Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
May 17, 2009 08:11 AM

Deeper shade of sole: petrale at Granville Island, Van

I may have been living under a rock but I had never seen this type of flatfish (also known as California sole or brill) for sale in Vancouver. On Tuesday, I spotted it whole at Seafood City on Granville Island. I note from their website that whitefish is one of their specialties The locally caught fish were about 2 lbs each, perfect for two people once the helpful staffer "topped and tailed" it for me. Into a pan for five minutes a side, stirfried peashoots and roasted new spuds for contorni and hello happy elf. At $4.99 a pound, this delicate light white flatfish has become a favourite on our trips to San Francisco. I am now hopeful it will stay on the list at home. It's even okay to eat it occasionally per the sustainability gurus online -- better rating stateside than here though and I couldn't find a recent Oceanwise list on line ...

PS random drool factor for smoked seafood lovers: they also carry environmentally caught smoked scallops caught just off Quadra Island from Butterfly Brand

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for this. Despite a complicated relationship with some fish (salmon=eeuw; halibut =dubious), I do like the smaller flat white fishies , so I'll give this a try.

    I swear there used to be a handy list of Oceanwise fish on the Aquarium website, but now I can't find it. Perplexed.

    6 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          Thanks fmed and polarbear. I seem to recall a list from the aquarium that was very straight forward and listed the locally available fish with a yay or nay re sustainability. Perhaps that wasn't nuanced enough to reflect changing fish stocks, environments, fisheries, lalala and so they don't do it that way anymore? Oh wait, following Grayelf's link led me to which had a link on the left "Canada's seafood guide." That was very similar, but I also like the level of detail on the monterey website (fmed's post) : not too much not too little.

          Anyways. I'm going to give these petrales a try next week.

          1. re: waver

            The MBA also used to give out little glossy fold ups with all the info that would fit easily into your wallet, not sure if they're still available.

        2. re: waver

          Hey waver, I know what list you are talking about. I searched high and low and was only able to find one from about a year ago (they stale date them) posted by Albion here

          1. re: grayelf

            Yup, that looks like it. Good find!

        3. Thanks for mentioning this. I love sole (since being introduced to fresh Dove Sole in Montreal) but so often (in Vancouver) the sole being offered by the fishmongers is pretty insipid.
          I can never seem to remember which varieties available here are firm and delicate or just turn to mush in the pan. It's also surprising how often the vendors (Granville Island among them) don't have a clue or bluff when you ask which is which.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eatrustic

            No mush on the petrale I cooked, though I did lose the skin on one side (I don't think I should have dredged it in flour first). And FWIW the staff at Seafood City have not only never steered me wrong or tried to bluff (I know just what you mean), but they often have cheaper prices on the same products eg fresh oysters for turkey stuffing at Christmas.

          2. Good to know, especially about the scallops!

            1. Well done on the UDS reference!!!! that brought me back.....

              1 Reply
              1. re: RodVito

                My pleasure, RV -- I am kind of addicted to punny titles, sometimes to the detriment of meaning (petrale is after all not a deeper shade of sole colourwise). But I can't help myself...