Maki Fresh // Fresh & Fast

Anyone else hate it when you get told “No”? It’s almost like you didn’t know how badly you wanted something until you were told you couldn’t have it. This week, a friend was in town and said she was craving sushi. I’m never not in the mood for sushi, so we agreed to meet at Rock N Roll. We roll up to the restaurant only to find that it was closed because their refrigeration had been going out due to bad weather. *Shout out to Rock N Roll for being responsible and not trying to feed me risky fish* My friend and I sulked away to try and figure out what else we wanted to eat. We considered a few places nearby (not wanting our awesome downtown parking spot to go to waste) but nothing seemed to be what we were wanting. In a pure stroke of genius, I remembered Maki Fresh.  We made the long, arduous drive over the bridge and into Maki Fresh.

Tuscaloosa’s Maki Fresh is a small, efficient restaurant filled with bright colors and lots of seating. They also have a cute patio area if you like your sushi with a side of sunshine. There was a line when my friend and I arrived, but the Maki employees are very effective and had us up at the front of the line before I’d even had time to consider all my options.

Maki offers a large variety of fast casual Asian dishes. These dishes not only offer some awesome Asian toppings and sauces, but also offer less traditional flavor combinations and veggies that aren’t usually seen in Asian dishes (think salmon, green apple, arugula, goat cheese, and lemon-thyme vinaigrette sushi). Maki serves apps, rice bowls, sushi rolls, sliders, and salads. I decided to play it a little safe and got the Crunch Crunch Roll with white rice and (no surprise here if you read my last review) the Crispy Brussels. My friend opted for the Hibachi Bowl with brown rice and an order of edamame.

After just a few minutes of waiting, our feast arrived. My Crunch Crunch roll was filled with panko shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and had spicy (but not really) mayo sauce on the side and was just what I was looking for in my sushi roll. Nothing too crazy, but man it was tasty. The shrimp was still warm inside the cool roll and the mayo sauce pulled the dish together. The Crispy Brussels were topped with sesame seeds and a tangy sauce that I can only describe as perfection. If I could have, I’d have left with a bottle of that sauce. My friend’s bowl was topped with steak, edamame, a few sauces, and TONS of fresh veggies. I wasn’t expecting that the veggies would be raw but it totally worked with the dish. The soft steak and rice were perfectly balanced by the crunchy vegetables. What would have made the bowl even better? Some of the sauce from my brussel sprouts. Both of our portions were relatively large as well. Not quite so big that we immediately thought to make another dinner from them, but just big enough that we hurt a little after trying to eat all the deliciousness in one sitting. In hindsight, I should have practiced what I preach and packed up half of the meal from the get-go.

All in all, we had a great experience at Maki Fresh. We were in and out within 30 minutes, didn’t spend an uncomfortable amount, and were able to choose from lots of fresh, flavorsome items. My only regret is not taking advantage of the 2 for $10 special on sushi rolls that Maki offers on Sundays.

Maki Fresh is located at 1530 McFarland Blvd North. in Tuscaloosa. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!


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