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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    25 & Under

    Sudden depletion of Chinook salmon? High fuel prices driving import goods through the roof? College? It’s getting harder and harder to afford sushi these days, no matter what the reason, but if you’re anything like us you’re probably already hooked. No matter. There are many creative ways to get the daily sushi quota you need, thrice daily, often at half the price. All of these suggestions can yield cheap and easy dinners that cost not only under $25, but sometimes even under $10.

    17th Street Farmers Market
    840 E. 17th St

    Tucson’s warehouse district south of Broadway may not remind you of the French Riviera, but this international market is your No. 1 destination for pleasures of the sea. Not only can you get 16 oz. of fake crab for California rolls, enough for the state of California to eat, for $3.59, but the more adventurous can choose from a variety of inexpensive frozen treats such as black tiger shrimp for sushi ebi ($7.49), arctic surf clams ($5.59), or a rich slab of unagi, or eel, for $7.49. The deli also imports wild ahi tuna, sushi-grade king salmon and yellowtail, deli clerk Steven Powers said. If you’re not into plain sashimi, there is an entire aisle of sushi accessories such as seaweed, ginger, wasabi and rice to go along with your meal.

    Grant Stone Market
    8 W. Grant Road

    Do the hippies and new-age drum team make you uncomfortable? Try the more authentic Grant Stone Market, a food mecca for the Asian community. In addition to beef tongue and plastic-wrapped, decapitated pig’s head, Grant Stone sells a variety of frozen sushi products. The imitation crab here is much cheaper (1 lb. for $1.99) than at 17th Street Market, and you can buy a small packet of masago – the orange caviar stuff that goes with – for $5.39. Grant Stone also sells yellowtail for 16.99 per lb., calrose tuna for $5.99 per lb., the cheapest around, and 30 sushi ebi shrimp for $9.99. You can also pick up some seaweed, rice, wasabi or, if you don’t like sushi at all, a packet of ramen.

    1940 E. Broadway Blvd.

    Sushi elitists who reject the packaged varieties of their ambrosia might be incredulous when we reveal that it’s actually edible somewhere: Safeway. But it’s true! The Safeway on Broadway and Campbell is the only store in the world to carry Sushi Chef products, a local company run by Ngoc Jones, who prepares the sushi daily on the spot. While some of the prices may seem high, keep in mind they’re for double-sized portions. Also, you don’t have to pay a tip. Safeway carries Jones’ spicy salmon ($7.99), Philadelphia roll ($5.69), spicy tuna ($7.99), California roll ($6.69) and more.

    Sushi Garden Buffet
    15 N. Alvernon Way

    Sometimes it’s hard to get the waitresses to refill your iced tea, but that shouldn’t prevent you from going to the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet for, gasp, $7.95. Every weekday lunch, the sushi chefs prepare unlimited vegetable sushi, spicy tuna, California rolls, Las Vegas rolls and more–it varies from day to day – for a packed restaurant. The sushi is always fresh, although it’s usually cut thinner for buffet-goers. Sushi Garden’s buffet also includes hot items like tempura, yakisoba and make-your-own miso soup with tofu and scallions. But the real treasure at this place is the Korean-style appetizer table with cold tofu salads and kimchee-flavored noodles. It’s like Takamatsu for the college budget!

    5036 N. Oracle Rd

    Next time you get the urge to go to Ra, come here instead. It’s closer, less obnoxious and definitely cheaper. This low-profile sushi joint has a different list of five half-price rolls every day. Last time we went, we ordered the California roll for $2, the tempura California roll – fried on the outsid – for $2.75, and the spicy tuna for $3. Depending on the day, the list also includes the ever-popular rainbow, Las Vegas and Philadelphia rolls. Never order the kosher roll with smoked salmon because it tastes like a sushi bagel. (Ick!) The place has a few drawbacks, like the invisible masago on the California rolls (replaced with ho-hum sesame seeds), and the hunked-rather-than-sliced cucumber. But after cramming an entire river of spicy tuna into our stomachs, the bill came to $19.95 for two people! Shogun also has a smokin’ deal on sake bombs – a 21 oz. Asahi bottle with hot sake for $5. So if all else fails, get drunk!

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