Monday, June 14, 2010
That's not Bait!
There is an old joke (and I'm an old jokester) which says that Sushi has existed in the South for a long long time. We just call it BAIT. (Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week...)
Sushi, if you are not in the know, is a Japanese dish described as cold cooked rice dressed with vinegar that is shaped into bite-sized pieces and topped with raw or cooked fish, or formed into a roll with fish, egg, or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed. Just sort of makes you want to sit right down and eat...and I'm sure it's that mention of 'raw fish' that does it. Right?
My late mother loved sushi. She visited Japan when I was a little tyke (I stayed home) and had a love of sushi ever since. She loved to tell me of a place she found in California on vacation where she could get 'all you can eat' sushi, and yes, she would eat all she could eat and then some.
So, to bring this back to the South, recently a new oriental restaurant opened in our fair city advertising Japanese and Oriental Cuisine. Amazingly, it is within walking distance of our house. (It's actually about a mile, but to me that's walking distance. To most, any more than a trip to the next door neighbor is a need for a fossil fueled conveyance but as usual, I digress...)
Every few months, I can talk my wife into lunch at some Oriental All-You-Can-Eat Buffet and to be sure, there are several in our area. So, amazingly enough we ended up at this new place. Also amazingly, I discover that they have one of the largest selections of sushi I have ever seen this side of a bass fishin' tournament. They had Boston rolls, Tuna rolls, veggie rolls, California rolls, sushi of every type and style.
Now comes the part where I nearly lost it. I am sitting at the table, eating my usual General Tso's Chicken. I've got a nice Spring Roll and some sort of seafood dish, and my wife sits down with a plate of Sushi. I couldn't believe my eyes. This lovely lady across from me is about to eat some raw fish. RAW. FISH.
Well, to make a long story short, I had to try it. If only to honor my mother who tried to get me to try it for so long. I got myself a plate of sushi, some Wassabi (Very little, that stuff is like Nuclear Horshradish and will eat a hole in your tongue!) and true to the memory of my sainted mother, I even had a second plate. This may keep me from becoming a true member of the Suthun Good Ol' Boys Club, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it.
The place has become a regular stop of ours, and every time, ever single time, I think of my mother and wonder how she'd find the quality. Southern Sushi. Who woulda thought?