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Sep 5, 2007 10:28 AM

Smoked fish in Western Nassau

My mom lives in Roslyn Heights, one exit west on either the LIE or the Northern State. We have always gotten smoked fish from Andel's on Roslyn Road, in the strip of stores between the LIE and Temple Beth Shalom. 99% of the time, the fish is phenomenal. Over the years, for convenience, Mom has moved toward platters rather than buying by the pound, for convenience. The platters are beautiful. The help is courteous when the orders are placed and Mom has learned the technique of how to navigate that horror of a line that actually starts forming at 7 a.m the day before break fast. But here's the thing...the last few years, I have seen the catering price list they send to Mom each year and it is obscene. I know smoked fish is expensive, but when a place on Long Island (I'll give you in a wealthy area, but it's still not Manhattan) is charging easily 1/3 more than either Russ & Daughters or Barney Greengrass does (examples - platters $24/pp as against $18.00/pp; sable $48/pound as against $32/pound; sturgeon $62/pound as against $44/pound, herring fillets in cream sauce with onion, $6/fillet as against $3/fillet), I have to wonder. Is there somewhere else with top quality fish that is not the rip-off that Andel's is? Or does anyone know how the Manhattan places I mentioned compare with Andel's?

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  1. Not really Western, not sure how good, but I was in Fariway in Plainview the other day and they had a very significant smoked salmon counter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GCGuy

      I've never been to Fairway in Plainview but I've had the platters from the Fairway on 74th Street and they are good. I wouldn't say as good as R&D, but still very good.

    2. I wish I can help you shayna madel, but I am new to area (sea cliff) and am interested in the responses.
      I have my own question though--does Andels sell good matjes herring?

      3 Replies
      1. re: abu applesauce

        I checked their website--matjes herring, 6 bucks a filet--that's absurd. They manage make Barney Greengrass seem cheap. Shayna Madel, your mom deserves better!!

        1. re: abu applesauce

          Exactly. I told you that this place knows how to charge. Unfortunately, having grown up in the area, can't say I'm shocked. People there are willing to pay for good stuff, almost without regard to cost, especially if it is convenient. It is (and I am ready to take heat for this next remark) the local mentality. That said, to repeat, it has been extremely rarely over the years that we are ever disappointed by the smoked fish they sell. Since I have a sister who teaches in Brooklyn and may be able to cut through lower Manhattan on the way home from work that Friday, I am trying to get some info on the logistics of ordering/picking up from Russ & Daughters or perhaps having them deliver to Brooklyn. I just hate being taken advantage of, especially having heard consistently good things about Russ & Daughters over the years. I am very curious about Russ & Daughters' stuff.

          1. re: Shayna Madel

            if your sister teaches in brooklyn, then tell her to stop by friday morning at acme in greenpoint. you can't beat the prices.


      2. Try the south shore - don't know exact prices but they have to be lower.

        I shop at Bagel Plaza in Merrick - in fact I have to put my order in for Yom Kippur. Others prefer Bagel Boss. Town Bagel In Bellmore is also good, but not kosher.

        1. If you want quality you have to pay the price. Andel's still has the best shmere around!

          6 Replies
          1. re: CityFoodNY

            Yeah, and as I said, it has been Andel's or nothing since the 1960's at Mom's house and I love it, but I just cannot believe that their stuff is deserved of a price 1/3 more than that of two of the supposedly best fish places in Manhattan that are, in addition paying Manhattan rent. And what's the excuse for $13/pound for plain cream cheese, $6.50/pound for cole slaw or potato salad and $15/pound for sliced Jarlsberg or Land 'o Lakes American cheese? If they charged insane prices for their fish only, I would not be so ticked, but come on, what could possibly be in $13/pound egg salad, kosher or not? That's not to mention prices in excess of $30.00 a pound for all of their deli meat, which oddly enough I don't think I've ever eaten, so I am not in a position to comment on, except as to price. I just hate the feeling of being played for a fool, but at the rate my " investigation" is proceeding, it will be Andel's again. I may take Mom to the Bagel Boss near her on Saturday for a lunch "tasting" of their fish, as they are $14.50 a head. And in the end, if we don't think Bagel Boss measures up, then fine, but at least I checked it out.

            1. re: Shayna Madel

              i work around the corner from andels, i rememeber reading about their matzah ball soup in newsday a couple of years, back, i paid a ridiculous amount of money for it and it wasn't even that good, i would say most diners put out better

              1. re: Shayna Madel

                Insane, perhaps, but they must get it. Is it anymore insane than some of teh prices people pay in the city or the Hamptons? Loaves and Fishes...$100/pd for lobster salad? I went with my wife to Cipriani's in SoHo b/c it was close to a party we went to...$21.95 for a avocado/endive/parmesan salad...about the same for Orrechiata w/ garlic, oil, and was packed!

                1. re: GCGuy

                  I'll try to do a matjes herring taste test. I'll be in Upper West Saturday so I'll grab some Barney G, I work in Glen Cove, so I can grab a 6 dollar fillet from Andels, next Sunday is pickle day in LES, so maybe I'll grab a filet or two from Russ and Daughters.
                  BTW, pickle day is a fun day to be in LES...

                2. re: Shayna Madel

                  We live in an expensive world, especially on Long Island. The one thing I can say is, fish at Bagel Boss is hit or miss. It might be great one day and not so great another. Andel's is always consistent with great.

                  1. re: CityFoodNY

                    Point well taken, but as I said earlier in this post, the fish aside, there is no excuse for charging the price Andel's charges for things like sliced American cheese that they probably sell for well less than half the price at the small supermarket in the same strip mall and there well-respected places in Manhattan that charge far less for fish than Andel's and I am fully confident that Manhattan rent is significantly higher. I picked up some sable, nova, smoked salmon and a fillet of herring in cream sauce from the Bagel Boss in Roslyn Heights on Saturday and Mom and I did a "tasting." Both of us prefer the flavoring of the cream sauce from Andels and I thought the fish was more than adequate. Mom thought the salmon was a bit dry, but only because it was cut from the less fatty part of the fish. Like I was supposed to know which end to ask them to cut from...They did not have sturgeon, so we could not try that. Based on Mom's sturgeon craving and not liking the flavoring of the cream sauce, we placed the order at Andel's. The owner could not have been more pleasant and nicer to Mom and would not even take a deposit. Since Mom is on a walker due to a back injury, the owner said she should just call from the parking lot and he would have someone walk the order to the car. We have had good luck with Andel's virtually always and so I will moan and groan about cost, but it will most assuredly taste fabulous.

              2. It might be a little bit east, but try Gold & Meyers in Plainview on Old country Road in the Morton Village shopping center. It is much better than Fairway. Great white fish salad as well as regular white fish, lox, etc, Not cheap, but not as aexpensive as Andel's