The 2 Worst Days Of The Week To Order Fish From A Restaurant

When it comes to nutrition, you can't go wrong with fish. While it depends on the specific variety, fish is often a great source of protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy form of fat, omega-3s are associated with reduced heart disease risk, as well as enhanced cognitive function and vision health according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. And despite their fat content, many types of fish are low in calories, which makes them the perfect, filling meal to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Along with the nutritional benefits of fish, flavor is another key factor in the animal's appeal. Fish flavors range from mild to strong, depending on the type of fish you enjoy. For instance, something like cod is at the subtler end of the flavor spectrum, while salmon or anchovies feature a very bold and memorable taste. Fresh catches are even more flavorful, as they allow the many inherent qualities of the fish to stand out. And when it comes to peak freshness when dining out, restaurant patrons should try to only order fish from menus on certain days.

To guarantee freshness, choose your days carefully

Fresh fish typically have a short shelf-life, even when stored carefully in appropriately cold conditions. For example, a decrease in quality can occur in about two days, at which point you may notice the aroma and taste are slightly off, even if the fish is still safe to eat. This timeline not only applies to homecooked meals but also to restaurants. That's why seafood lovers are encouraged to be choosy about what day they order fish when visiting dining establishments.

To this end, restaurant workers caution against ordering fish on Sunday and Monday for a very practical reason. Many restaurants receive fish deliveries twice per week, which means you have the best chance at scoring a fresh catch when you order seafood dishes Tuesday through Friday. This sentiment is mirrored by the late world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain, who famously stated decades ago that Tuesdays and Thursdays were the best time to order fish dishes in New York City based on fish market schedules. In addition to ensuring freshness, there are other important qualities that establish whether a restaurant knows what it's doing when it comes to fish and other types of seafood.

Qualities to look for in a seafood restaurant

Keep in mind that different types of fish are subject to seasonal availability. The best seafood restaurants follow these schedules to ensure peak freshness, while also supporting sustainability. As a result, diners must be wary when a restaurant's menu presents certain types of fish out of season (such as featuring wild salmon during the winter months, as this fish achieves peak quality from late spring to early fall). Out-of-season seafood typically means that fish has been frozen for many months, which can impact flavor and texture.

Also, pay attention to the different fish preparations listed on the menu. A good seafood restaurant will feature a variety of options, including baked, steamed, and fried, with garnishes or without garnishes. Dining establishments that exclusively feature fried fish, or only serve fish drenched in sauces and covered in garnishes, typically indicate that freshness is not a priority. Finally, a quality restaurant will have a good idea of where their seafood was sourced from, whether chefs are visiting local fish markets or purchasing items from a wholesaler. These characteristics usually indicate you're about to enjoy a satisfying seafood meal.