Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fish Monger's Thursday At Groomer's in San Antonio...

On Thursday, we were up and out the door by 10:00 AM, headed to meet up with a couple of other friends. Once we hooked up with them, we all headed to Mama's Cafe, where we had great Mexcian food for lunch along with, of course, Margaritas. I wasn't quite awake, so I didn't remember to get any pictures. Oh well, it wasn't that exciting at Mama's, but it was very good.

The next item on our agenda was Fish. Yes, I said Fish. It took a while for us to find this place, but it is a wholesale fresh fish market called Groomer's Seafood. The actual address is 9801 Mc Cullough Ave. somewhere near the airport. We got lost several times before we finally located it.

Once we arrived at our destination, we went down a long hall, then turned down another long hall, then through the door at the end. I was beginning to wonder if we were going for an illegal abortion or to a seafood market.

When we walked through the last door, I felt as if I had just entered Mecca or Nirvana or Heaven. There is an area where customers wait and watch their fish come in and be cut up to your specified size. They have fresh seafood flown in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are something like 15 to 20 employees, most of whom are working hard cutting up at least a dozen or more kinds of fish, behind the windows you see in the pictures. This is where the best restaurants in San Antonio come to get their fish for the next few days.

You look at the list of what they have, then the owner calls your name and you begin telling him how much you want of what, while he writes it down. Being a wholesaler, you have to buy everything in increments of a pound (as if you would want any less than that) from them. Deciding what you want and how much is another thing I think I'd get better at with more time. I brought an ice chest with me, but they also pack up your order in ice, inside an insulated box. Luckily, it was the perfect size for fitting into my rolling ice chest. I stopped at an HEB next, and bought some dry ice, which lasted me until I got home.

The most exciting part was being able to watch the guy cut up the tuna that would provide me with my 6 two inch thick steaks. That was a first for me and I enjoyed every last minute. I also bought a pound of HUGE heads-on shrimp, a pound of the next size smaller cleaned shrimp, one pound of freshly shucked oysters, and a pound of fresh salmon filet. I told the owner I was going to blog about his place, but he didn't offer me any further discount than the others received. Oh well. I had to try, didn't I?

My friends bought an enormous bag of oysters that must have weighed in at 60 pounds, along with a flounder, some shrimp and some crawfish. They called a group of friends to come over that night for the oysters, so it was a party. They also bought some baby octopus (or is that octopi?) and made an octopus salad, which I wouldn't have touched with a 50 foot pole. Yes, that's right. I had to draw the line at the baby octopi. It looked disgusting and I knew I'd hurl if I even let them pass my lips. I knew it would be like chewing on a big fat rubber band with legs. Ewww. Again, Ewww.

Anyway, my friends did what they called "Pop The Oysters" on the outdoor grill, which I'd never before witnessed. As each batch was done, they were shucked & left in the half shell. Then, there were four different sauces that we used for toppings. There was a Rockefeller spinach topping, a drawn butter with garlic topping, a cream based topping, and the Octopus Salad topping (which I passed on). It was insane, but scrumpdillyicious. I had to fight my way into the kitchen to claim mine, as I wasn't about to miss out on this. I think there were around 60 oysters shucked in total. When we were done with that, we had boiled shrimp that was absolutely the most wonderful shrimp I've ever had, with drawn butter, cocktail sauce, or tartar sauce.

On Friday, we slept late then went to have a light lunch at a place called El Generales. We ordered their special Margaritas that have an extra shot of Patron tequila floating in a plastic tube. These are flat out the best Margs I've ever laid witness to and we each had several. Good thing it was close to their house. We got a bit looped and did not need to be driving.

Anyway, we ordered Nachos, then ate our choice of lunch entrees. It was delicioso and by the time we left, we were all as stuffed as Thanksgiving turkeys. However, we didn't leave before I got my pictures for the blog. Why are all of my friends beginning to tire of my blogging? I can't imagine...

Saturday morning I got up, said m farewells and made the long five hour trip home. I stopped by the outdoor Mexican Market just outside Boerne but didn't find anything I wanted this time. So, I'm once again back in the safety of my home....


Mamahut said...

HI Snooty, Thanks for stopping by and giving me some sympathy on my gnat bites! lol. I'm in Oregon this morning. No bugs...doing the happy dance...

Daryl said...

What a great place .. must go back to SAT and check this AND Mama's Cafe ...

Tomorrow morning I head to New Orleans .. I hope to have as many fun and blogable experiences ..


noble pig said...

Oh wow, now that's those shots too!

Daryl said...

I have written the name of the restaurtant in my iPhone and will definitely make it one of our dinner destinations .. staying at The Inn on Bourbon Ramada Plaza Hotel so we're right in the Qtr ... Red Fish Grill and Cuvee are our other must eat's .. both were major favs last time .. we were there in April before Katrina

Lots of pix! Promise!


Pearls To Hide My Neck said...

Wow, sounds like a treat with all the seafood. Do you know where they have it flown in from?
That's so funny about the coffee table in Boerne. (I love that town.) The few times I find something I like....SOLD sign. Maybe I'm not meant to have a new one.
Thanks for thinking of me...You're the best!!!

Snooty Primadona said...

mamahut: Yup, I think those biting gnats must be a southwestern plague.

NP: Yup, I've never before gotten to see someone cut up my fish straight off the boat. It was really cool.

Daryl: Have fun in New Orleans (pronounced NAWLENS). If you have time, make a reservation for Gallatoire's in the Quarter. The food is divine and it's my personal favorite.

P: Groomer's has it flown in from the gulf twice a week... Also, they had other tables there but that one most resembled your picture. Mybe you need a trip to Boerne, lol. I did think $800.00 was reasonable for that table. It was solid and well made.

sista #2 said...

Snoots...have I ever told you I skeeve fish? Each and every last one of them. Dont eat it, cant smell it, dont make me touch it.

Looks like you had another funfilledfishanddrinksday.


Janie said...

Oh, girlfriend. I know where we're going whenever we get to all get together...MLH loves him somadem oysters, yes, he do.

Y'all can suck 'em down together.

I'll take pix.

Mental P Mama said...

Snooty...I think you should start your own food/travel show! Cheers!

Krysta said...

i want to go to the fish market. how cool is that? same with the margaritas... mmmm, extra patron.

Rick Groomer said...

Hey Snooty ran across this by accident and wanted to thank you for the kind words.

I am glad you enjoyed the seafood.

Rick Groomer
Groomer Seafoods, Inc.

Anonymous said...

evry handy,thanx a lot for this blog ........ This is exactly what I was looking for.


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