When someone in Philadelphia says sushi, I think disgusting. But when someone in San Diego says sushi I say, “Let’s Go!” Sushi has always been one of my favorite foods. Going to school in Philadelphia, I figured that sushi would be off my menu until I went home. Here, being farther away from an ocean brought countless questions: Is the fish fresh? Where was it caught? Will I get sick? Does sushi even exist out here? How was I going to overcome these challenges? Three years after my arrival to Philadelphia and countless comments about the sushi here, I finally decided to overcome my fear by pressing my luck.
Trying to avoid Yelp and Tripadvisor, I relied on the recommendations of friends and classmates. Just a car ride away, I found myself in Ardmore, standing at the doors of Mikado, a favorite for one of my classmates. Once being seated on what was practically the floor, (traditional Japanese sunken tables) I jumped to the specialty rolls and started looking for something that caught my eye. Perusing at the menu, the word “fire” caught my eye. I ordered a dragon roll on fire consisting of a California roll, topped with broiled eel and avocado, with flamed eel sauce on the side. Once the order started approaching the table, all I saw was fire coming for my table. The taste was new since I normally don’t order anything with eel, but it definitely is one of my favorite rolls now. It had a mild taste of fish, flaky texture, sweet flavor all mixed into one.
One night wasn’t enough to satisfy this sushi craving. I decided to go to Guppy’s Good Times. Located in Conshohocken, this was definitely a journey, especially since we went during rush hour. Walking in, immediately was a bar, and hiding towards the back of the building, was the sushi bar. Seeing a sushi bar was a plus, and on top of that, all sushi rolls were $2 off because we went during happy hour! After a nice scrolling of the menu, one ingredient stood out to me that I normally didn’t find in sushi: green apple. The Rina Roll was made with spicy tuna, green apple, avocado, topped with sliced tuna, spicy mayo, eel sauce and tempura flakes. The first bite was something unbelievable. Tasting hints of spice from the tuna and mayo, then getting the sweetness of the eel sauce and crunchiness from the tempura flakes. Then came the best part, the crisp and tangy taste of the green apple that just put the icing on the cake.
Never would have I thought that the sushi in Philadelphia would be so full of flavors. Overcoming the fear of having a bad piece of fish has been put behind me. To be honest, the sushi even comes to par with the sushi in San Diego, maybe even more exotic with seeing rolls that have fruit rolled in. This was definitely an experience and one that will continue with my time here.