Americans seem to be enjoying seafood more than ever before. In fact, the average person added about one pound of seafood to their diet in 2018 alone.
If you’re a huge fan of things like shrimp, salmon, tuna, and some of the other most popular seafood items, you likely love going to seafood restaurants as often as you can. It’s a great way to sample some of the finest seafood in your area.
But before your next trip to one of these establishments, you should take the time to learn all about seafood restaurants and the tips and secrets you can use to enjoy your experiences at them more. Here are eight good tips and secrets to keep in mind.
1. Eat Seafood at Restaurants That Specialize in Seafood
You wouldn’t walk into a restaurant that sells the best seafood in the world and order a hamburger, right? Then, why would you walk into a restaurant that sells the best hamburgers in the world and order seafood?
Since seafood has become so popular in recent years, there are more and more restaurants that specialize in serving other types of foods offering seafood on their menus. They see it as a way to entice seafood lovers to come and check out their restaurants.
There are some higher-end restaurants that are able to get away with doing this. They have chefs in place who know how to properly prepare seafood dishes that taste delicious.
But there are also some restaurants that are serving subpar seafood dishes to their customers simply because they’re not making them the right way. It’s why you should stick to eating the majority of the seafood dishes that you eat at seafood restaurants.
2. Find Out Where Your Favorite Seafood Restaurants Get Their Seafood From
Generally speaking, restaurants that specialize in serving seafood tend to work with trusted seafood suppliers. They form relationships with companies like Crab Dynasty that allow them to get their hands on the freshest seafood possible.
That being said, it’s worth noting that not all seafood restaurants take this approach to purchasing seafood. There are some who try to save a few bucks by buying seafood from importers who don’t always provide high-quality seafood to them.
Take a look at the menu at a seafood restaurant to see if you can find any signs as to where their seafood comes from. The best seafood restaurants will provide their customers with information about their suppliers right on their menus.
If you aren’t able to find any info on where the seafood that a restaurant serves comes from, ask a waiter or even the owner of a seafood restaurant. They should be able to tell you all about seafood suppliers that they use.
3. Ask Seafood Restaurants to Give You a Heads-Up When Fresh Fish Arrives
In a perfect world, you want the seafood that you eat at a restaurant to taste like it just came right out of the ocean. It’s best to consume seafood when it’s as fresh as it can be.
If you happen to be on a first-name basis with the owner of a seafood restaurant, consider asking them to give you a heads up on when fresh fish and other seafood arrives at their restaurant. The owners of many smaller seafood restaurants are more than happy to pass this info along to their best customers.
There is nothing like chowing down on seafood that’s super fresh. It’ll make you love seafood even more than you already do.
4. Avoid Eating Seafood at Restaurants on Certain Days of the Week
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that most people enjoy going out to eat on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. That’s when most of the restaurants throughout the country tend to be crowded.
Because of this, most seafood restaurants will have fresh seafood shipped in on Thursdays or Fridays so that they can serve it fresh to their customers. More often than not, you can’t go wrong ordering seafood on one of these days.
Many restaurant insiders will tell you not to order seafood on the other days of the week, though. Mondays, in particular, are not an ideal day for people to place orders for seafood in restaurants.
The seafood served in restaurants on Mondays is typically not all that fresh. In most cases, it’s the same seafood that was shipped to a restaurant on Thursday or Friday, which means it has been sitting around for a few days.
You’re better off waiting until Thursday, Friday, or Saturday to come around to hit up your favorite fresh seafood spot.
5. Steer Clear of Ordering Seafood Specials at All Costs
One of the first things a waiter or waitress will do when they stop by your table at a restaurant is read you the restaurant’s daily specials. These specials will almost always sound so good when they’re reading them off to you.
Specifically, the seafood specials will often catch your ear if you’re a seafood lover. You might think about stopping the waiter or waitress and letting them know that you want to order one of the seafood specials on the spot.
But keep this in mind: Many of the items that end up on lists of “specials” are items that restaurants are trying to get rid of for one reason or another. They’re often items that are quickly approaching their expiration dates and need to go.
As a result, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to end up with seafood that’s far from fresh when you order a seafood special. You should consider eating something off the menu instead.
6. Stay as Far Away From Farm-Raised Fish as You Can
When you take a big bite of seafood, you might be under the impression that you’re eating something that was caught out in the middle of the ocean. But many times, what you’re actually eating is something that was raised on a farm for the specific purpose of supplying restaurants with seafood.
You should always, always, always stay away from eating any fish raised on farms. This often includes fish like catfish and tilapia.
If you’re going to order these types of fish, check to see where they came from. If you even suspect that they might be farm-raised fish, pick something else to order off the menu.
Many farm-raised fish receive antibiotic injections that help make them grow. They’re also pumped with all kinds of other chemicals that could eventually work their way into your system if you eat farm-raised fish.
7. Take a Whiff of Seafood at Restaurants Before Eating It
When a waiter or waitress walks a dish out to your table for you to eat, what’s the first thing that you do? Chances are, you take a big whiff and smell it before digging into the fish.
It’s especially important to do this when you’re eating seafood. You can tell a lot about the freshness of seafood by smelling it before eating it.
Many types of seafood, including various types of fish, will let off an ammonia-like smell when they’re not fresh anymore. If you smell this type of odor when you’re served fish at a restaurant, don’t hesitate to send it back.
You could put your health at risk by eating fish that doesn’t smell right. You might also get turned off by a certain type of fish forever when you eat seafood that lacks freshness.
8. Test Out New Seafood Options Whenever You Get the Chance to Do It
As we mentioned earlier, shrimp, salmon, and tuna are three of the most popular types of seafood in the country. People who love seafood can’t get enough of them.
But if you really love seafood, why in the world would you want to limit yourself to just the staples?
Fish lovers can test out trout, carp, mahi-mahi, and more. Those who love shellfish can take things like scallops, mussels, oysters, and more out for a test drive.
You might even want to take a leap of faith and try out things like octopus and squid. They might not sound all that appetizing to you at first, but you might be surprised by how much you enjoy them when you’re open to eating them.
9. Learn All About Seafood Sold at Local Restaurants Before Eating It
When you eat it fresh, seafood tastes great. Most forms of seafood are also really good for you.
But the key is eating only the freshest and best seafood that you can find. To do this, you’ll need to learn all about seafood served at local restaurants.
By finding out where seafood comes from, you can make the right decision as far as whether or not you eat it. You’ll never have to worry about eating a bad batch of seafood when you eat it at a restaurant that works with a reputable supplier.
Check out our blog for more excellent articles about food and restaurants.