Sushi In A Flyover State

Moving to New Jersey was an adjustment for me, a rage-filled but still very polite lady from the Midwest. People just moved and talked and drove SO FAST there, it made my head spin for a good year until I got used to it. I grew up here in Ohio and we’d spent two years in Indianapolis prior to landing in The Jerz, so I just wasn’t ready for that kind of pace of life.

I quickly got used to it and learned to love it. People move and talk and drive SO FAST there! You need something done, SHIT GETS DONE. If there’s a problem, you’ll hear about it sooner rather than later and in no uncertain terms. Or you can express yourself in those same certain terms and everyone sort of understands that you’re not being a deliberate bitch, but there is something here that needs to be addressed, RIGHT FUCKING NOW, please and thank you. There’s not a lot of sugar-coating going on out there in Jersey.

That’s not to say that people are as rude as the stereotypes would have you believe, however. People can be rude, and frequently are, but 90% of the time it’s not rudeness so much as a gentle nudge for you to get the fuck out of the way because we have THINGS TO DO. There’s not a lot of dawdling.

Ohio, on the other hand, is a much slower pace. People are friendly and have more than enough time to chat and everyone says please and thank you and have a nice day and oh that rain was something, wasn’t it? There’s not nearly as much watch-checking, foot-tapping, huffy sighing happening here and in many ways it’s very pleasant. People are nice! SO NICE.


But this niceness, this Midwestern politeness takes a bit of finesse to navigate properly. While I grew up in it, my skills in this arena are rusty. 22 years in New Jersey and I’m “from Jersey” as much as I’m “from” anywhere. I mean, I grew up here in Ohio but I GREW UP in Jersey. I became a grown-ass adult there.

So like I said, things have been a bit of an adjustment. I had anticipated things like sub-par bagels and no Wegmans (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I miss Wegmans and have yet to find a suitable grocery situation) and the trial-and-error process of pizza. I kind of figured that the family would have issues finding good Chinese food. I myself do not enjoy Chinese food so that doesn’t bother me overmuch and if we’re being honest (god forbid we are othewise) I’m secretly glad the Chinese food sucks here because that means the fam asks for it less often.

And I knew — I KNEW — sushi would be an issue here. I knew it. We’re in Ohio for fuck’s sake. What does Ohio know from sushi? What does Ohio know from the phrase “know from” while we’re at it?


I knew sushi would be a challenge here. I’m sure there is acceptable sushi downtown but we’re out here in the suburbs and we’re lazy as shit so we need to have our sushi delivered to us. Well, we DID. I think we’ve learned now that we have go TO the sushi from now on, instead of having it come to us. This is bad news to The Teenager, who will happily eat her body weight in sushi if we allow her to. She’s very expensive. But once in awhile, we figured it would be fine, right? We’ve tried three times now. The first time, I put in my order right as the place opened at 5PM. They refunded it because they were “too busy.” OH OKAY WELL FUCK YOU TOO, THEN.

The second time was kind of a bait-and-switch. Doordash had a place listed that looked fine but ooooh nooooo it was actually from Benihana. Like… what the actual goddamn FUCK, you guys? Who in their right mind eats at Benihana on a normal day, much less gets sushi delivery from there? Had I known, I wouldn’t have ordered from there and it was terrrrrible anyway. Just super-duper bad.

The third (AND LAST) time we attempted sushi was last night. First of all, it was from a vaguely Asian restaurant whose main focus isn’t sushi. That should have been my first clue, but the reviews were good and anyway I didn’t pick it so I feel no responsibility for this disaster. I placed the order and then we waited. AND WAITED AND WAITED AND WAITED AND THEN WE STARVED TO DEATH AND WERE REINCARNATED AND WE WAITED SOME MORE.

It was bad, y’all. Not just ‘poorly made’ bad, but ‘bad customer service’ bad. So, being the extremely chill person that I am, I got on the horn with Doordash and explained my problems and they promptly refunded a chunk of my money. I contacted the restaurant and they couldn’t/wouldn’t fully refund me for REASONS but by then I didn’t even care about the money part of it, because I was in CREATIVE MODE and ready to write reviews! Which I did!

Is that a dick move? Maaaaaaaaybe a year ago when we were in Deep Covid Action and everyone was scrambling to survive, it would be. But now? Over a year into it and you haven’t figured out how to put the absolute brightest shine on your product and service? Fuck you, you deserve to go under, my dude. It’s not that difficult to do things right. It’s not that difficult to do things HALF-ASSED, as I know full well, being a professional in that industry. Half-assed would have been perfectly acceptable to me. What we got was… not that.

I normally don’t write bad reviews because yeah everyone is usually just trying to do their best. I’ve worked many jobs in many different industries and if someone as terrible as myself can crank out good work/good customer service, SURELY EVERYONE ELSE CAN. It’s a low bar to clear! Did I maybe let Jersey Rachel go a little nuts on the review? Ohhh probably. But Jersey Rachel makes her opinions known and doesn’t take any shit. Ohio Rachel is a little nicer about it, usually, but I was hungry.

Long story short: Sushi in the suburbs is going to be a challenge.

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