The sushi scene in Downtown Green Bay has always been something of an enigma to me. My husband and I have to be in a particular mood for sushi most of the time, and our favorite in the region left Downtown last year. We didn’t explore the other options on Broadway after Koko Sushi Bar moved. We simply accepted the nearest option when the mood struck us, which is now Umi Sushi.
One Sunday afternoon, we made our way to the Broadway District to try out the all you can eat Sushi Lover across the street from Titletown Brewing. We arrived shortly before opening time, and a small crowd was already gathered to wait their turn at a table. I thought this to be a good sign at the time. If that many people were waiting for the doors to open, then surely what waited for us inside was worth it.
Sushi Lover’s all you can eat experience is a unique one. I’ve never eaten at an all you can eat sushi bar until that day. You are presented with the full menu on your arrival, and you can order whatever you want for the dinner. Front loading your order is likely the way to go, especially during peak hours when the waitresses may be too busy to check in very often. Given the sudden influx of diners during our visit, we saw our waitress only once more to get a new order and new drinks after our initial order and before getting our check. Front loading your order can be a little dangerous with sushi, however, as there is an added charge for each piece you take home– 50 cents per piece. It doesn’t sound so bad in the context of an all you can eat restaurant, but it's best to be aware before you arrive.
The seasoning and cook on the rice didn’t feel right texturally in my mouth. The sweetened mayo on the snow crab roll was an odd taste experience, highlighting the sweeter nature of the crab inside of the roll. A spicy mayo may have worked better and felt more like a traditional preparation. I didn’t order more after that. I should have tried some of their hibachi offerings to give the kitchen a fair shake, and if I ever go back, I will do that.
Despite my own personal taste in sushi not being pleased with what I eat, I have to give the staff their due for the intense work that they had to do during a full Sunday service. Running food, taking drink orders, and attending to every single table can absolutely take it out of a person. They weaved between tables with precision and even if they were only running food and were not our waitress, made sure we had what we needed. The entire operation is a difficult one to manage in a serving capacity, and they do it well.
Sushi Lover presents a chance to try things you may have never been able to try in other locations. The preparation on the rolls may not be what you’re used to, so first time diners may be disappointed like I was. Sashimi appears to be the best bang for your buck if you really are a sushi lover– try everything you’ve ever wanted. Learn what you like while the price is firmly set. You can’t get that many other places.
I know that this is one of the harsher reviews I’ve written in my time in Green Bay, but I want to reiterate that Sushi Lover is not BAD. It is just not for me. The all you can eat experience has a value in and of itself for other types of diners. I’m not that type of diner. There is something on the menu for everyone, and to ignore that value would be dishonest. It was clear by the size of the crowd that Sushi Lover provides an experience that other people greatly enjoy. I just did not find something explicitly for me on my first visit. I will return again one day to try out their hibachi offerings and write a second review to give them a fair shake, but one thing is for sure–
I owe Little Tokyo down the road a visit now. Stay tuned for that.