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How is the seafood at Fresh Direct?

Hi. In all my years in Manhattan, I've never done Fresh Direct. I like doing my own shopping and picking my own stuff. But I am in a position where I have no choice but to do FD next week. I'm okay with ordering things like produce, staples, etc. But my main concern is seafood as I'm kind of picky about it. We usually get our seafood from Citarella or Chelsea Lobster. And I'm not a fan of the seafood at Whole Foods at all. So does anybody have any info pertaining to the seafood at FD?

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  1. I've never had a problem with it whatsoever, though there are posters on this board that would never order seafood from them. I've had salmon, tuna, catfish, arctic char and others that were all very good. Shrimp arrives frozen. Never tried muscles or clams. I really like the dayboat scallops.

    I'd say, if you don't like Whole Foods, FD isn't gonna do it for you, either.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Miss Needle

      Okay, to be more clear with my logic, I figured that if the quality at WF wasn't up to par for you, then you are going to notice problems that I would not, and therefore FD may not be what you're looking for, either.

      My perspective: I've never bought seafood at WF. I find it so easy to order from FD, and never really got into picking out my own meat and seafood, cause I don't see myself going back to waiting in lines and carrying the stuff home. WF Bowery is my closest decent grocery store (still a good 15 min walk away), and I rarely bring myself to go stand in those lines.

    2. The fresh day boat seafood is okay- it'll do in a pinch. The local shrimp (which, I believe are only avilable from Tuesday to Friday ) have generally been acceptable.
      But I stay away from any of the seafood that has previously been frozen- and that seems to be most of their seafood.Their seafood doesn't begin to compare to Citarella or most of the greenmarket seafood guys.
      For a while I was ordering the giant Australian prawns from time to time, , which can be really lucious and sweet. Then a few months ago I got an order of them that was totally spoiled- literally black and rotten. It was shocking that they even made it into an order. Although FD gladly issues a credit in these situations, it really turned me off ordering most of their seafood again.

      Now I pretty much only order from FD whwen I need bulk items like soda, bottled water and groceries. Like you, I really would rather pick out my own food- particularly produce, meat, poultry and seafood.

      1. The fish was fine, just expensive. It's the produce I had problems with. Stuff would go bad the day after it arrived.

        1. My experiences? Worse than Whole Foods...

          1. Thanks for all the info, guys. I'm curious about my first FD delivery. Erin, I know you said you're not a fan of lugging the groceries, waiting in line, etc. But I actually really dig the whole process of grocery shopping. DH and I usually walk from Midtown to Union Square and Chinatown to do our shopping. It's a way for us to spend time together, run some errands and get some exercise in the process.

            Their website is kind of overwhelming. I ended up buying 8 cans of Muir Glen tomatoes, 4 bottles of Perrier and stocked up on some other stuff that I always hate buying because they're so heavy. I would have purchased more, but we just don't have the room to store everything. I kept the produce to a minimum, and will ask DH to run out to H-Mart in Koreatown or Grand Central Terminal Market for the majority of our fruits, veggies and seafood.

            1. I've had FD salmon and arctic char at a friend's house, and it was quite good. Will Citarella not deliver to you? I've had good experiences with their delivery in the past.


              Delivery: http://www.citarella.com/cit_shipping... - they've always delivered w/in a couple of hours for me. Six dollar delivery charge.

              1. overall the seafood in citarella (i use UES one) is better than FD, but not so much so that i never order it from FD. I tend to get FD once a week or so, but usually only order enough main proteins for 3 or 4 days max, so i usually end up in citarella or agata once a week as well. i often get a fish at each. i've found the salmon sometimes is a little mushy, but never to the point of inedibility. over all it's fine.

                i live in a 5 story walkup, and am a single dad - i LOVE fresh direct

                1. Well, my stuff arrived early this AM. Thanks to everybody for your input. I didn't order much produce aside from yukon gold potatoes, grape tomatoes and limes. So I can't really judge the produce based on what I ordered. DH ran out to H-Mart quickly last night and picked up some vegetables. And I ordered some antibiotic-free chicken -- seems OK, but I haven't ordered the package yet. I think it's good to order vast quantities heavy storable items. But I guess I am kind of particular about the perishables, and feel a bit hesitant to leave it up to FD (is this a control issue coming out?) I got something I didn't order -- dried parsley (which I never use), but I don't believe they charged me for it. It seems that I didn't get my 10% off with first order that I need to dispute.

                  MMRuth, thanks for letting me know about Citarella. I'm indeed in their delivery zone. I guess as I have never done delivery for groceries, it just didn't even occur to me that they would deliver. And it seems that the delivery fee is the same as FD. Good thing to know!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Glad it worked out - I find that you can get almost anything delivered in Manhattan!

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Hi Miss Needle,

                      Great that FD worked out for you. Actually I found the meat at FD to be quite good, especially beef. They also have many different cuts and can vacuum seal the package for you which I found to be very good if I want to buy more and freeze for later use. Poultry is also fine, though I never found too much difference between the poultry of different stores.

                      Their fruits are ok though you can't choose and pick the ripeness. However, I have purchased heavier fruits like watermelon and melons there and they all turned out quite fine. Their fruits from Red Jacket Orchard are usually of better quality. Oh, any their Lambeth Grove fresh orange juice is great!

                      My main use of FD is really for heavy grocery items like beverages which I will buy many cans and bottles at time. I also like to purchase the more common types of canned soups or fruits there as they are just heavy to carry from stores to home.

                      By the way, Whole Foods also have delivery, but the fees vary by store location vs delivery areas.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        They toss in freebies when you first start ordering. Sometimes it depends on how much you spend. I remember getting anything from sample olive oil packets, to a small size apple juice, to their cherry chocolate cookies.Your dried parsley was probably a freebie. I found the goodies were overshadowed but how frequently they would forget stuff. I'd have to call them after almost every order to get things taken off my bill, between spoiled food, punctured bags, and other order screw ups. I had a credit with them that vanished after a year or so when I tried to go and use it again. It just wasn't worth the bother at some point. It is pretty good for bulk items, but I found their website to be less then intuitive at the time. Also some of the pricing was cheaper then anywhere else, but most of it was pretty astronomical. The prepped food was obviously priced for a higher tax bracket.

                      2. I have always been very pleased with the quality of their meat, chicken and fish. I like having the options of organic versus farm-raised, etc. Personally, Im on a tight budget and it gives me the opportunity to treat myself to quality stuff (like real atlantic salmon) when I can afford it, but know that I can get some fairy decent farm-raised stuff if that's all I can afford that month (which arrives fresh and is good quality - certainly better than most grocery stores in my area). They also have value packs which I rely on for chicken (I stock my freezer, make regular use of my crockpot, etc). I also got PIE Mussels once which were terrific!

                        I have also found them very responsive to the few "issues" I have had. For example, they were past my delivery window a few times and called in advance to say they would be late. Sometimes they even call ahead if they are in your 'hood earlier than your scheduled time. I have also been reimbursed for broken jars and/or missing items. This has not happend much, but they are very quick to credit you for the amount - you just report it right on the website.

                        1. Everything about FD is incredible.
                          I've been ordering from them since they foirst came to the scene. Everything is fresh. The delivery and packaging are perfect.
                          Their thin crust pizzas are incredible and their par baked breads are out of this world.

                          1. I just wanted to update you guys on the FD situation. First time buyers were supposed to receive 10% off their FIRST order. They didn't apply the discount. So I emailed them. They acknowledged my Email and said that this would be taken care of. Then I received an Email this morning saying that they'll apply the amount to my NEXT order. I was a bit upset by this as it was not as they advertised. I emailed them back saying that if my credit card wasn't refunded, that I would no longer order from them as they would not honor their original arrangement. I quickly got an Email from them back saying that they'll refund me the money and that this isn't indicative of the service that Fresh Direct provides.

                            btw, the organic chicken I ordered was fine -- no problems whatsoever. And the cherry tomatoes were quite good!