First Taste

How Do You Roll? Is Like a Date You Know Will Never Work Out, But You Give It a Shot Anyway.

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Like many fast-casual chains, the concept of How Do You Roll? is about being accessible to as many people as possible. And when it comes to sushi, that means making Americans feel that this Japanese food can simply be another form of a Subway sandwich or a Chipotle burrito -- that is, a wrapped food product filled with familiar ingredients. It's surprising the idea hasn't happened sooner.

And judging by the popularity of the restaurant when I popped in, I'd say folks are buying it -- at least for the initial novelty of it all.

Not for faint of heart sushi purists, the scene at How Do You Roll? could be described as, well, McSushi. Lighted menu boards hang behind the Subway-style ordering line; cold sides come in plastic containers out of a cooler; a condiment bar, instead of ketchup and salt packets, features wasabi and ginger; and the soy sauce comes from one of two large urns.

The menu offers six featured rolls and promotes customizing your own with more familiar ingredients such as spicy tuna, cucumber, and unagi as well as non-traditional ingredients like grilled chicken, beef -- even strawberries. All rolls are ten pieces and come wrapped in traditional seaweed or modern soy and with a choice of white or (Oh, my!) brown rice.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld