A few months ago Groupon had an offer for $50 worth of seafood for $20 at TJ’s Seafood Market in Dallas. I had never shopped there before, but being the uncompromised lover of seafood that I am, I couldn’t pass the deal up!
(And as a side note, if you haven’t signed up for Groupon deals, seriously, do it. There’s perhaps a slight over-abundance of day spa offers, but weed through them. It’s worth it!)
My seafood purchasing experience tends to be something more along the lines of the frozen individually wrapped filets at Sam’s Club, or if I’m feeling really posh, maybe something fresh from Tom Thumb. So TJ’s was definitely a step up.
C and I stopped by yesterday to check out their fare.
We got there about an hour before closing time, so the selection was a bit picked over. But frankly, I took that as a good sign. Who wants to go buy fresh seafood left over from two days ago because they buy too much?
Anyway, we browsed for a bit (the store is small, with a freezer case, a counter, and some dips in the back fridge) and C came across some recipe suggestions on the wall. He picked out one for traditional Mexican Ceviche and we decided to go for it.
We got a half pound of chilean sea bass (about $12, I have no idea if that’s a good price), and half a pound of raw shrimp (about $7) for the ceviche, and then used the rest of our groupon on two small lobster tails ($9.99 a pound) and two frozen crab cakes ready for frying. Yummy!
The staff at TJ’s was helpful, it wasn’t very crowded, and despite the small selection at the counter, there were lots of things that looked fun to try. We ended up spending $27 and getting $57 worth of seafood, and getting a bargain (okay, even a perceived bargain) makes me feel pretty good about myself.
We stopped at Whole Foods for the rest of the ingredients (lemons, lime, cilantro, red onion, a serrano chili, and tomato) and headed home to put it together. I cleaned and boiled the shrimp while C chopped. Everything went into a dish with the lemon and lime juice, a bit of salt, and a pinch of cayenne. We covered it and refrigerated it for an hour, stirred, and then left it in the fridge overnight.
We tried it today on crackers, topped with a bit more fresh cilantro and just a sprinkle of dried oregano. And oh my, it was delish! The sea bass was soft and just a little chewy and had a really nice light flavor. (C, being the industrious fellow that he is, took the skin he had cut off and lightly grilled it. Even that was amazing!) Combined with the citrus, tomato, onion, and just a hint of heat, it made for what tasted like a really amazing seafood salsa.
I don’t know if we’ll make TJ’s a habit, even if those prices are good for seafood we’re not exactly multi-millionaires over here (yet). But it was fun to shop there, and the seafood was fresh and yummy!
The bottom line:
C’s rating of TJ’s: