Admittedly, not all non-seafood restaurants are only serving eight-month-old fish. It’s more common these days to find businesses that focus on showcasing seasonality, from in-season vegetables to fresh catches of the day. Having a general idea about when these types of restaurants are likely to get their produce delivered (especially in non-coastal areas) is like being able to read code in “The Matrix.” Chef and owner of BaoHaus, Eddie Huang, confirms that most restaurants stock up on Friday morning to prepare for the weekend and as a result, aren’t able to get the next shipment of produce or seafood until early the following week. That means if they are advertising fresh seafood, it’s lost much of that freshness by Sunday and possibly Monday lunch.
A couple of other red flags to look out for when restaurants are trying to offload seafood are when servers are pushing specials or “soup of the day” containing seafood. These are effective ways kitchens can repurpose ingredients and mask some potentially off-putting qualities, like a mildly fishy smell. If it sounds like restaurants are purposely trying to make people sick in order to save a few bucks, you can rest assured that these days health and safety standards are very effective at minimizing this type of malpractice. This is strictly about getting the best quality for your dollar, even if that means getting a patty melt instead of fish and chips at your local Irish pub.