acme fish friday?

I’ve always wanted to go acme’s fish friday, anyone been? I’m thinking I could take a cooler and organize an occassional HO pickup if there’s interest:


Same, but I always decide against as it’s too much of a trek for the quantity I’d buy.

I’m in on a pickup sometime if you’re kind enough to do it!

I’ve gone 10 or 12 times, always to buy salmon (etc.) to serve at my annual holiday brunch. They used to sell 1/4 lbs, and allow you to make selections in person, but starting during the pandemic their policy changed. Now fish is sold only by the pound, and you have to pre-order.

The advantage of that is that you’re in and out much faster, and you can pay by credit card (I had to find an ATM one year, when I forgot to bring cash). Also, the line is kind of fun, and it’s dirt cheap. But I like variety, and I only need one lb of salmon, so this year I went to Russ and Daughters.

A group purchase sounds like a good idea.

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for me fish friday isn’t as much about saving money as sampling the broad spectrum of what’s on offer. For example, i wonder if the quality of smoked salmon differs based on branding. is the david burke lox better than the acme brand? i’m thinking it would be interesting to find out.

The other day we had the kids over for brunch, my wife spread scallion cc on a bagel and added lox. The use of flavored cc and lox was so alien to me I thought “that so wrong it should actually be traif” :grinning: But then one of my kid’s friends layered whitefish with lox, tomato and onion and I thought “hmm, that actually looks pretty good”.

As I started teasing this out I’ve come to realize there’s a big hole in my knowledge of appetizing. I’ve never had kippered salmon, sturgeon, sable or whitefish. Is one supposed to spread cc on a bagel and add one or more of these fish basically as a drop in for lox? And we ate a lot of wonderful herring when we lived in amsterdam but never thought about throwing it on a bagel. Is that a thing?


ps here’s a nyt video with melissa clark and one of the co-owners of r&d:


Can’t believe I missed this thread…I think I was sick and never caught up. First, no rules about how you eat your fish. When I was pregnant with my first child, we lived around the corner from Barney Greengrass. And my kids both grew up in there, but my daughter used to eat pinwheels I made for her of nova and cream cheese before she had teeth. I had this old school hook on baby seat that I would bring, and she would eat as much as I could roll up for her. We recently were tracing her favorite foods to her early eating experiences, and this one is definitely seminal. Don’t know exactly where her love of Baba au Rhum comes from though…


She was raised right?

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I’ve had all these many times from R&D over at least two decades and, as @ninkat says, no rules. We like our cream cheese spread very thin for sable, sturgeon, and the like, and especially with sable prefer butter. Pairing with other types of bread or toast is also worth doing. Again, no rules. A fun thing to do is to get a set of just the various types of smoked salmon on offer (Gaspe, Scottish, Irish, etc.) and do a tasting.

You raised the question of whether “branding” matters. I’ve wondered that, too, given that many of the stores in NY (and beyond) use Acme as the source (I’ve never gone to the source myself). In my experience, turnover and especially how the fish is cut makes a big difference. I’ve never had anything less than superb at R&D but have occasionally had just-OK stuff at Barney Greengrass and (more often) at Zabar’s, even though they get their fish from the same source. I imagine the straight-from-Acme stuff will be consistently outstanding. If they can’t cut fish properly, who can?

If you want to try offerings that are not all Acme-based, check out Nordic Preserves in the Essex St. market. There are those who don’t care about them as much, but I rather like them (and the three people who own it and work there).

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lol! when our pediatrician asked our then five year old daughter for her favorite food, fried chicken skin came out on top. The pediatrician looked at my wife like she was a criminal :joy: Likewise, at 8 she ordered last at a restaurant in the south and sweetly said “I’ll have another bowl of dog food please”. The server looked ready to call the police.

we (and my D) love Baba au Rhum filled with canoli cream! We always order them at leo latticini’s bakery before heading over to the us open.

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thanks so much for this, I was hoping someone would eventually provide guidance. Once the weather turns warmer, I’m thinking a trip to greenpoint is in order.

You’re welcome. I’d be curious what your experience is at Acme and how you end up enjoying your fish. Somebody once described cheese as milk’s leap to immortality, and I’d say the same for smoked fish vs fish (although I’m a huge fan also of pre-cheese milk, and pre-lox salmon).

Have fun.

ETA: Also a huge fan of black cod before it becomes “sable”.

Growing up on sable, sturgeon & whitefish from the deli counter at our local Waldbaum’s supermarket, we always ate them on the plate with fresh bialys. Not sure about butter, but I don’t remember any cream cheese being involved unless Nova was there as well.

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Laughing till I’m crying. Kids! I remember eating at a large trendy Italian restaurant on the UWS with my kids when my son was about 4. He patiently explained that he didn’t want to see any arugula on his spaghetti, and was very excited that the dessert menu offered a whole, personal warm chocolate cake. When it arrived, it wasn’t exactly the “whole” cake he was envisioning, and he asked the waiter if that was the whole cake. Upon hearing it was, he told her, “That is pathetic.”


Your comment reminds me that in the past there was a wider variety of smoked fish available in a wider variety of places than now. When I came to the U.S. in the late 1970s I was introduced to bagels almost right away by NYC friends, and I fell in love with them right away. While my staples were things such as chicken salad on a bagel (a little over a dollar at the time, I seem to recall), I also got smoked fish from time to time. It was widely available. Smoked salmon was the most common, but it was easy to get stuff such as sable. Fast forward to today: salmon is still widely available, although cut-to-order (and cut well) in just a handful of places, but sable can only be found in that same handful of joints (R&D, etc.). For me sable and smoked salmon are about equal and if I am wrong that sable is now hard to get, I’d love to be proved so.

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No, I think that you’re correct. Although Waldbaums supermarkets (& there were a lot of them) each had “appetizing” depts., there were also a lot of small Jewish places in various locations throughout Manhattan, Bklyn & Queens that also had herring, sable, whitefish & sturgeon alongside various cuts of smoked salmon. Many are now gone, although there are probably several that I don’t know about in each of the Hassidic/Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. R&D and Zabar’s carry the well known banner in Manhattan but, if you’re in Bklyn (and not in Orthodox Williamsburg or Boro Park), Acme in Greenpoint, Shelsky’s on Court St. ( or Banner ( are probably the best known, with Shelsky doing nationwide shipping.