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Mussels in the NC Triangle

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I just posted on a couple of Milltown threads, and it got me thinking about mussels. I love the things, but ONLY if they are fresh. Otherwise they are one of the foulest things I can think of putting in my mouth. Milltown does a good job (from what I've experienced), but I also love to cook shellfish at home.

I've tried twice picking up some bags of mussels from the Teeter and cooking them at home. This was an obvious bad decision, but I couldn't resist the low price. Both times resulted in a similar experience... After picking through them before cooking, I ended up throwing out close to half of them. After cooking, I threw out half of the remainder and was left with about 8 mussels that were worth eating. Unfortunately some of the rejects passed both inspections and I attempted to eat them... yuck!

Can anyone recommend a good place to buy fresh Mussels in the Chapel Hill / Durham / Raleigh area for cooking at home? Also, are there any other good mussel joints, other than Milltown that I should investigate when eating out?

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  1. tom robinson's for sure... and it sounds like that food world place that there was a thread about a few days ago has a good fishmonger. tom is in carrboro behind acme, and he's only open thursday - saturday, but he's got some of the freshest fish around. i still haven't tried the other one yet, but i'm excited to...
    as far as mussels in a resto-- rue cler in durham has excellent mussels. milltown's are mostly pretty good... although i don't think they do a great job soaking them to get rid of sediment most times.

    1. The mussels at Rue Cler (on their lunch menu; I'm not sure if they're also on the dinner menu) are roughly on par with Milltown's, in terms of preparation, quantity, and quality. And they're $8.

      I have no clue as to where to source reliable fresh mussels, other than to suggest that the few reliable fish markets would probably be the place to start/ask (Tom Robinson's in Carrboro, apparently the fish guy at Food World in Durham, etc).

      1 Reply
      1. re: rossgrady

        they are on the a la carte dinner menu also... served w/fries. think they're still $8 at night.

      2. I have found that the freshest and most resonably priced seafood in the area is at Grand Asia Market in Cary.

        1. I second Grand Asia.

          Also try Ocean Depot. Excellent quality, but not as much variety.

          1. While the whole meal wasn't all that great, the mussel at Red Room Tapas were pretty damn tasty.