For many of the hungry folks here at Page One, the novelty of Sapporo (the sushi place right next door) has begun to fade. As resident newbie, I was oblivious to this. In fact, I had never tried Sapporo. All I knew is that they served sushi, and I love sushi. Elise, being the kind soul that she is, put the sushi bug in everyone’s ear and utilized her hyper-accurate ordering skills to ensure that everyone ended up with exactly what they wanted.
As everyone gathered in the conference room, the smell of miso soup filled the air. Jeremy began presenting his lunch-and-learn slideshow about WordPress widgets and plug-ins, and we all dug in to the colorful array of Japanese foods. The most popular item ordered was the bento box; a veritable treasure chest of many different preparations of fish, vegetables and meat, all bathed in flavorful sauces. Those who ordered the bento box described it as “bountiful”, with resounding exclamations such as “nom” and “yessir”. For only $10 this box seems like the best value on the menu, considering the portion size and variety.
Another item that was ordered by many was the crunchy spicy tuna roll; a maki basic that can be found at any sushi place in the world. While the roll was decidedly “fine”, those who ate it found it to be a bit lack-luster; requiring extra soy sauce to make up for the fact that it was neither spicy or crunchy. In lieu of the classic “spicy mayo drizzle” that so many Americanized sushi restaurants utilize to add flavor and spice, Sapporo opted for coating the roll in a dry-rub style seasoning which added color, but not much flavor. Despite the “meh” review of the tuna roll, the scallop roll was described as “jamtastic”, and referred to as “always awesome” by those who order it regularly.
Sometimes in the world of food, simplicity wins. In the case of Sapporo’s avocado salad this was definitely true. It is often said that we eat with our eyes first, and this colorful salad was a perfect example of this. The layered presentation included slices of fresh avocado, tomato, and tofu, garnished with seaweed and dressed with a sweet miso sauce. This salad is a favorite amongst the Page One team because it’s consistently fresh and makes a healthy and filling appetizer for those who don’t want to overdose on fish. The miso soup was also a crowd-pleaser, although many were forced to drink it directly from the bowl due to a lack of spoons.
When you eat frequently enough at a restaurant, your opinion of it begins to change. You find what you like (or at least tolerate), and you stick to it. In the case of Sapporo, the Page One team judges the food in the same way they would judge a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s edible, it’s flavorful, and it’s predictable. For this noob on her first Friday lunch with the team, food from Sapporo tasted great, simply because it was fresh, free, and marked my initiation into the Page One Team.
Most-Favorited Dish: Bento Box
Honorable Mention: Avocado Salad
2/3 of Page One employees would enthusiastically return to Sapporo
Words Used by Our Team to Describe the Experience:
Address: 230 Commercial St. Portland, Maine
Hours: Monday-Friday – Lunch 11:30am-2:00pm | Dinner 5pm-9:00pm
Saturday – Sunday – Lunch 12:00pm-2:30pm | Dinner 4:30pm-9pm