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Hand Sliced Smoked Salmon

Are there any places in Philly that still hand slice smoked salmon? Other smoked fish would be a plus as well...

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  1. They do that on Saturday mornings at the Cheese Trap in the Flourtown Farmers' Market. Sells out quickly.

    1. some but not all of the salmon is hand sliced at Coastal Cave in the RTM. They also have cold smoked Tuna and smoked trout and smoked bluefish but they aren't generally sold sliced. I think Hershel's has sable (again, not sliced)

      1. Not sure if you are looking for smoked salmon that is actually smoked or something like Lox. DiBruno's in the 1700 Chestnut will hand slice their Nova, etc.

        10 Replies
        1. re: FayeD

          Traditional smoked salmon is "actually smoked". (!!) It's a cold-smoked method, so it's not flaky. Seems like this is a very difficult find in Philly (surprised.)

          It is ubiquitous in NY, literally several dozen places to buy smoked salmon sliced to order.

          1. re: menton1

            I think the nova at DiBruno's is what you are looking for. AFAIK Nova is cold-smoked salmon, so I'm not sure what FayeD means.

            If not, you should ask about it at Famous 4th St but I think Smoked Salmon is one of the few things they don't do in house and I think it comes pre-sliced to them, but you never know what they have in the back. They do have filets of smoked salmon but it's the flaky kind.

            1. re: barryg

              While Famous 4th Street doesn't smoke their own, both lox and Nova are hand sliced to order.

              1. re: Cruz

                Web site looks like a restaurant. (Nova sandwich $14.???) (they cost $8 at Zabars/NYC, best in the US)

                Do they have a deli counter for take away smoked fish?

                1. re: menton1

                  Yes, it's a full service deli, at least at the 4th St location. Prices are high but the sandwiches are huge, Carnegie-deli style. The deli prices are high, too, but I doubt it is more per pound than Zabar's. For this type of food, it is best around. Try the corned beef and pastrami if you are into that stuff. Their other smoked fish is great, too.

                  1. re: barryg

                    The 20th Street location has a deli counter too. The fish is high quality (NYC's Acme brand, I think). Equally important, the smoked salmon is expertly cut very thin. The price for Nova and lox is about $50/lb., which seems to be the market price.

                    1. re: Cruz

                      I'm pretty sure $50 is WAY above market price. I would guess its down around $30/lb.

                      1. re: Cruz

                        Ouch, $50/lb? Yeah, that's high even by New York City standards. I just moved back from the Upper East Side, and our go-to (but expensive!) place was called Sables, and it was always about $20-30/lb. Awesome whitefish salad if you are ever there... I'd love to find something like that back here in Philly.

                        1. re: MightyYar

                          Don't know where you live, but if aren't far from the northeast, try Stein's on Krewstown.
                          My husband did his "lox run" this morning. He bought a half-pound for $12.99. Might have been a special, but it's never much more.
                          Good whitefish salad, too.

              2. re: menton1

                Lots of places I was getting cold smoked salmon are no more - Chef's Market on south st always had nova, Irish and scottish (at least) all hand sliced, Assouline in it's various incarnations had it as well. It has become harder and harder to find hand sliced - Coastal cave and DiBruno's hand slice some but not all the salmon they carry

            2. Wegman's if you want some in the suburbs. They have several different kinds at both the Cherry Hill and the Mt. Laurel stores.

              1. About once a month, my husband makes a "lox run" to Stein's deli on Krewstown Road in the northeast. Of course it's hand-sliced, and it is wonderful. Price is much less than downtown.
                He feels that it's worth the trip.
                Once in a while, we also indulge in their corned-beef; also excellent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sylviag

                  we too, make lox runs to steve stein's Famous Deli--his price is abt $32 a lb. and the slicers are old-school who know what they're doing. He also sells all the other fishes (sable, the salmon that is cold, like poached) He sells bagels, babka and a full deli counter too-- i wouldn't call the whitefish salads "superior quality" ( a bit mushy, heavier on the filler) but they are very serviceable and what you'd expect for a good price. the lox, cream cheese etc.. never disappoints

                2. In the western burbs...Aaron at the Genuardi's in St. Davids does a great job slicing lox. He is an "old school" slicer and he also makes great whitefish salad. Call ahead as he is not there every day.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: ShakenNotStirred

                      I third Aaron. I come from a long line of lox lovers and the fish that Aaron slices at Genaurdis is among the best I have ever tasted. He's a real mensch, too. ;)

                    2. re: RitterSportRules

                      Aaron is fantastic. A wonderful person slicing some great lox. You can't ask for more.

                      1. re: RocketJSquirrel

                        Can I fifth Aaron? A former psychologist who once taught at Wilkes College, he runs a great counter at Genuardi's. I believe he takes off Wednesday's and leaves everyday @ 4:00 pm.

                        1. re: waynefoodie

                          I must be lucky. Every time I have ever gone to his counter, he was there.

                    3. Pumpernick's in North Wales has nice lox and they hand slice it.
                      The deli's in Bala Cynwyd, Hymies and Murray's do, as well as Hymies in Lafayette Hill.

                      1. This is slightly off topic, goes to degradation of our foods. First it's hard to find hand sliced, not it's iffy as to whether the pre-sliced has not been frozen!

                        I grabbed a package of wild salmon at TJoe's only to find it wouldn't even separate into slices. When I spoke to the service person about it, I was told that ALL their lox comes in frozen.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: saucyknave

                          Smoked salmon does freeze fairly well, but the TJ item is of mediocre quality. And of course, no frozen product will duplicate a fresh hand sliced piece of salmon!!

                          1. re: menton1

                            Why does smoked salmon need to be frozen? I was under the impression that smoking acted as a preservative. Are there limitations to that?

                            @saucynave, I agree with what you are saying about a salted/smoked product--I am guessing TJ's buys this in very large bulk to save money and then freezes to keep it salable for a long time. But given that we as consumers have an expectation of getting any meat/fish/produce we want year round at an affordable price, I much prefer frozen foods to canned or artificially preserved ones. Properly frozen foods are much fresher than the "fresh" meat and fish you see at the grocery (beef is not actually red). The freshness is really an illusion, most of the fish was frozen anyway, and the meats have not been freshly butchered. A piece of meat frozen immediately after butchering and fish frozen immediately after being caught is usually better quality than what passes for "fresh" these days.

                            1. re: barryg

                              Yes freezing increases the shelf life six fold.

                        2. Stein Boys Deli in Krewstown, is a fav of mine, but since being out of the hood for quite a while, the options for what you are looking for are minimal and good at best, my pedigree is from the lox of Tranton and Lawernce shoping center Weinsteins deli- to me was the measure. Arron is probably the best if you find him-not familar with him but sounds like he is a diamond in the ruff. I even went to Wegmans in Downingtown a while ago and the people behind the counter were less than experienced - so I could help myself to the kippered salmon showed the girl behind the counter how to do it- it is a shame that even at the "fancy" supermarkets they still just don't get it. TO be honest I haven't bought lox from a deli or supermarket in over 7 years, I have found krikland/costco lox to be pretty good .....finding decent bagels is another hunt.....the price for lox at those poundage prices seems very high.....let us know how you do......