Main Location: Minneapolis
If one were to pose the question “what dishes come to your mind when you hear ‘street food’” to a group of Minnesotans, I’d bet good money not a single list would have the word “sushi” on it. And yet, what else comes slamming across my field of vision one day as I walk down the street but a new white truck with the word SUSHI blazed across its entire side.
That’s right. For those still unaware, there is a Food Truck in the cities that serves sushi. The moment I realized this, I think my mind and heart stopped working for a second or two… then I ran to the truck screaming to find out more.
Sushi Fix, created by experienced sushi chefs of course, offers a variety of Maki (rolls), Nigiri (slices of sushi on thumbs of rice), Sashimi (sliced raw fish), and Salads (… little leafy things with dressing); a few of the salads containing popular sushi ingredients. While keeping multiple familiar items on the menu, Fix’s main goal is a focus on providing slightly upscale, unique options.
One of their signatures, the 2-14 Maki, is a perfect example of this. “Rolled” and shaped in a way the cuts form triangles (instead of circles), Fix then wraps this in Soy Paper. Best way to think of it is almost like tofu, but reeeeeaaaallllyyyy thin; and it’s not the only roll they use it for.
Right now, there are probably a lot of people reading this, and many more Truck-goers already familiar with Fix, expressing thoughts similar as such: “A truck selling Sushi, raw fish, while parked on a Hot street during the Summer? Eeeeeewwwwwww, I don’t think that’s gonna be good….”
And to those people, I say SHUSH(I); they have a proper refrigeration and chilling unit, all ingredients are being kept safe and fresh. These people are CHEFS. They know what they’re doing, and safety is their number one priority, ESPECIALLY with a truck like this. Believe me, if something ever happened to the cooling unit, they wouldn’t even come out and attempt to sell cooked eel.
Then again, they don’t sell Unagi (eel) anyway. Sushi Fix focuses on only using seafood that is sustainable and hasn’t been over farmed. It’s a good thing to know about a place, especially when it can be difficult for us to always keep track on what’s “good” to order and what isn’t.
I’ve tried both a roll and a salad. Both of them taste exactly what you would expect from a proper restaurant. For those who understand the love and draw of sushi, there’s nothing really to say; it’s just plain delicious and good. Seafood is fresh, rice is proper, wasabi isn’t too strong. The sauces are rich, everything is balanced just about right. Oh, and the Soy Paper thing is really fun and interesting.
I had the Seaweed Salad, and that was actually really good; crisp and flavorful, the sauce made it sort of feel like Japanese comfort food.
This is where you know that, ultimately, this truck has been made mainly for office workers to bring back to their desk and eat (that and the prices). Each roll goes into this giant, long plastic contraption thingy, served with chopsticks. Laid nice and beautiful with everything looking perfect. That’s great for walking with as-is, but sucks when you try to eat out of it. Believe me, I actually tried to walk and eat; I mean, I succeeded, but it was very awkward…
The salads are served in the familiar Asian take-out boxes, and are much easier to go at two-handed, even with chopsticks. I expect the Nigiri and sashimi, if gotten in SMALL orders, are about at the same level as the salads too.
I’m actually very disappointed about how the truck handles this category; not that they can really do any better with what they have now, but because in the world of Sushi, there is a type of roll that is absolutely PERFECT for eating on the street, and with ONE HAND.
It’s called “Temaki,” and it’s basically a cone made with the rice and seaweed, with the sushi filling stuffed on top and down the center. Basically looks like an ice cream cone… but completely sushi. I’m going to leave that as-is for now, because I have a lot more to say about this in the TOE.
The fact is it’s a sushi place, there are a lot of high prices. To give them credit, they DO offer affordable options for the wallet-minded person. Three of the rolls are $6, a couple being 8, and there’s two salads of similar price. All Nigiri is $5; when getting a whole set for lunch, it adds up. For those only sampling one item to get a feel for the cart it ends up a pretty decent deal.
You can tell they’re trained; the sushi doesn’t take too long to put together, especially the simpler and smaller styles. I do believe the wait felt a bit on my first order, but that was almost literally opening day, and it was a special. Plus, so far the line is rarely long for this truck, so little worry about orders ahead of you.
The TOE: 3
They are a really cool truck, and the fact that they a unique item like sushi gets them points and wow factor in my opinion. At the end of the day, this isn’t street food. Unless you can spend so much money on lunch every day without blinking, the chances of one coming back often is little to none. This is why: they are fast, precise, focused on offering good and fresh food, and when you go up to order it still feels like a RESTAURANT. The only difference is where it’s located. There is a certain feeling of cold, robotic precision that sushi places and chefs have earned, a feeling that is to restaurants as all the other TOE feelings I talk about is to food trucks, and it is VERY hard to change enough and get past.
The thing that frustrates me is that they COULD get past it; they could keep doing things exactly how they’re doing it right now, and all of it wouldn’t matter because they would have that one element that would change it all. They have a fantastic opportunity at the PERFECT Toe Ring that fits into the Sushi Street Food concept like a long-lost glove; the Temaki.
It is held perfectly in one hand, cheaper than Maki, carries every single element of a sushi dish, and is UNIQUE and FUN in how it looks and eats. They need to start making these. And no, I don’t mean “Oh, I think they should make this, I want them to,” they NEED to make these, then advertise and let people know about them. I would lead the charge myself to convince people how great of an option it is.
Personally, until they start selling Temaki, I myself am never going to go back there.
If you want and HAVE to sample them, though, to scratch it off the list, then here are the main options I suggest:
- Nigiri/Sashimi: grab one order of 2/3 pieces for $5, I might go for the Scallop
- Spicy Tuna, $6: a staple for any sushi place, seeing how well they do THIS is a good sign of how they do other Maki
- Seaweed/Squid Salad: $7/$8, it’s a good lunch to have if you do come back for a second menu item. Also, if for whatever reason you’re one of those people that gets salads for lunch, these are good ones to go for.