Yesterday at 10:35 a.m. I happened upon the New England Seafood Company. The door was locked but the sign read, "Open 10 a.m." I peered in and saw a guy. So I knocked. The guy opened the door. I asked, Are you open? He said, Well the restaurant doesn't open until 11, but if all you need is fish by the pound, I can help you. Okay, I said, it's a deal.
Then I told him to write Open at 11! on a post it and slap it on the door. Potential customers are passing by, I elaborated, confused by the locked door and misleading signage. They may never return. That would be sad. He agreed.
After I paid for one pound of fish, I reminded him Post it! as I walked out the door. The female Larry David, that's me.
Back at home, I removed the fish from the paper (which gets stinky fast), placed the fillets in a casserole dish and took a fresh-check whiff. I recently showed this technique to a friend. As we prepped tilapia, she told me she often worries whether fish she buys is fresh and safe to eat. I told her to put her face one inch from the fish and smell it. If you run to the next room it's spoiled. Otherwise, forge ahead. If you get sick after using this technique, you don't know me.
Back to my ceremonious whiff. It was a good, long one, because the fish smelled sweet, like candy. I couldn't believe it.
So if fish is on your list, listen up: New England Seafood Company, 3341 N. Lincoln Ave., between School St. and Roscoe. There's even a loading zone right in front. Don't forget to grab dessert at Dinkel's Bakery, a few doors south.