After sampling the spicy tuna rolls from four area grocery stores, I would like to declare the Hyde Park biggs the winner of my highly unofficial Spicy Tuna Contest. It broke down like this:
1. Hyde Park biggs: The clear winner because, while it was no AOI spicy tuna roll, it had the required smoky tang. The sesame seeds were fairly light, but the flavor still came through. I am not normally a fan of cucumber but in this roll it gave things a nice crunch. There was also avocado involved. And the pieces were small enough to really catch all of the flavors at the same time, which is a major plus in my book. They also sell the spicy mayo in containers, which I'm trying not to think about too much, because I'd be tempted to buy a tuna steak and just slather it with the stuff and eat it raw, perhaps with sesame seeds on top, and there's a few too many bad ideas right there.
2. Hyde Park Kroger: Oh, Hyde Park Kroger, clearly things are not going well if you let biggs get you here. I'm sure you would say it is just a spicy tuna roll, but in reality, we both know it starts with the spicy tuna roll, and then it's the whole seafood department, and then the produce, and the wine section, and the organic department and then THE WHOLE DAMN STORE WILL BE FLATTENED BY BIGGS. AND YOUR GAS STATION, TOO (But biggs doesn't have a gas station, you say. Yes, but just wait until they reveal their SPICY SAUCE STATION and that they've been in cahoots with Toyota to produce the new Prius Tuna Edition). Everything in this roll just seemed a little limper, although the ingredients were the same. Not as flavorful as the biggs roll, either.
3. Oakley Meijer. I really wish Meijer would get its sushi act together, because it is right next to Target, and we all know of my love for all things Target. But alas, this was a typical Meijer roll. A little too big. They only had a combined spicy roll (tuna and shrimp), and I actually preferred the shrimp ones better. Things seemed a little...dry....oddly enough. Not sure what was going on there. Meijer gets a few bonus points simply for me making it through the checkout unscathed, instead of vowing never to return, which is usually what happens every time I go to Meijer. Unless I get so pissed off I abandon my groceries and never make it through the checkout, which also has happened. Freaking Meijer. You'd think Target would have started to rub off by now, but NO.
4. Rookwood Wild Oats. Wild Oats, you have fallen so far. You used to have the most beautiful sushi. And while this was actually fairly pretty in the container, it is clear something went horribly wrong. This thing didn't taste spicy at all, although the wasabi was overwhelming. I used the same amount as normal (a lot), which leads me to believe one of two things happened: 1. Wild Oats wasabi is four times as spicy as anyone else's wasabi or 2. Wild Oats sushi makers think spicy tuna rolls are made with copious amounts of wasabi instead of spicy sauce. As there was no spicy sauce either visible or tastable in the roll, I am leaning towards number two. Add to that the fact that these pieces were so freaking huge they were the only ones I couldn't handle with chopsticks, and it just gets worse. When sushi gets that big I find myself dissecting pieces in my mouth...."That was cucumber. Oh, think that was fish. Avocado?" Think 12 pieces instead of 8, people!
So why the sudden spicy tuna analysis? Well, sometimes Carrie just craves sushi. A lot. For days.
(No, I did not eat them all in one day. Or two.)