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Whole Food seafoods rock!

I'm putting in a good plug for WF seafoods after getting some really great bluefish and scallops from WF in Newton over the past week. Wow, fresh as could be, dry, firm, no smells, those fillets and scallops could probably be sold for another week.

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  1. I got two fresh cut wild salmons at WF in woburn. I marinated them for an hour in balsamic and honey.. grilled 'em on high on the ol Weber and OMG !!! Better, fresher tasting and just more superb that I have had anywhere. No nasty, heavy, oily fishy taste. Beautiful texture. I have great luck witht he fish at WF... although the price can choke you back a little. PS: when I was in the check out with my fresh fish, a guy behind me had about 7 pack of various whole foods brand frozen fish items. He said they were decent for the money. Anyone out there with experience with the WF frozen fish?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Buddernut

      I have had better luck with the packaged frozen items than the things in their case. The salmon is very good, and reasonably priced (though I noticed it went up a dollar from $6.99 a package to $7.99 a package). The swordish was sort of off-tasting.

      1. re: Buddernut

        Their frozen halibut is very good. In fact, for the most part, I've had better frozen halibut than fresh from WF!

      2. i've been very disappointed with the quality of fish at the symphony and government center whole foods. just looking at it in the display makes me sad. combine that with the stratospheric prices and it's a lose-lose. perhaps the suburban outlets do better.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I started this thread partly because I suddenly realized that the bluefish and scallops were really good - noticeably better than what I usually get at WF. So I thought I should put in a good word.

          I got both the scallops and bluefish on Tuesday, so maybe it's a timing thing. Bourdain wrote in one of his books that Tuesday (and Friday I think) are the best days for fish - at this point I can't remember if he was just talking about restaurants or in markets also.

          Maybe I was just lucky this week. I know the prices at WF are high... I usually buy just 3-4 sea scallops for myself and that's around $5, two small bluefish fillets were also around $5.

          1. re: steinpilz

            Hmmm, maybe there is something to to the timing. I bought my salmon on Tuesday in Woburn. Interesting ?

          2. re: hotoynoodle

            i bought salmon and talapia at the symphony WF last week and it was very good.
            my husband was raving about it for days...

          3. I had the best chilean sea bass from WF in Woburn. Although we bought a piece of Tuna sashimi which was tough and tastless - I returned it the next day.

            1. WF is certainly a step up from the godawful seafood displays at Stop&Plop, Shaw's, etc., but I haven't found it to "rock" all that hard. Especially in comparison to true local fish markets like Fresh Pond Seafoods (R.I.P.), The Fishmonger (when it's open), or Courthouse. Hounds, where else have you found WF-beating local seafood? Especially clams & mussels, which I've always found disappointing at WF.

              2 Replies
              1. re: B. Savarin

                I agree that there are many better places, not necessarily in Boston, New Deal is another one here. I guess that I was just so impressed that I got carried away. I only buy clams, oysters, and mussels in restaurants these days, maybe the summer will make me more adventurous.

                1. re: B. Savarin

                  WF Alewife always had better bluefish than Fresh Pond Seafood, and usually at the same price or - *gasp* - even less expensive.

                2. I too shop in Newton, and my seafood alternatives are WF, Steamers, Star & S&S. WF is the clear winner in that group. Are there others I should be sampling in the MetWest area?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: RDR

                    The only other alternative is Captain Marden in Wellesley. Very good, but imho, not so much better than whole Foods in Wellesley to make it worth the extra drive.

                    1. re: emilief

                      Ya know, I've heard so much good stuff about Capt.Marden's, and I stop in frequently on the commute from Framingham to Brookline,, but I just haven't been that impressed. Their quality is on par with the Framingham Whole Foods, but they're the only place I've ever seen that could make WF prices seem reasonable!!!

                  2. I'm glad you've had good luck but I've consistently had horrible luck at the WF in Newton. Bad clams; smelly, slimy trout and flounder, old Maine shrimp (those things were all bought in the last year).

                    Admittedly, I've also had some nice Nantucket bay scallops a couple of times, but I would say I get a rotten piece of fish maybe 4 times out of 10. At this point I'm scared to buy anything there. They are good about saying I can return it or get a credit, but who wants to do that? I just want to cook my dinner and eat it.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                      That's interesting. I can't remember getting any bad fish at that WF - just mostly mediocre, though certainly better than Shaws - where I can't imagine buying any fish.

                      1. re: steinpilz

                        Actually, the Shaw's near us, on Comm Ave in Allston, has a serviceable seafood department. Not at all great, but worlds better than I've seen at any other Shaws, and certainly better than I've ever seen at a Stop and Shop.

                        Whole Foods seems to be the best of a surprisingly bad lot in the city proper: the ones at River Street in Cambridge and Washington St. in Brighton are perfectly adequate and seem reasonably priced.

                        Wulf's, while also very close by, is a terrible disappointment: after a couple of at-best so-so experiences there, I'm not likely to return.

                      2. re: Scruffy The Cat

                        I've also had horrible luck with the WF seafoods in Newton and the one on prospect in Cambridge. I've bought bags of mussels that basically had to be discarded (the day I bought them) and nasty rotten crabs (when I called the WF to tell them to take a look at the rest of their crabs, they seems completely uninterested in what I was telling them). I only buy there as a last resort.

                      3. It seems like with Whole Foods, it makes a big difference which store you go to. But generally it does seem like the seafood department is a bright spot of the chain generally. We have been a lot less thrilled with their meat and vegetables, and the packaged/prepared goods seem ever more like all flash and no pan.

                        Having said that, we will usually go to WF only by necessity (if one counts as "necessity" not having to make two stops to get wine on the same shopping trip). Otherwise both price and quality are a lot more satisfying at the locally-owned places.

                        1. Whole Foods on River Street and in Brighton have always done me well for fish.... except for the gnarly and somewhat annoying fact that the filets (of any type of fish) are not always fully scaled. Super-fresh, super-delicious, and quite frankly the best I've had in this city, but extra work that I shouldn't have to do as I'm not actually hauling the fish in on a line! I'm paying for a fishmonger; couldn't they please check that all the scales are off before they put the fish in the case? This is a gripe I've had with them for years now, but of course I forget every time I order fish to ask them to be sure it's scaled (though I shouldn't have to ask, so no wonder I always forget.... hurumph.) All that being said, once said filets are scaled and smooth, I've had nothing but excellent luck with the 2 aforementioned WF fish counters, and less luck with Wulf's, even though it is closer to my home and I usually try to support local businesses. I think what put me off them for good was when I went in recently with my 2.5 yr old in his stroller and my daughter in the baby bjorn and one of the elder gentlemen of the establishment came over with a huge carp (it must have been during the jewish holidays) to wiggle around and show my boy, just dripping with goo, slime, ick, all over the floor, so seemingly not fresh and so yuckily smelly. Some oooze must have splashed on my daughter's arm because she stank to high h*ll for hours afterward. (They are really nice people in there, though, once fronting me a pound of shrimp when I didn't have enough cash, which I repaid at a later visit... another thing to note: no credit cards at Wulfs.)