Doctors, nutritionists, dietitians, moms: Everybody is always talking about how you need to eat more fish. Many varieties are high in omega-3s, and all species are high in protein, vitamins, and different nutrients. Regardless, you’ve got to pay rent, and high-quality seafood is the exact opposite of cheap. Not the case at Shelsky’s of Brooklyn (141 Court Street, Brooklyn; 718-855-8817); the smoked-fish spot has a delicious option for under $10.
The Cobble Hill shop made our list of 99 Essential Brooklyn Restaurants for its selection of Jewish-style appetizing selections (basically, smoked fish and other bagel accoutrements) and, more recently, its new house-cured deli meats, such as pastrami and corned beef.
Quality certainly does not come cheap. Some options, such as Lake Superior Cisco and Bering Cisco, cost well over $20 per pound. Most sandwiches ring in within the $13-to-$15 range. The classic reuben: $19.99.
Even so, there are some equally worthy budget-friendly options. The $9.25 Holy Mackerel, for instance, is just as good as anything else on the menu. Delivered straight from Fox’s Seafood in Rhode Island, the smoked peppered mackerel is layered with cucumber salad and veggie cream cheese on a fresh bialy. The cream cheese is not like store-bought variations that last for months on end before turning green. From Ben’s Cheese Planet, it’s truly all-natural, made from straight cultured milk without all those nasty preservatives or fillers. Last but not least, there’s the glue that holds the whole thing together, the bialys. Those soft and chewy, flour-coated, onion-scented works of beauty were handpicked from 68-year-old bakery Bell’s Bialys in nearby Canarsie. They’ve been made the same exact way for the past half-century.