I'm still here! Despite some discomfort earlier that I thought might be contractions, they have not recurred and I'm still waiting for the baby to arrive.
This is my home-game entry for Week 29 of therealljidol. I am not competing this season but invite you to read the many fine submissions and the home-game entries. This week we could choose between two topics: "Price to Play" or "The Worst Thing I Ever Ate." It will soon be obvious which one I chose.
Since I can't eat sushi right now -- and haven't been able to eat it for nine months (no raw fish for pregnant women) -- I find myself thinking about it frequently. My husband, The Gryphon, promises it will be the first place we go out to eat after I've given birth (which will be, according to doctors, any minute now).
We have our favorite sushi restaurants, of course, including the chain Minado, home of the Ultimate Sushi Buffet. The best part is, they're family friendly, so we'll be welcome to bring the baby.
Unfortunately, we've also had our share of bad sushi. Let me assure you, bad sushi ranks among some of the worst food in the world.
My husband and I have an in-joke that comes from something my high school French teacher used to say. She told us that if we were traveling abroad, or even sampling foods in our own country, and somebody gave us something to try that we weren't sure we liked, instead of saying that it was terrible, we were supposed to call it "interesting." Now, The Gryphon and I call things "interesting," clarifying it with "in the French teacher sense of the word."
Some bad sushi is just made by unskilled sushi chefs: loosely-rolled so that it falls apart when you pick it up, or slathered with an excess of wasabi so that's all you taste. Other sushi, however, is bad on a different level entirely. In order, here are my three worst.
3) Pre-packaged sushi purchased in a supermarket. Most of the time, supermarket sushi is fairly decent, though it's rarely the freshest. Typically, it's either made on site a couple times a day or provided by a local sushi restaurant. In this particular case, though, the sushi was mass-marketed, having arrived on a truck from some unknown factory or industrial kitchen. What on earth was I thinking? Perhaps it was the preservatives, but this sushi tasted more like packing materials than it did like food. In fact, I'm fairly certain they used sawdust instead of rice. And remember, this was only the THIRD worst sushi I've ever eaten.
2) Sushi at a Chinese buffet. Normally, the sushi at this particular restaurant is pretty good, if not exciting. But this particular day, the fish tasted... well, fishy. Unlike mackerel, which is known to taste fishy, I was eating tuna and salmon rolls. For those unfamiliar with raw sushi, the best, freshest fish does not taste "fishy" at all. In fact, it varies according to the type of fish: succulent or sweet or savory. So by the second or third piece, I decided this sushi simply wasn't fresh enough to finish eating. I haven't eaten their sushi since.
And the worst sushi I ever ate (drum roll, please) was...
1) Food court sushi at the King of Prussia Mall. I know what you're thinking: "Sushi? In a food court? The same place they serve corn dogs and stale pizza? What did you expect?" This particular food court, however, was a FANCY food court. You see, the King of Prussia Mall is so big that it's got two distinct halves. One half is the "ordinary" mall, with Build-a-Bear-Workshops and anchor stores like JCPenney. The other half is the "upscale" mall, with Betsey Johnson and Armani retailers and anchor stores like Nordstrom's. In the "upscale" portion of the mall, we reasoned the food court would offer a better selection. We were not prepared for the horrors that would meet our mouths.
In fact, the sushi was so bad that I can barely describe it: a noxious blend of poorly constructed rolls with day-old fish and stale rice. Once we'd dumped it in the trash can, I can almost swear I heard it trying to get back out. It didn't take us long to agree that this was, hands down, the worst sushi we'd ever eaten.
The experience was, however, interesting. In the French teacher sense of the word.
Stay away from food court sushi, unless you're looking for a story to tell.