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Which Dallas Seafood Market, Rex's or T.J.'s?

Carrollton Foodie Feb 8, 2012 12:16 PM

I plan to go to either Rex's or T.J.'s for the first time this weekend for seafood, specifically looking for good fresh cod to make bacalao (dried cod). Will probably get some shrimp or crab as well. Can anyone recommend which one has the best quality/price?

  1. k
    kel Oct 14, 2012 10:25 AM

    Any current reviews of TJ's Seafood in or near Oak Lawn?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kel
      c
      ChefJM Oct 15, 2012 05:15 PM

      Kel, the only one I saw so far on here was this one. Mostly about the lobster roll though.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/872081

      1. re: kel
        g
        gavlist Oct 16, 2012 11:24 AM

        I think it's fantastic. I'm friends with the owner, so if you want to assume that I'm biased I think it's a reasonable concern - but I'll try to be objective in my description.

        It's a nice shop. The seafood is beautifully displayed, and looks to be of fantastic quality by all of the standard criteria... moist and to the extend that I could tell by looking, resilient, flesh (both on cut and intact fish), clear eyes and bright red gills (when visible). They still maintain a small but well-curated selection of fish, although it's somewhat expanded given their newly doubled buying power.

        Prepared foods have all been very good - I've tried the oysters (served with a cool slushy mignonette), ceviche, fish tacos, gumbo, crab cakes and a piece of trout, blackened (they will cook any fish in the case and serve it with sides). Everything was well prepared - but the crab cakes are unparalleled in Dallas... I spent a fair amount of time in Baltimore, and TJs are as good or better than any you'll find on the Northeast. They're essentially all crab - and really good quality giant lump blue crab with an almost fatty richness. Absolutely delicious, either in the shop or to take home. I haven't tried the lobster roll as of yet, but I've been hearing good things from reliable sources. Neither the crabcakes nor the lobster roll are cheap - but I think that it's justifiably high given the cost of materials.

        They also have a nice beer selection - more comfort- than craft-focused, and a small selection of wines by the bottle or glass that seem reasonably priced, especially given typical restaurant markups.

      2. r
        RRM19 Feb 12, 2012 04:42 PM

        Would never go to TJ's. Tried them a few years ago and their lobster tanks were absolutely filthy.

        1. d
          davish Feb 10, 2012 06:45 AM

          Im going with tjs as well. Their shrimp and cocktail sauce is unbeatable. Also their salmon, tuna, and sea bass are the best in the city.

          1. q
            queenie Feb 9, 2012 02:49 PM

            Sounds like your cod might have turned into a bigger deal than you thought! As far as TJ's or Rex's, I have shopped at both for many years (they are both close to me) until about 2 years ago. Now it is strictly TJ's. I had a very bad experience with Rex's (foodwise not service as they are all very friendly and helpful) and I simply won't go back. I truly appreciate Jon's philosophy on fish selection, freshness and the way he does business. If it is not pristinely fresh, then he wont' sell it. He is always happy to stop and speak with customers and share his vast knowledge and he is constantly looking for ways and suggestions from his customers to add to his services.. I have truly come to respect and value TJ's. And no, I'm not related to any of them. Plus he will go out of his way to order just about anything you want (as long as it is sustainable of course).

            4 Replies
            1. re: queenie
              twinwillow Feb 9, 2012 03:57 PM

              I concur, again! TJ's Seafood is PRIMO in Dallas!

              1. re: queenie
                Carrollton Foodie Feb 9, 2012 07:00 PM

                Yeah, I sure opened a kettle of fish, didn't I? I appreciate everyone's input. In response to Scagnetti, I know it's not everyone's thing, but hubby and I really enjoy salting our own bacalao, curing our own corned beef, smoking our own salmon and bacon, etc. It's nice to have control over the seasonings and quality of ingredients and we just really enjoy making things from scratch that people normally buy. Cooking is my creative passion!

                1. re: Carrollton Foodie
                  twinwillow Feb 9, 2012 08:25 PM

                  Personally, I think it's great that you both enjoy that.
                  The family that cooks together, stays together.

                  1. re: Carrollton Foodie
                    Scagnetti Feb 9, 2012 08:28 PM

                    God bless, cook in good health, you have more energy than I do.

                2. twinwillow Feb 8, 2012 03:19 PM

                  Although I love TJ's, Wholefoods has been getting great cod lately. Try Sea Breeze in Plano
                  I'm not a great fan of Rex Seafood except for lunch.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: twinwillow
                    j
                    JonFromTJs Feb 8, 2012 03:33 PM

                    it surprises me that WF of all places would support cod fishing. maybe its pacific cod? or are they getting hook and line? hook and line to us seems silly - in order not to overfish, use archaic inefficient fishing methods? that's not sustainable economically - diesel costs the same whether you are catch fish in bulk or not. bandaid, nothing more.

                    best of luck in your search. info on cod sustainability:

                    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr...

                    i can't read the foreign language, but there seem to be many sites that list haddock as a fine fish with which to do bacalao.

                    1. re: JonFromTJs
                      twinwillow Feb 8, 2012 05:51 PM

                      WF sells Atlantic cod. Supposedly, a non-sustainable fish.
                      Jon, walk across the street and see for yourself.

                      1. re: JonFromTJs
                        Carrollton Foodie Feb 8, 2012 08:43 PM

                        Thanks for all the info. Cod seems so common that I never thought about it possibly being an unsustainable fish. Looks like I have some research to do.

                        1. re: JonFromTJs
                          Scagnetti Feb 8, 2012 08:56 PM

                          I thought you were exaggerating when you stated that cod were "criminally overfished" until I googled it.

                          What a disaster and there are no signs that Atlantic cod are rebounding either.

                          I don't know why someone would want to make their own bacalao, baccala, etc., depending on which country you are standing in when you cook with it, but you can buy it in CM and WF.

                          1. re: Scagnetti
                            j
                            JonFromTJs Feb 9, 2012 12:05 PM

                            i didn't mean to thread-jack and turn this into a sustainability lecture!

                            1. re: JonFromTJs
                              g
                              gavlist Feb 9, 2012 12:50 PM

                              I'm glad you did. Seafood sustainability is an important and under-discussed topic. Thanks for bringing it up!

                              1. re: gavlist
                                twinwillow Feb 9, 2012 03:56 PM

                                I concur!

                              2. re: JonFromTJs
                                Carrollton Foodie Feb 9, 2012 06:53 PM

                                Agreed. I want to be an informed consumer.

                                1. re: JonFromTJs
                                  Scagnetti Feb 9, 2012 08:25 PM

                                  I'm glad you did.

                                  Being a former Northeasterner, I was always told you could walk across Georges Bank on the backs of cod.

                                  Things have changes in 30 years

                                  1. re: JonFromTJs
                                    LewisvilleHounder Feb 10, 2012 10:25 AM

                                    Jon perhaps you should start another thread! I was curious as to why there is not a push to overfish the invasive species around the nation and get rid of those, namely the Asian Carp.

                                    http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/invasive...

                                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                      j
                                      JonFromTJs Feb 10, 2012 11:20 AM

                                      there is! east coast and carribbean - they are pushing for eating Lion Fish. Asian Carp is a tougher species. the problem is that Asian Carp, while delicious, is FULL of little bones. so they only way to commercially harvest it is to cook the fish whole, then take the bones out, then freeze or pasturize. and not too many people or kitchens like buying already cooked fish. interesting article about this very subject here:

                                      http://www.seafoodbusiness.com/articl...

                                      1. re: JonFromTJs
                                        irodguy Feb 11, 2012 12:28 PM

                                        Very interesting. I wonder if you could do a high heat deep fry and soften the bones enough to eat.

                                        1. re: irodguy
                                          j
                                          JonFromTJs Feb 12, 2012 09:47 AM

                                          read the article, they seem to have a method but i'm not sure if it will work on a large scale. again, supposedly the flesh in delicious.

                            2. j
                              JonFromTJs Feb 8, 2012 01:09 PM

                              DEAREST MODERATORS - THIS IS NOT A TJ'S PLUG, BUT INFO ABOUT THE SUSTAINABILITY OF COD!!!!!

                              This is Jon, Owner of TJ's. i'll let others answer the subjective part. Just wanted you to know that TJ's will not have Cod this weekend as the fish is criminally overfished.

                              Instead we feature Haddock, which is incredibly similar and a "best choice" or "good alternative" via Seafood Watch.

                              If you decide to come to TJ's, let us know and we'll be sure to have some haddock for you.

                              Thank you for your interest in fresh seafood wherever you get it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JonFromTJs
                                twinwillow Feb 8, 2012 03:20 PM

                                Haddock is a wonderful fish. Great also for "fish & chips".

                                1. re: JonFromTJs
                                  m
                                  masnole Feb 9, 2012 10:02 AM

                                  Haddock is indeed a wonderful fish, very cod-like.....

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