Buffalo may not be known for its fish markets, but if you’re looking for some deep sea inspiration, you might want to check out the market offerings at Fresh Catch Poke Co.
As a way to get more fresh fish onto people’s plates, restaurant owner Michael Tobin is rolling out a series of “Ocean Boxes,” featuring “chef created ready to cook portions, individually frozen portions, along with fresh seafood choices.” The Ocean Boxes are available for pick-up on Thursday and Friday – there is an added charge for delivery.
The idea behind the Ocean Boxes was to offer a sampling of fresh fish at 20%-below grocery store prices, making it easy and cost-appealing for customers to enjoy a medley of seafood at home.
An example of an Ocean Box: 2 portions of fresh Icelandic cod, 2 portions of frozen wild sockeye salmon, half pound of dry Maine scallops, 2 portions of swordfish with chimichurri sauce, 1 pound of wild Patagonian shrimp, 1 dozen little neck clams.
For those who are unaware, Tobin is also the owner of the wildly popular Shuck Shack, which took the city by storm this past summer. That said, I’m sure that there are a lot of seafood fans who are chomping at the bit to get back down to the Buffalo River to dine on the pop-up patio. For those that can’t wait, Fresh Catch runs the Shuck Shack menu every Friday and Saturday, with a 2 way combo (lobster rolls and claws) debuting this week. Plus, there are oysters-to-go, and $1 shucked oysters (dine in only).
When I asked about the sourcing of the seafood, Tobin explained that at this point 80% of his fish is sustainably sourced, and he’s working on the rest. “We work with fishermen from Maine through Cape Cod,” he assured me. “We try to work with the small boutique fishermen, with an emphasis on the East Coast. Take, for example, the Jonah crab – a cousin of the stone crab – they remove the claws and throw them back into the ocean… the crab is new to this area and it’s a sustainable practice. We don’t get fish, squid, or calamari from India and Vietnam, where they don’t pay attention to fishing regulations, and there are elevated mercury levels. We use only US-based fishermen.”
As if all of this was not ample enough, Fresh Catch seconds as a seafood market (based in Williamsville, with free next-day pick-up at their downtown location), featuring weekly specials, fresh fish, frozen seafood, shellfish, and prepared fish and foods, sauces, and sides. They also have select produce, specialty tools (such as seafood shellers, oyster shuckers, and lobster crackers), and an array of seafood supplementals such as jarred fish stock, kimchi, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, Romesco, spicy mayo, mignonette sauce, and spicy Korean pepper. In fact, taking a gander at their Fresh Catch Market menu is extremely diverse and tantalizing, with plenty of big surprises for seafood lovers.
The seafood market is open Wednesday through Sunday, and on Mondays and Tuesdays customers can stop in to browse the cases of prepared foods – there is a grab ‘n’ go freezer marked with discounted prices.
Tobin told me that he is in the process of growing the market, due to the ongoing success. “As more people discover everything that the market has to offer, these offerings are being expanded upon.”
Fresh Fish Market Offerings @ Fresh Catch Poke Co. available at Williamsville location, with option of free next-day pick-up at their downtown Buffalo location at 305 Franklin Street.
Fresh Catch Poke Co.
Free next-day pick-up @ Fresh Catch Poke Co. and The Galley Lounge
305 Franklin Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202