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Low Tide at DiBruno's Center City

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Normally I would not post this, giving the purveyor a little slack, but in this case I feel I must share. I purchased sea scallops at DiBruno's the other day. When I got them home I thought they smelled a little fishy, but because my sinuses had been stuffed up, thought that maybe it was just me. Anyway, cooked them up and my husband and I both agreed that they were well past their prime. Ammonia-like taste and very, very fishy. I took them back to DiBruno's the next day. When I told the guy at the seafood counter why I was returning them he told me "well, you know, sea scallops always have strong smell." Oh, really? That's never been my experience and I cook them all the time. When he took the lid off the container you could smell how bad they were, but he kept insisting that there was nothing wrong. Anyway, he said they would give me back my money (they did), but he kept telling me that "it's the way scallops are supposed to be..."
Now, DiBruno's is supposed to be for the gourmet, so what gourmet wouldn't know fresh from old? Anyway, burned my bean, needless to say, and from now on I'll be getting my seafood at Bob's Seafood in NJ (love them!) or Reading Terminal when I'm on my way home. Sorry, just had to post and vent a little... Have a good weekend, all!

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  1. that is interesting - I just raved to a pal the other day about the scallops I bought @ DiBrunos (it was a splurge - way too expensive otherwise). we made a light panko crust , a quick sear, and had a warm spicy drizzle over them and the salad. I loved them. Sometimes bad seafood happens, but DiBrunos handling of the matter was not right.

    1. The customer service there is apparently as variable at the seafood. It's a shame, since there are some very helpful employees there, but we've been at the tail end of a few blunders there ourselves when they did some special orders for us.

      1. The Seafood section there smells way too fishy, frankly I am shocked that they dont sem to care., Slack is great but if they are going to charge those prices, frankly the stuff should be better.
        Scallops are supposed to have an iodine marine odor...translation..no smell.

        1. They do seem to have a bit of a customer (dis)service problem at DiBruno's. For such a high-end place with a NY vibe, you'd think they would be more sensitive to the folks who shop there.

          1. I have gotten amazing salmon there at prices pretty close to RTM. I've also only had good service there (and surprisingly cheery for how busy they are), in several departments. Thank you.

            1. <Scallops are supposed to have an iodine marine odor...translation..no smell.>

              This sounds like a contradiction to me. Can you please explain what you mean by "iodine marine odor"?

              For years I've spent July 4th weekend eating scallops on the dock in New Bedford, Massachussetts. Absolute height of scallop season, straight off the boat, in the scallop capital of the world. A transcending experience! There is certainly no fishy smell.

              I have trouble parting with the cash, but I do hear from those who know that Whole Foods has odorless fresh fish, as fresh fish should be.

              FWIW, I used to buy the "pieces" at Reading Terminal - small chunks of scrod, tuna, or quality salmon at $1.99 to 3.99/lb. Great for making soup. I've always been told that it is as fresh as the rest of their fish. But too often it smelled of ammonia when I opened the package, so I've stopped. Anyone have a similar experience?

              1. Iodine marine odor is the smell of the sea, not the smell of the beach or fish, the smell of the sea,
                It isnt a contradiction.
                Whole foods "odorless" fish is rinsed which is why it looks watery.
                It is still old and actually so expensive that it doesnt move as quickly.
                You have a much higher probability of buying bad fish at whole foods and dibruno than at RTM