Newport Avenue Market’s sushi counter
Food: At the risk of turning these articles into exercises in childhood food nostalgia, I decided to review my favorite sushi spot in town: Newport Avenue Market. Before you protest: Yes, I am aware Bend has multiple sushi restaurants; I’ve even tried a few of them. But for ease-of-access, freshness and price (important to someone who grew up on Okinawa, Japan, where affordable, delicious sushi is the norm at any convenience or grocery store), nothing locally beats Newport Avenue Market in my book. My dining companion and I selected a tuna chef’s sampler, which featured a selection of tuna rolls and nigiri (fish slices on top of rice), and a shrimp tempura roll, and divvied up the loot at home. I am obsessed with tuna (maguro in Japanese) sashimi, and the sushi was predictably fresh, so no complaints here.
Service: As it’s a food counter at a grocery store, there isn’t much to say. We arrived a little after 1 p.m. on a Saturday and the counter was well-stocked with various sushi combination plates, nigiri packages, rolls and more, along with poke bowls. That’s a good time to show up, apparently. I’m usually faced with a much smaller selection when I go in the evenings, say around 5 or 6 p.m.
Atmosphere: Newport Avenue Market has a hip, modern vibe, with lots of specialty and local items on sale. There’s nowhere to sit inside, though, and the aisles are quite cramped. The employees would probably appreciate it if you didn’t sit and eat on the floor and instead took your sushi home.
Location: Newport Avenue Market, 1121 NW Newport Ave., Bend
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Price range: $7 to $15 per package
— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin