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best place to buy fish in NoVa

CarrotStix Apr 24, 2012 01:18 PM

Where is the best place to buy fresh fish in the NoVa area? Is there a good fish market or a store that has a good reputation? I am near Chantilly/Centreville but am open to ideas in the general area.

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  1. s
    Steve RE: CarrotStix Apr 24, 2012 07:20 PM

    Any large Asian market like Lotte, Super H, Grand Mart. I'm sure there is a Lotte in Chantilly.

    1. p
      PollyG RE: CarrotStix Apr 24, 2012 09:12 PM

      The H-mart at 13818 Braddock Rd, Centreville, VA 20121 will probably impress you with its selection and pricing. However, if you are concerned about knowing exactly where your fish was caught, which is often a factor if you are trying to buy only sustainable seafood, you might be better off at your closest Wegmans or Whole Foods.

      The one thing I'd be careful about buying at H-Mart is mussels. If they are still carrying the Mar brand, I have found that producer to be far inferior to Great American Mussel or the PEI offerings.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PollyG
        agarnett100 RE: PollyG Apr 25, 2012 10:52 AM

        Generally if you stick to smaller fish that quickly reproduce you should be okay in the sustainable seafood dept. Whole Foods recently had to revise their own list of sustainable seafood



      2. d
        drewpbalzac RE: CarrotStix Apr 25, 2012 12:26 PM

        If you care about where you fish comes from I would second Wegman's. They clearly label the sourcing of their stock.

        The have a big seafood counter with lots of options, including prepared (and partially prepared) items.

        If you want to stock you freezer - their store brand "Food You Feel Good About" gives you some excellent options as well.

        1. h
          happenings RE: CarrotStix Apr 25, 2012 07:06 PM

          The Asian markets mentioned don't give country of origin on their labels (I thought that was the law).
          Wegman 's does not store its fish on ice.

          I hope someone comes up with a good resource.

          11 Replies
          1. re: happenings
            agarnett100 RE: happenings Apr 26, 2012 06:23 AM

            At some point all fish has been stored on ice

            1. re: happenings
              VaPaula RE: happenings Apr 26, 2012 06:33 AM

              The only thing I miss about living in Richmond is Bon Air Seafood. I thought when we moved here, we'd have something similar, if not more choices, but thus far I have been pretty disappointed. Granted, I haven't even looked at some of the markets mentioned above, but judging by the comments in this and other threads, I'm pretty sure I won't like them- for fish. When it comes to buying fish, it needs to be fresh, it has to LOOK fresh to me, and the place has to be pristine. I don't mind eating food from a hole-in-the-wall, but fish is a whole different ballgame for me.

              Having said that, The Organic Butcher of McLean usually has a couple decent fish choices. A couple. My friend bought a whole rockfish there for a dinner party awhile back, and it was delicious. It's not cheap, of course.

              1. re: VaPaula
                agarnett100 RE: VaPaula Apr 26, 2012 09:26 AM

                Lol - There is really nothing pristine about a fish vessels or fishing in general its a nasty, dirty and smelly.

                1. re: agarnett100
                  VaPaula RE: agarnett100 Apr 26, 2012 09:47 AM

                  Agreed - and I'd be happy to take one off a fisherman's hands in those conditions - at least I'd know it was fresh, which I can't say for a store, pristine or not.

                  1. re: VaPaula
                    Ziv RE: VaPaula Apr 26, 2012 05:20 PM

                    I stayed on Kanawa island off of Flores in Indo years ago and the local fishermen would beach their boat off the side of the beach and let us look in the live well and we could bargain with the fisherman for the price of the still swimming fish and then he would hold it up for a couple seconds so the 'chef' could see it and then we would bargain with the chef to see how much he would charge to cook a fish we bought and brought to him. The crazy thing was, the yellowfin tuna we ate cost around $3 to pay the fisherman and about $4 to pay the chef and it fed 6 of us. And the fisherman looked like he thought he had taken us, so he must have expected less if he took it to Labuhan Bajo and sold it at market.
                    A living fish, as fresh as fresh can be, nearly 3 feet long, prepared by a decent chef/cook, and it cost around $7.
                    Of course this was in '98.
                    I have the picture of us at the table somewhere, I will have to find it.

                    1. re: Ziv
                      agarnett100 RE: Ziv Apr 26, 2012 06:03 PM

                      The only thing better is catching it and cooking it yourself. Below fresh caught rainbow trout

                      1. re: agarnett100
                        VaPaula RE: agarnett100 Apr 27, 2012 06:34 AM

                        Ziv, you've just described a fantasy of mine. :-) That sounds amazing.

                        And that rainbow trout is so pretty, agarnett100.

                    2. re: VaPaula
                      tcamp RE: VaPaula Apr 27, 2012 07:13 AM

                      The large asian markets also sell live fish which I am pretty sure have never been on ice. I've had only good experiences with them.

                      1. re: tcamp
                        apschwaber RE: tcamp May 26, 2012 07:05 PM

                        The live fish that you see in store tanks are an illusion of quality. Most of the offerings are fresh water pen raised farmed fsh, where there are few regulations on water conditions and use of hormones.

                        The water quality in store tanks usually test high in amonia, nitrares etc, and are often treated with meds and chemicals to keep the fish alive.

                        When we visit our daughter in Arlington, we visit the Seafood Market under the I95 bridge just inside DC.

                        1. re: apschwaber
                          wayne keyser RE: apschwaber May 26, 2012 07:22 PM

                          And yet, years ago, I asked a staffer on one of the boats if the shrimp were fresh. He replied "yes" even as, just behind him, I noticed another worker using a hose to thaw out another frozen block of shrimp.

                          1. re: wayne keyser
                            agarnett100 RE: wayne keyser May 28, 2012 08:18 AM

                            Once the shrimp are caught they freeze them on the boat . The only way your going to get fresh live shrimp is to go on a shrimp boat or visit a shrimp farm

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