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$10 Eats: Ramen at Umi Sushi

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Sushi restaurants can easily be a wallet’s enemy. You know how there’s that saying that you never have just one drink? It seems like that’s the case with sushi, too. Never have I ordered a single sushi roll with nothing else. For one, I like myself, so I feed myself proper amounts of food. But I also like trying a range of foods when available, so in the case of sushi that can mean a couple of rolls or a roll and a main dish. It’s very easy to rack up a decent bill when you do this.

However, recently I visited Umi Sushi’s Jacksonville location and found myself a nice hearty lunch for $9. The trick is to skip the sushi and go straight to the noodle section of the menu where you’ll find ramen. The Japanese ramen comes in a giant bowl, topped with tiny shreds of carrot and seaweed. It takes about 20-25 minutes to get to the table, but the wait is well worth it. The bowl will arrive hot, freshly made to order by the kitchen. A full chicken breast, sliced into strips will sit between ramen noodles that will keep their sturdy texture, despite the heat of the broth they rest in. Sliced shiitakes, fresh broccoli, and asparagus add crunch and depth. Lastly, like the pieces of seaweed you’d find in miso soup, squares of seaweed float in the bowl, adding to a dish already packed full of umami.

After my first visit, I returned a second time to snap some photos and ask a few questions. When I left, I carried an almost overflowing to-go container. Both times I visited, this was the case. After eating, I had enough food to fill a bowl at home to the brim. The ramen makes for an excellent leftover dish, because even after sitting in the broth for 16 hours, the noodles keep their texture, refusing to get soggy. At $9 for two meals, I’ll write that as a win in my book.

$10 Eats is a column dedicated to finding the valley’s best eats for $10 or less, so grab a Hamilton and head to these local spots. Have a favorite cheap eat? Share it with us at info@roguevalleymessenger.com


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