't offering the filets for sale, then you would buy the whole fish. Simple as that. If he was kind enough to filet it for you, so much the better. I wouldn't ever assume you'd only be charged for the weight of the filets, unless they are being offered, and at that they would be much higher per pound.
          BTW, I can't stand when people bring their dogs into stores, especially food stores. Sorry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AlanH

            That's exactly what I assumed. That if the filet was being sold on its own that the price would be marked up accordingly (value added well understood). My shopping partner had posed this question to me, and I just wanted to confirm that my response to him had been accurate. I think it is a totally reasonable practice.

            *NB- I shouldn't have mentioned my dog in the post. I haven't had my coffee this morning, and my judgement is impaired. *wishing for a delete button* If you see me in a store, feel free to ask me to leave.

          2. s
            ScoobieSnack

            Where in Cambridge is This Market ?

            2 Replies
            1. re: ScoobieSnack

              It is on Cambridge St. in East Cambridge.

              New Deal Fish Market
              622 Cambridge St - Cambridge, MA 02141-1123
              617-876-8227

              1. re: greeley

                it's right accross from the "Fresh Poultry Live Killed" sign :)

            2. Hi, Neighbor! I live in E. Cambridge, as well, and am a huge fan of the New Deal. And such cute people that own it! They were closed a few weeks ago for their son's wedding- congratulate them the next time you go in.

              My other favorite fish store is Courthouse Seafood (which has a restaurant attached to it, too. Never eaten there, though). It's futher up Cambridge St. toward Leachmere.

              Regarding your filleting question- if you keep the heads and bones for soup (put 'em in the freezer until you get around to it), folks at both stores will love you like you're from the old country.