We just finished our first week back to school! It was full of practicing procedures, team building activities, and read alouds. They still love a good picture book, no matter how old fourth graders think they are. I have enjoyed getting to know my new kiddos, and I really believe we are going to have a great year.
With all that being said, getting back into the routine of school is hard! During the summer, breakfast is around 9:00, lunch around 12:00 or 1:00, and then dinner around 7:00. Definitely can’t do that anymore!! I had started to get myself back into the routine of waking up early, buuutttt I forgot about training my stomach. We eat lunch at 11:00 this year (last year it was at 10:30!! That was technically a brunch), so I am starving by the end of the school day. Hence why I am hungry while I teach! I got the idea for my blog title from a student last year. One of my sweet, sweet girls wrote an acrostic poem for me. For the H in my last name, she put “hungry all the time”. I laughed and laughed when I read this. Wow! She is so right! I am one of those people that think about my next meal, as I am eating my current meal. I know. I know. I have a problem, and I try to work on it....when I remember to. :)
During the school year, it takes twice the amount of effort to cook a meal. We give so much of our energy to all 50+ kids while teaching, that the thought of putting together a meal is dreadful. The minute I sit down at home, I’m DONE. I have found a solution though! I immediately start dinner when I get home and THEN completely crash afterwards. I sort of turn into a zombie with a full belly, and I pass out in bed soon after.
Monday afternoon, I was already planning out what day we would go out to eat, so I could look forward to at least one relaxing evening with the hubby! We both decided on Umami, in Conway, to satisfy our sushi craving.
This is not your traditional Japanese restaurant. As you walk in, you notice the more modern decor, larger dining room with black sleek tables, big half circled booths, and a nicely stocked bar area. They do have a hibachi grill area to the side, but the dining area had more customers. It is normally the opposite in most Japanese restaurants. As you notice in the restaurant name, this is a sushi lounge. The atmosphere is one of eating, drinking, and visiting with your friends. A great place to relax after, lets say, a long day of teaching....
Because we wanted to try something new, the waiter suggested we try the Hawaiian Fried Rice. Before I comment please study the picture below. It is huge!! Believe me, there is plenty to share with a friend or a big hungry man. Now, if there are three people, you need to have a thorough discussion on how hungry you are.
We went to Hawaii this summer for our honeymoon, and this fried rice helped us take a little trip down memory lane. The base of the dish is the fried rice. It is not too different than your traditional fried rice that you know and love, so you are eased just alil out of your comfort zone. I think this helps those who order the same thing every time you eat at a restaurant. With that being said, Umami’s fried rice is like no other. I have always seen Rustin reach for the soy sauce as soon as our food hits the table. I think we ended up scooting it towards the end of the table because it was getting in our way. This is unheard of at our table! They already have their food perfectly seasoned so that you can start consuming ASAP and not have to worry about adding extra seasoning. To make this Hawaiian, there is perfectly grilled shrimp, chicken, smoked sausage, and warm sweet pineapple mixed in throughout the rice. It is so filling and satisfying that we really should have stopped there, but we originally came for our sushi craving. We HAD to get sushi! :) Well we didn’t HAVE to, but we really really really wanted to.
I got a Spicy Calamari Roll and Rustin got a King Kong Roll and a Spicy Calamari Roll. I’m an only child. I do not share. I especially do not share food, so he had to get his own calamari roll. When I said “sushi” earlier, I really meant rolls. We eat everything cooked! Nothing raw on our table! I only say sushi because it sounds more legit.
The Spicy Calamari Roll has a nice kick of spice, but do not worry. The thin slices of cucumber and the rice inside of the roll help to offset the heat. The majority of the roll is the fried calamari. I have never seen this much meat inside a sushi roll. I took a picture of the roll upside down so you can see the actually meat underneath the sauce. They aren’t skimping you on flavor, and they definitely do not pack it full of rice. The calamari is fried, but not with the heavy batter used in typical American food. It is light and airy, almost like the batter they use for funnel cakes. It is a big roll, and you look a little funny shoving the whole thing in your mouth. I wouldn’t laugh at you...others might. I actually cut it in half and ate it that way. Just like the fried rice, I didn’t use soy sauce for dipping my sushi roll in. Look at how healthy I ate by not using extra sodium! :)
This is the King Kong Roll that Rustin had. I really cannot comment on it because I despise raw cream cheese. Put it in any dip or casserole, and I will devour it, but I will not come close to the raw stuff. When I asked him to describe it for me, he said, “Fried to perfection”. Sorry ya’ll.....he is a man of few words while eating. This entire roll is fried and is Rustin’s favorite! He would not even touch “sushi” (I have to sound fancy) until his friend, Brandon, took him out, and he had a roll with cream cheese in it.
To get to these delicious sushi rolls, you have to look for it. This restaurant is behind Target on the Oak Street exit. You can see it when you are heading west on I-40.
Just go ahead and take that exit right after you see it!
Umami is a must go for your next “I do NOT feel like cooking” night....actually, it is a must go for your “I need to eat something amazing” night.