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Aug 16, 2010 02:39 PM

Bay Area Stores Carrying Gulf Shrimp?

I just came across an article in the NY Times that reminded me how much I love gulf shrimp, and how important it is to support the fishermen and fisherwomen there these days. Are there any stores in the Bay Area that carry fresh gulf shrimp? I am interested in restaurants serving gulf shrimp too, but my primary focus is finding a raw shrimp source so I can attempt Cooks Illustrated's and/or Mr. B's BBQ Shrimp recipes at home.

NY Times article:

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  1. the prospects of getting any gulf shrimp this year are nil...
    -shrimp buyers usually do so on contract (i.e. sysco), looks like sysco et al. canceled.
    -consumer concerns about food safety-shrimp
    -mexican shrimp season starts in a few weeks.
    -mexican shrimp is firmer and better eating, usually cheaper too.

    1. Even in the best of times, you won't find much fresh shrimp in the Bay Area. Exception, Monterey Spot Prawns...seasonal, very expensive and not that much better than Mexican shrimp, if you can find it. Remember that the time in packing, transit, storage and distribution has an effect on freshness. Realizing that very few diners can tell the difference, its a cost factor that controls.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OldTimer Mexican shrimp really better then Spot prawns? Considering you can get live Spot prawns it's hard to compare in my view...unless you can get live Mexican prawns.

        1. re: ML8000

          lots of mexican shrimp, like all shrimp, is from aquaculture-farm raised. the mexican shrimp coming in first will be the wild shrimp, from the oceans. these are really tasty. the aquaculture shrimp is bland, full of chemicals, etc.....
          wild shrimp costs more aquaculture ones and less likely to show up in markets like 99 or chitown which are cost conscious.

      2. I'm pretty sure I've seen (and bought) large, fresh gulf shrimp at Tokyo Fish Market (in Berkeley) within the past few weeks. If I recall correctly, the price was $19.95 a pound. I'd call to double-check that they have them, though.

        They also carry the spot prawns, and I've seen those small Louisiana shrimp there as well.

        Tokyo Fish Market
        1220 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

        1. I am fairly sure I've seen gulf shrimp at Falletti's. Also, shanghaikid, I played golf with a guy recently who sold seafood from the gulf in the bay area to top restaurants and retailers, and he stated that most of his customers were still buying the product.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mrs bacon

            I saw fresh gulf shrimp at Berk Bowl (Oregon St.) recently, don't remember the price. This morning, I saw spotted prawns at the Richmond Ranch 99, they were $15.99/lb. There's a fish market in Oakland chinatown on 8th st (north side of street, don't remember the name) between webster and Franklin, that's usually a dollar or 2 less than the Ranch.

            I do notice that the spotted prawns are smaller in genernal in the last couple of yeas

            1. re: mrs bacon

              I definitely saw Gulf Flounder at Falletti's on Sunday night, which I hadn't seen before. Looked like they were making an effort to support Gulf fishing, so they could have the shrimp/prawns too.

            2. Cactus Taqueria on College had a sign up this weekend saying that all of their shrimp is now from the gulf.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JasmineG

                But that does not mean that is domestically fished. Most of the gulf shrimp I see in restaurants using is Mexican.

                1. re: chefj

                  They specified Louisiana gulf shrimp.