You guys? I just ate a sushi burrito at Uma Temakeria, and I need to talk about it. That's right, I said sushi burrito, as in, heavenly combination of fresh tuna, salmon, carrots, and cucumbers resting on a spicy mayo slicked bed of rice wrapped in a perfectly toasted sheet of nori. Sounds like your run-of-the-mill sushi roll, doesn't it? Well it's not. It's bigger, better, and highly customizable. It's burrito-sized sushi, and as of June 18, it's available for $12 a pop at Uma Temakeria in New York City.
Located in the heart of Chelsea, Uma Temakeria first opened its doors in the fall of 2014, and to this day it remains one of New York's only fast casual restaurants to specialize in the art of sushi hand rolls, better known to its loyal followers as temaki (pronunced: tay-mah-kee). After months of satiating droves of hangry New Yorkers with his portable cone-shaped sushi rolls, Chef Chris Jaeckle decided to take his rolling prowess to the next level — and that's when he dreamed up the supernal sushi burrito.
At this point you're probably thinking, "Cut the foodie foreplay, and tell me everything I can cram into this burrito, and eventually, my mouth." Roger that. While the classic sushi burrito includes fresh salmon, tuna, spicy mayo, julienned carrots, cucumbers, sesame seeds, and tempura crunchies, you can customize your own burrito with white or brown rice, crab, tofu, daikon, seaweed salad, and a plethora of sauces including creamy miso, avocado lime, zesty citrus, and wasabi ginger.
While I love a diverse menu, I tend to err on the side of purism and opt for the "classic" version when it comes to my inaugural food experiences — especially when those food experiences are highly anticipated. And boy did I anticipate this one. So much so that I experienced a full range of roller coaster-like emotions within the 24 hour period that encapsulated my first sushi burrito eating experience. And today, I would like to share that emotional journey with you, dear reader, as depicted through, what else... Bill Murray gifs.
1. Intrigue and disbelief
Is this real? Two of my all-time favorite food items together at last? Have I died and gone to heaven? First pet cat Wolfgang, is that you?
Omg. Omg. Omg. It's about to happen. I'm standing in line at Uma. I'm starving, and I'm wondering if one burrito is enough to fill me up. Oh who am I kidding — these sushi rolling ladies are not messing around. Each burrito is packed to the brim with seasoned rice, fish, and veg. Can I eat half as I walk back to my seat? Just a bite? No? Right, OK, social norms...
It's happening. I take my first bite, and my teeth sink into the tenderest of tuna with little to no effort. Suddenly, a crunch of cucumber, then, a pop of spice. I've completely forgotten that I'm sitting at a table with four other people. Right, OK, social norms. So difficult to carry on intelligent conversation when I can only think of my next three steps in life: soy, bite, repeat.
I never want this to end. This is everything I had hoped it would be, and more.
My work here is done. Should I take one to go? Will it keep? Should I come back for dinner? Can I afford to spend $12 on lunch every day for the rest of my life? How can I get more sushi burrito in my life? For the love of dearly departed Wolfgang the cat, HOW?
I'm hopeful that the sushi burrito will become the next big food trend in New York City. It's quick. It's cheap. And let's be real, you can't scarf down Tex Mex while running to catch the C train. Eat and walk, walk and eat. Well done sushi burrito, I'll most certainly be back for more.
Images: Ethan Covey (2); Giphy (6)