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Jan 7, 2008 09:51 AM

Buying fresh seafood in Monmouth County

Hi, hope I'm not wasting valuable space here since the subject is not about eating out, but I learned a valuable lesson this weekend when I found that my favorite seafood market, Klein's (NEVER the restaurant, the market only) was closed for vacation. The problem: from the Belmar area, the pickings are slim as to finding great, quality fresh seafood in the area. Any thoughts? I wound up taking the ride to Wegman's and paid too much for some decent red snapper from Mexico, but I ran through the list in my head for places I liked and it was a short one. Once Klein's comes back next week, we'll be OK, but the point is where to go for quality seafood, especially for domestic product?

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  1. Mr. Shrimp in Belmar has a small selection.

    1. Jody's on route 35 in Neptune is reliable

      7 Replies
      1. re: OGguy

        You will need to cross the bridge, but the best seafood in the area can be found at the Point Lobster Company. Last year (or so), they opened a new store front a few steps from their old location. I find it much better than any other store in the area -- including Klien's.

        1. re: MGZ

          Where is Point Lobster Company located?

          1. re: white light

            I agree Point Lobster Company is the best by far. It is located on St. Louis Ave. in Pt. Pleasant Beach just off of Broadway. I love their sushi grade tuna and fresh scallops. Prices are great!

          2. re: MGZ

            I am in Point Lobster Co. at least once a week! It is the freshest around! If I am around Toms River, then Pieces is great, they will special order for you if you give them a day or two, depending on their market day.

            1. re: shorebilly

              shore - I'm sure you mean Pisces Seafood Market
              3400 Route 37 E
              Toms River, NJ 08753

          3. re: OGguy

            yes, i agree. they even have a little counter where you can order lunch and eat there. crab cakes were pretty good.

          4. I don't have a specific reccomendation. My wife and I moved to Old Bridge and are transplanted NY'ers. We could not find a decent fish market anywhere. While Wegman's is very good but I think they are way too expensive and similiar quality can be found much cheaper. Our goto place for fish is an Asian market on Route 1 in Edison by The Ray Catena car dealership. We found another one too in East Brunswick. These are probably too far out of your way. That said, try a large local Asian market closer to you home. SO far we haven't been dissapppointed.

            3 Replies
            1. re: angelo04

              I would echo the positive feedback for Kleins. About the only bad thing I can say about it is that it is a bit pricey. But with the alternative being the local A&P... One thing I really like about Kleins (besides being 5 min. from my house) is that is always busy. So, one would assume they move a lot of product and it is therefore relatively fresh. They will also go out of their way for you if you ask. So, if I want to grill a whole fish, and give them notice, they are happy to just clean and not fillet it.

              As for the transplanted NYer, I feel for you a bit. When we lived in the UWS, it seemed that were several really great places within walking distance to get fresh fish. Not to mention better fruits and vegatables that I find in the local grocery.

              1. re: angelo04

                I recently moved from Belmar to Woodbridge & I am also having trouble finding good fresh seafood. Could you please send me the name of the Asian market on Route 1 in Edison? I am still learning my way around that area. I tried an internet search, but it was too broad. Thanks!

                1. re: woodbridgesue

                  It's Kam Man Food, at Rt. 1 and Old Post Road, the phone # I have is 732 248 9611

              2. thanks, all... I have actually been to Pt.P. market and it is indeed good, though I like the selection at Klein's much more. BTW... there is no relation!!! That said, Klein's Market moves their product through quickly because it services the restaurant as well (what a sin to have such a good market and such a lousy restaurant).
                However, the small number of responses tells me what I feared was true, that there aren't that many quality seafood markets in the area.

                5 Replies
                1. re: aklein

                  Esposito's on Monmouth Road in West Long Branch has nice fresh fish. The selection isn't as large a Kleins, though.

                  1. re: SusieQQ

                    Esposito's has been in business a long time, however, I never went to the store. I kind of thought that if it stayed in business this long, he has to be decent. I'll stop and buy some fish.

                  2. re: aklein

                    What about Spikes in Pt. Beach? Like Klein's, their market serves a restaurant as well.

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Spike's is popular but has lousey prices on old fish, do yourself a favor and go around the corner to point lobster company.

                      1. re: shorebilly

                        Shore - Spike's serves the same fish it sells from its counter and I can confidently say from my many meals there that the fish is very fresh.

                    1. re: bobfxd

                      Far for me to go to get fish, but I have done it. It's a very good market.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Woolley's is adding a fish shack to its existing market. I'm not sure when its slated to open (I believe construction has begun). Perhaps it will make the trip more worth it if the fish shack is good.

                      2. re: bobfxd

                        Tried Wolleys a few times. Thought it was just OK. The last trip, the store had that fishy smell. We bought some fish and we were less than thrilled. Haven't been back since.

                        1. re: angelo04

                          angelo04 and all

                          I have family in Monmouth county, Manasquan to be specific, so I am aware of most of the previous recommendations. My thoughts are they are all expensive compared to what you can purchase elsewhere...

                          So my recommendation is with you (angelo04). I cannot attest to the Asian Market in Edison, but if it is like any Asian Market like here in Northern New Jersey, I am sure it is SUPERIOR to the ones mentioned above. The selection is excellent and the quality is equal if not better.........The prices.......the best and not unusual to be half of the others mentioned on a daily basis.

                          1. re: fourunder

                            In case I didn't stress it in my post, fourunder says it best. The prices at the Asian markets are in most cases half of what you would find elsewhere. We frequently roast whole fish for dinner. It was 4.99 a pound for striped bass, $5.49 a pound from the live tank. Shrimp were something like 7.99 a pound.

                            1. re: angelo04

                              angelo04, this sounds wonderful, except that last time I checked, Edison and Northern NJ are not in Monmouth Country, and an 80 mile drive for seafood isn't really practical. That being said, are there Asian markets in MC? I would love to find a place that was more reasonably priced than Kleins, but...

                              1. re: bnemes3343


                                Traveling short distances for any item on on a regular basis may be practical, but not necessarily always the best option. Shopping in general is relative to what is important to the buyer and for what occasion the meal is for. Living in Bergen County, i know many families that travel to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for Christmas Eve Fish dinners. The total distance to and back may be only 30 mile, but the actual time for shopping may take an entire day.

                                Let's not forget, as not previously mentioned, Asian markets stock pantry items and traditional Western items as well. As for produce, you will not find better quality anywhere, including the likes of Whole foods or Wegman's. Combine this with A bakery and Unique Prepared Foods, and for me, 80 miles of travel does in fact seem practical and reasonable to me for excellent quality of food.

                                1. re: fourunder

                                  fourunder, I am with you to a point. I thoroughly enjoy a trip into NYC to stop by the farmers markets, ethnic stores, etc., and we can certainly make a day of it. That being said, I was trying to be a bit more focused on the OP. We eat fish in MC at least a few times every week, and an 80 mile trek isn't even remotely practical. I was kind of hoping that someone would respond that there was a reasonably priced fish market, Asian or otherwise that was actually in MC.

                                2. re: bnemes3343

                                  The Asian market in Edison has a sister store in Middletown on Rte 35 They are very well stocked and priced also.

                                  1. re: Eric in NJ

                                    Excellent! Do you have an address or a name? Middletown is more doable.

                                    1. re: bnemes3343

                                      bnemes and eric,

                                      Thank you on behalf of solving the problem for MC fish lovers.


                                      not to beat a dead horse, but angelo and my comment were to suggest and imply their are better options for everyone seeking quality fish if they expand their minds to what is available, even if it was outside the OP's original query.

                                      For a family of four......5 lbs fish @ 19.99 three times a week or

                                      5 lbs of fish @ 4-99.........the answer for many is obvious.

                                      BTW, if you travel each time to purchase your fish separately, the time and distance becomes less practical than to do it in one trip. Also, if you purchase fish for consumption for more than one day, if you store it properly, you can purchase fish to be served a couple of days in advance for later preparation............all you need is ice a drip pan and a pan underneath to catch the melting ice...this can be purchased in stainless steel commercial quality equipment....or simply made by taking plastic Tupperware, matching or not, and poking/cutting holes into one container to catch the water in the second. It's an excellent way to utilize a container you have lost a lid or has been stained by reheating of tomato sauce.

                                    2. re: Eric in NJ

                                      The Asian Market is next door to the Crown Palace restaurant on Rt 35 northbound, in Middletown near the intersection of New Monmouth Rd.

                                      I've never bought fish there. I do like the ribs from the barbecue counter. Some of the bakery items are good. And I've bought nice produce at good prices.

                                      Asian Food Center of Middletown
                                      1281 State Route 35, Middletown, NJ

                                      1. re: val ann c

                                        Thanks Val I bought about a 1 pound bag of shallots there for less than $2.

                                      2. re: Eric in NJ

                                        They also have a store on 79 in Marlboro, right off of Rt has a larger selection than Middletown. I agree about Point Lobster Co...hands down my favorite place to get fresh seafood!

                                      3. re: bnemes3343

                                        I agree, its a long drive. You missed my point. My experience has been that Asian markets are the hidden secret where you can find cheap and fresh fish. Hoping that someone from Monmouth could suggest one. I am sure there are several. And I should have read all the posts before posting, seems the answer is popping up just as I had hope. Ihope all the Asian people do not get mad at me for giving away their well kept secret.