Seafood Shopping on the Jersey Shore

Accompanied by my team of midget reporters, I set out looking for the best price on fresh shrimp at 4 different local Seafood establishments. I was soon informed that there is no such thing as “fresh” shrimp on the East Coast. It all comes farm raised and frozen or flash frozen on the boat.

So, we’re basically comparing apples to apples from one establishment to the next. Our first stop was the Point Lobster Company on 1 St. Louis Avenue, off of Channel Drive. Point Lobster Company is known primarily for, yep, you guessed it, Lobster. Actually, they supply most of the fresh seafood stores in the area with Lobsters. So, if you’re shopping for Lobster, it would make sense to go to the source. They also have a healthy supply of clams. The shrimp they offer is EZ Peel Tiger Shrimp for $11.99 lb. and a South American (huge) shrimp for $13.99 lb. I’ve bought the EZ Peel from them in the past and made “Shrimp with Pepperocini Peppers” (that recipe will be in the next post) and they were fantastic. Of course, a lot depends on how carefully you cook and don’t overcook shrimp. The EZ Peels come with skins on, slit down the back and cleaned. It’s great if you want to cook the shrimp with the skins on but don’t feel like cleaning them before hand.

Our next stop was Co-op Seafood at the foot of the bridge at 57 Channel Drive. The Co-op has some pretty decent prices on fish because it’s all fresh and it’s a co-op of local fisherman. They are open all year, seven days a week. Their shrimp was not too badly priced at $12.99 lb., uncleaned, not EZ Peel. And, their swordfish was at a great price at $12.99 lb. I paid $18.99 lb. for swordfish at Shore Fresh Seafood Market in Point Boro just two weeks ago. The total came to $48. I almost had a heart attack.

And that brings us to our next stop, Shore Fresh Seafood Market. This place is just crazy expensive and obviously relies on the assumption that the folks in their immediate location won’t feel like traveling a mile for a better deal. They’re located at 703-707 Bridge Ave. Point Pleasant but you need to take the small side street off of Bay Avenue right before Bridge in order to get to the store which is tucked in on the back side of the building. Their shrimp came in at $16.99 lb. And, like I said, the swordfish was $18.99 lb.

Last stop, The Crab Shack on 74 Mantoloking Road in Brick. It definitely lives up to its name with 10 bushels of live crabs greeting you as you walk in the door. The nice man at Point Lobster Company says he sends all his customers to The Crab Shack for Blueclaws and they supply The Crab Shack with their Lobsters. Unfortunately, I guess they figure if the crabs get you there, they can charge whatever they want to for the shrimp, which came in at $15.95 per pound.

So, the conclusion to our little investigation proved 2 things;

1. The Point Lobster Company had the best price on shrimp, and

2. Since all the shrimp you get on the East Coast is the same, frozen, you’re better off buying them from the grocery stores that buy in bulk and offer shrimp at lower prices.