The rumor spread faster than shoyu on a fresh California roll. As I wandered onto campus the first day of classes, one word bombarded me in conversations and social media alike—Sushi. Sushi? Sushi! I decided that, before I got too excited, I had to see for myself. So I wandered off towards The Smaug and coyly surveyed the lunch hour environment.
Everything looked the same. Coyote Jack’s had an unreasonably long line of people waiting for hamburgers, La Cucina was serving something with meatballs and Mondos was busily toasting sub sandwiches. I dejectedly took my seat. As I was contemplating the cruel nature of such a rumor, I noticed a man meandering among the tables with white paper cups. When he dropped one into my hand, my heart leapt. There, in my palm, was a perfectly spun piece of sushi, complete with avocado and some kind of delicious raw fish. It had come from Winona’s new sushi bar, Sushi Do, which is hidden beside Chef Yan Can Cook.
Although I was elated at this new, worldly addition to Winona State, I noticed that the people around me seemed a bit skeptical. The sushi man kept trying to pass off his tasty treats, but was refused almost as often as not. I heard people saying things about disagreeable texture. Others wondered whether it was safe to eat, especially since Minnesota isn’t coastal. There seemed to be a fair amount of confusion among my peers, who were struggling to accept this new lunch food.
Fortunately, there were a few others who shared my excitement. Some folks at my table purchased Spicy Tuna Rolls and nibbled on them, nodding with appreciation. As each person evaluated taste and quality, I couldn’t help but silently applaud Winona for introducing such controversial cuisine. A fair number of Midwesterners could survive on hot dish and lefse alone, but Winona took a risk in spite of its Minnesotan locale. Certainly, the Japanese addition to The Smaug may not be entirely authentic. Perhaps inland sushi isn’t the tastiest, and perhaps the texture is a little odd, when compared to the real stuff. However, I’m thankful to have the option. I appreciate the thought behind Winona’s new sushi bar, and I appreciate the shrimp tempura even more.