In a world in which Japanese sushi is urban, urbane and expensive – especially at places like Uchi that expanded into the Houston market from Austin and Katsuya from Los Angeles – is it even possible that some serious versions of the stuff can be found at a general store that may or may not be a gas station outside Ennis, TX? The sign has trouble holding onto letters, obviously, but you catch the drift quickly and turn in off the winding highway through the bluebonnets. Talk about… Only in America!
Only after lunching and leaving the Bristol General Store and Grill (Bristol being the nearest town, or village, or hamlet, or whatever) did a local suggest the gas pumps weren’t actually functioning anymore. And that seemed a shame, since “sushi at a gas station” was about as dramatic and unexpected as life can get. One of the employees was trying to jump-start someone’s car out front, but I suppose it may have been a family member’s.
So… you enter this little country store that may or may not pump gas, and if you forgo the pleasures of tortilla chips and canned ravioli, you step up to the counter and order from a picture book of entirely legitimate sushi and sashimi. Having pictures is a plus around here, apparently. In this part of the country, a lot more sushi things are fried than we’re used to – batter-fried in the holy name of “tempura” – but otherwise the sushi tastes fresh and delightful. You can do takeout or eat from styrofoam at comfortable shaded picnic tables outside. We’ve traveled a long, wonderful road from brisket and beans, let me tell you!