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M. Slavin Seafood

  • j
  • johnb Mar 29, 2004 01:36 PM

Can anybody comment on this place. I have passed by but not been in. It is the store located on Glebe Rd. just south of 395. With respect to raw, not cooked, seafood, how are their prices and quality vs. others e.g. Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. Is it worth going out of the way to get to?

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  1. Yes, its excellent. Some of the best seafood in DC and lots of sashimi grade fishes. Not sure about prices, but with seafood don't go cheap.

    Most a restaurant supply place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mark
      c
      Clayton O'Neill

      I've been in there once or twice. Picked up Tilapia and Tuna. I can't say I was really impressed, the Whole Foods in Annandale has fresher fish IMO.

    2. Wanted very much to praise this outfit. Should have been warned by the fishy stench in the parking lot. Had our choice of 5 kinds of salmon fillets, 2 farmed and 3 wild. Chose the middle wild variety, Columbia R chinook filllets, at a hefty 15.99/lb. When we got home, we decided that the fish smelled as bad as any supermarket fish - fishy and a little strong. The surface of the cut fillets was slimy. We served the grilled fillets, and guests were impressed. The fillets were clearly sold fresh, and had not been frozen. But, the freshness was far from what we expected. From the smell in the parking lot, this outfit has more to answer for than its salmon. Beware - not as good as it should be. Seafood in the Chesapeake Bay area should be fresh and freshly cut.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dlabell

        The smell in the parking lot is an unjustifiable criticism of a real fish market. Wholesalers like Slavin's buy whole fish. They gut, scale, and fillet them on site. What do you expect them to do with the garbage? They pitch it in dumpsters in the parking lot.
        Even sport fishermen smell when they come in. The boat stinks, they stink, the ice chests stink, everything stinks and the fish itself, although it's only a few minutes out of the water, stinks because it hasn't been washed down. And it's slimy. All fish is covered with a layer of slime. The first thing I do after cleaning fish is hit the showers. Sometimes we hose down outside so we don't stink up the house.
        Many times the wrappings of fish will smell bad while the fish itself is only hours old.

        BTW, many varieties of fish sold in the Washington area - like the salmon you were selecting from - are not local to the Chesapeake, so there should be no expectation that it is day-boat fresh.

      2. We've split off some discussion of how to choose fresh fish to a new thread on the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can find that thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/638181

        1. I have always gotten nice fish from M. Slavin, usually tuna, arctic char, salmon. One of the nice things they do (usually on weekends) is sell bagged, cooked, cleaned lobster meat. It's nice to pick some up when we're in the mood for lobster rolls.

          1. I like Slavin's a lot. I go there for soft shelled crab and lobster and it's always been great.

            1. One nice thing is you can buy a whole fish, a live lobster or whatnot and the fishmongers will prepare it for you anyway you want. They are real pros. They'll have seasonal specials on lobsters, oysters and the like that are a good deal. If you get there early they have fresh, chilled lobster tails and claws that are pre-cooked and a good price. As with all seafood, look at the eyes (if your buying whole fish), see the color/texture and if you can smell the seafood first, do so. I've found Slavins (I go every couple weeks) to be fairly consistently fresh, but you've always got to watch yourself, especially if you're buying "ends" which are a great bargain for stews or chippino- 2.25 a pound for salmon, bivalves and filets of fish....Ask the fishmongers their suggestions and you'll end up with "good eats."

              1 Reply
              1. re: ClevelandDave

                $2.25 a pound for good cioppino eats? i'm there! ;-)).

              2. One of the things that they used to do - and still might - is prepare an entire poached salmon for a party.
                My office used to get these. That way nobody had to do the work and the price was terrific.
                Hey, how many of us have pots big enough to poach a 2 foot salmon anyway?
                They sold it to us surrounded by small river shrimp and all of the guests at our office receptions loved it.
                It was a deal. Much less expensive than using a caterer. And it looked good.

                1. Slavin and Sons is wher all of the top restaurants get thier fish in the area.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chef Tony

                    While I know many restaurants do deal with Slavin, there are still Samuels, Prime Seafood, Pierless and many more who top restaurants deal with also.

                  2. We shop there every week. It has great variety and is one of the few places in the area that consistently has dry scallops. The prices are lower than at Whole Foods in Alexandria.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mollysumom

                      I got mussels and shrimp from WF recently-quality and freshness was far inferior to Slavin's. I'll be trecking out to Arlandria from now on.

                    2. have bought seafood for years for the restaurants from Slavin's and have gone thru a ton of crabmeat. Always found the products to be fresh and reasonable. Only extremely rarely needed to send anything back.