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Aug 18, 2001 12:57 PM

Fish Tales' Generosity

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There have been many enthusiastic posts about the quality of goods and serivce at Fish Tales on Court Street, my own included. But for me yesterday was a new high.

I had read that bluefin tuna was easier to obtain this year than in the recent past, and asked Fish Tales to order some for me. Since I only needed about a pound, enough for dinner for 2, being willing to take the trouble was itself good on their part.

I phoned Friday to check, was was told yes, they had it. When I went to pick it up I was told a friend at the fish market had given it to them for free, AND THEY WERE PASSING THE FAVOR ON TO ME. There was no charge. In my experience, it doesn't get much better than that.

(The piece was over a pound, about 3 inches thick, and cooked up very well. Prepared au poivre and served with a light Provencal red. And it did have the texture of steak.)

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  1. Alan: Off-topic, I admit -- But I just spent 45 minutes on the phone trying VERY hard to spend $150! Customer service -- HA! And no toll free number either. But stories like yours give me hope. pat

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      You don't mean Fish Tales, do you? I don't imagine they have an 800 number, but as a local business, why would they?

      1. re: Alan Emdin

        No, no, not Fish Tales! An outfit in Scarsdale that I was trying to buy a baby present from. I was merely marveling at your experience when compared to mine! I hope no one else thought I was referring to Fish Tales, which sounds like a stellar establishment! pat

    2. Fish Tales is a gift from the gods! Last week I picked up a pair of (delicious, creamy, white-fleshed) bream for the grill (well, for me and my girlfriend, the grill was just the medium) and was puzzling over the sign over the lemon basket that says "Only two lemons per customer, please." What's this, I thought? Are lemons now doled out like Tamagotchis and Cabbage patch dolls a few years back? Has the Bush Administration imposed lemon rationing for dark reasons of its own?

      Like my grandmother who used to horde toilet paper by the gross against the day when the supermarket might stop carrying it, I grabbed my two lemons and hustled to the counter."How much are lemons?" I asked. "No charge," I was told.

      I love Fish Tales and am haunted by the possiblity that once, several Christmases ago, I gave them an iou for a bunch of oysters and finnan haddie and then forgot to repay them. I really can't remember if I paid or not, and now I have these damn free lemons to compound the guilt.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pete wells

        "Two lemons"! And here I've been limiting myself to one all these years...

        The staff is very helpful and the selection is typically diverse and excellent quality, but you do pay for it, i.e. it's not cheap. I miss Penguin Fish on Court, near State Street, where the selection was not not as broad but what they had was usually good (plus they sold lots of whole fish and I got to keep the bones and heads for making stock!) Fish Tales seems to have amore limited selection of whole fish.

        1. re: Abrocadabro

          Can you imagine how many lemons some people must have been taking to cause the store to hang a sign about limits?

          1. re: Alan Emdin

            I thought the same thing. Like you, I only take one, even when I'm buying fish to feed a few. And a friend never takes any! Sounds like some of our neighbors must have been making lemonade with Fish Tales' generosity. And Abrocodabro...perhaps if you asked the guys there for a special order whole fish, you'd get as lucky as Alan Emdin with the bluefin special order and get it for free!

            1. re: Dee Gustay

              When I was in the store yesterday, I thnaked them again for the free bluefin. They replied "Any time." My first reaction was "Huh? Free fish, anytime?" But they meant anytime they got a freebie, they'd pass it along.

          2. re: Abrocadabro

            if you let them know you want whole fish, they will happily give full fish.