Fish mongers--Diana's, St. Lawrence M or ??
I know there was a recent fish (phish?!?) posting, but no reply talked about Diana's, and I was interested in hearing more about it. I'm looking for east end, and accessible by TTC. My criteria would be--
-reasonably priced (the common knock against SLM)
-good quality merch
-possibility to buy fish that hasn't travelled too far
I used to go to both Diana's and Avenue Seafood (two locations: on Eglinton & Avenue Rd. and the other on Avenue Rd. But I stopped going to Avenue Seafood when I felt a little taken on price:
I purchased a few different types of fish, and then also wanted some lobster for a first course. Since they only sell freshly boiled lobster (which is a good thing), they only had frozen. Anyway, there was no price on the little tubs, so I got two, thinking the most that it would cost would be about $50 on the very high end. The two small tubs were actually $100 for about 2 small starter plates worth of lobster. Anyway, I was sticker shocked to say the least, but felt embarrassed to leave it--my fault. What stung even more: the week I bought it, lobsters were $4/lb at some stores.
My point being, they are both great stores, but with Diana's they have exceptionally fresh fish AND their pricing is not over-the-top either, which really helps when you're trying to incorporate more fish into your diet.
Now if they could only put a glass shield when they scale the fish, I'd be even happier.....
Diana's is where I go to buy fish. Lucky for me, it's not too much out of the way on my trip home from work. I just can't bring myself to buy fish elsewhere, though I must admit there would be other possibilities if I were willing to travel apiece.
That said, Diana's fish is always fresh. I like that you can buy quite a range whole and have the fishmongers there clean and cut to order. Was in last week to pick up some salmon. Delicious, as always. And the staff there are knowledgeable and friendly.
Oh ya, almost forgot to mention the price. Very good value. Let us know what you think!
I would also agree with Diana's being of exceptional quality. I went last week to purchase the black cod for a miso black cod recipe and the fish was stellar. The meal turned out so incredibly good my SO swore that they would never order black cod at a restaurant ever again (and the list increases...first duck breast, then lobster, then...)
Either way, check it out and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. They recently installed a set of fridges to better contain their fish/shellfish and hopefully improve quality.
Here's a photo of their store layout: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953802462/
Sea urchin + prices: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2952951035
Another place to check out for fresh seafood is T&T supermarkets. They have a great fresh seafood counter with live fish. I have never had a bad experience there.
http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/en/index.php . It's very prevalent in the east end (Scarborough) and the one on Steeles & Warden is moderately easy to get to (if you are willing to get to Diana's, T&T is not so far off). Another option is to take the McCowan bus up from Scarborough Town Centre and get off at Steeles. You can walk about 5 minutes (east) to get to the Middlefield and Steeles location.
T&T Lobster tank: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
I can't say enough good things about Diana's - it's pretty much the only place I buy fresh fish. I'd echo everything JamieK said - the staff are great, friendly, and insanely efficient, they have a great variety, and it's a great place to just pop in and see what they have a good price on that week. I've never been disappointed with what I brought home.
It's about a 10-minute bus ride from Warden station.
The best all-round variety of fish and seafood, at prices that are ordinarily 20-30 per cent lower than the three St. Lawrence Market fishmongers, is at Diana's. It's especially strong on whole fish, of which it carries an astounding variety, which, as someone above has noted, it will clean for you at no extra charge (as do most fishmongers). The SLM mongers have almost identical prices for all their stock, though one will occasionally offer something the others don't. For example, last Saturday Mike's had fresh albacore tuna steaks, which I'd never seen before at SLM, at $15 a pound, almost half for what the mongers there want for the sushi-grade tuna they ordinarily showcase. The albacore tuna barbecues nicely, I discovered, and tastes almost exactly like the sushi-grade variety. What the SLM mongers have going for them, besides easier access than Diana's (unless you live in the east end) is a slightly wider range of fish steaks and fillets, and sizes of shrimp and other seafood, than Diana's usually carries. But for that variety you will pay dearly at SLM.
I didn't mention Diana's because you said East End, and I thought you meant downtown.
I buy most of my fish and Seafood, with the exception of Lobster there.
This year they will be carrying my favorite fresh Black Cod all year round, as it has become trendy.
They are accommodating, and will filet or slice your fish to order.
They will no longer shuck your oysters unfortunately.
jayt90, what is P.A.T? Is it a Korean grocery or restaurant? If it's a grocery store, tell us more! I used to go to a Korean grocery store on the northeast corner of VP and Lawrence, but it closed up a couple of years ago. It would be so handy to have a Korean grocery in that area. What's good to buy there? How does it compare with Galleria, for example?
re: Full tummy
It is a medium size Asian grocery, with branches at Bloor and Palmerston, Missisauga, and North York. Good selection of rice, kimchi, seaweed, soy products, and Japanese items.
P A T Spring Garden Market
63 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, ON M2N, CA
P A T Central Market
675 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA
re: Full tummy
It is on Lawrence just West of Warden on the south side, directly across the road from Nasr
It is smaller than Galleria, but closer for me, and has a surprisingly good selection for its size.
They do carry fresh meat, and some prepared foods as well.
I purchase my short ribs there.
I remember the one at Vic. Park, and shopped there when it was Japanese owned.
The prices went up when it was sold to Koreans, and it was at about that time that I discovered P.A.T. which is a little Gem.
I can't get too excited about NASR as their quality has slipped considerably.
I can vouch for P.A.T. It's been my mom's supply store for the last 15 years or so. They're an institution for Scarborough Koreans! Galleria is taking a lot of their business though so i dunno what their turnover is like compared to the pre-galleria days.
I wish i knew if it was the same owners from long ago. I'll try and as my mom if ownership has changed in the last 5 years or so.
EDIT: to make it relevant to the thread i do know they carry a ton of FROZEN asian fish which might not be avail elsewhere. Good examples are Asian tilapia with better flavour than the Ocean Liner (?) brand stuff at the supermarkets and Korean mackerel which tastes strong and is smaller than the fresh mackerel you can get around here.
I like Diana's. I don['t buy a lot of seafood so am not an expert but I found what I've bought there to be fresh and reasonably priced. It's always busy so you know you're getting good turn-over. And even smells good there.
The staff are friendly and helpful. There is a counter where you can get your fish filleted or whathaveyou. There are lots of other products that are seafood-related, such as condiments, sauces, dips, lemons, etc.
However, would not consider it especially TTC-accessible unless you mean a bus. It's on Lawrence, about one block east of Warden.
2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA