Salt Cod and Frozen Shrimp at McKinnon's Market
I usually buy Salt Cod from either Sessa's in Davis Sq, Courthouse Market in East Cambridge, or the Portuguese market (with Brazilian Butcher) on Broadway near Foss Park in Somerville. One of the downsides when you want a little, is they will not cut the thick end of the fish, but the quality is far superior to what is packaged in supermarkets. A nice alternative is that McKinnon's appears to be regularly carrying Salt Cod, cut from a whole fish, and they offer small pieces of the thicker end. I believe the price was more favorable too.
They also recently have had some nice 2lb packages of roughly 26/31 Tiger Shrimp, for a fairly reasonable price (more expensive than Market basket, but better quality .. prices were also about the same as rest depot and less than defrosted shrimp which most places sell).
They have cut squid rings that look pretty awful, scary battered shrimp, usually some packaged octopus, and occasionally frozen mussels (green lip, etc). In general its worth a peek in their frozen section. I also get them to cut provolone thick to BBQ (marinate it with a bit of oregano and olive oil, just cook it until softened throughout).
i love McKinnons but it a trek for me to get there. It hasn't chaanged in 25 years. It's a great deal for meat as well. I've purchased really good lamb rib chops for $3.99 a pound, boneless thighs for $1.99. Also a decent source for pecorino romano.
I am talking about the McKinnon's in Somerville on Elm St, a few doors up from the Burren/McDonalds and mostly across from Goodwill. There is a larger McKinnon's (which is separately managed) on Broadway in Everett. The Everett one advertises more specials, but I have done better with the Somerville location. You can find frozen packets of pupusas and other finds in Everett, so don't rule it out if you are nearby.
Its also a decent alternative for inexpensive olive oil and canned italian tomatoes, although I more commonly buy from greek markets in belmont for the oil or sometimes market basket... and they have a decent selection of spices with slightly better quality than your local supermarket. Their italian bread often tends to be stale, but just about everything else is worth the visit -- sometimes I can skip a supermarket visit for a week by going there.
I have only been to the one in Everett. Have had good luck with their pork chops and lamb. Also, they sometimes have good deals on chicken. Don't really care for their marinated meats.
I love McKinnon's too. Great to go to a real butcher who doesn't look at you cross-eyed when you ask for a hangar steak.
How does the price/quality of the frozen shrimp compare to Trader Joe's? I usually get that size in for about $6.99 there. If you've never had their frozen shrimp then never mind.
As far as comparing -- I wouldn't suggest a trip to McKinnon's just for shrimp. I thought their prices were pretty aggressive (2lb, peeled for $15) and I preferred it to TJ uncooked (shrank a bit less, nice texture). The cooked shrimp at MC's looked pretty scary and this is something that TJs seems to do ok (as well as Costco), although I prefer buying uncooked. In any case, I will try to post an updated this weekend.
Restaurant Depot tends to run specials on (larger quantities) of hangar and flat iron, but that is a bit more difficult.