By Tim Chai and Rosemary Boeglin
As the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods, it is not surprising that Whole Foods had the best sushi of any grocery store. I immediately noticed the difference from the first bite I took. The prevalent hard casing and oftentimes stale fish that I had almost become accustomed to throughout the day (an occupational hazard, I know) miraculously disappeared. The rice was absolutely delicious, and trust me, I know my rice. The vegetables (avocado, carrots, and cucumbers) were also fresh and crisp, contributing to an overall consistency that was quite impeccable.
8 pieces – $5.50
This was my first foray into the cult (at least in the HiLite room) of Naked Tchopstix, and they recruited me for life. Although not a personal fan of cream cheese in sushi, the flavors and textures blended very well with each other. The asparagus was very fresh and crisp, and the justaposition of creamy and crunchy was an extremely enjoyable treat. Adding to this experience, the décor was an interesting mix of both traditional and modern elements, contributng to a pleasurable atmosphere for both the eyes and the mouth.
Asparagus with Cream Cheese
8 pieces – $3.49
While both the crab/shrimp and tuna seemed fresh and were of good quality, the salmon was obviously mushy and almost certainly overly-processed. The rice was better than the rice found in the other grocery stores, although it was a little stale and the grains were indistinguishable.
In just 15 minutes, I probably changed my mind about this batch of sushi more than anything else in my life. Leaving me quite conflicted, Kroger’s crab variety box took me on a roller coaster ride, from bad to good to bad again. If you’re looking for any semblance of flavor, I suggest completley foregoing the regular immigation crab roll. It wasn’t bad, but the sad fact was that there was no taste whatsoever. Likewise, the last one I tasted (the “sweet” shredded crab) suffered from the same quality. While there was a slightly sweet flavor, it was neither pleasant nor obvious enough; I kept asking myself whether this was a regular or sweetened roll. The spicy shredded crab roll somewhat made up for the other two, but not even the satisfying core could make up for the poor excuse of rice surrounding it, which was basically a hard, white casing.
12 pieces – $5.50
Be prepared to get food poisoning with this sushi. This was the worst sushi of the day, and perhaps the worst I’ve ever had in my life. The rice was clearly past its prime, and it only got worse from there. The tuna was spongy and fusty. In fact, this was the only place where we didn’t finish the box. While I applaud the store for using a variety of vegetables and having a tuna option, the execution was completely lacking.
9 pieces – $5.99