Lunch Dining is Back, Brown Bags are Out: Valley restaurants, including Sapporo and its lunchtime sushi, are offering healthy cuisine at lower prices
Brown-bagging it becoming a little boring? Then save them for the groceries, and take a stroll to the nearest eatery. After years of the recession eating away the midday lunch crowd and their wallets, restaurants are stepping up for those who are stepping out for a bite during their day.
Sapporo , and many other restaurants throughout the Valley, have gotten creative in order to keep up with the hot competition of other midday dining spots. Be it fresh fare offerings or the price point, dining out for lunch is regaining its momentum thanks to the end(ing) of the recession.
While Sapporo is known for its sushi, teppanyaki and Pacific Rim cuisine, the new lunch menu also includes everything from kobe beef sliders and an Asian BBQ pulled pork sandwich (recipe below) to Pad Thai tacos and a wonton chicken salad.
However, it’s not just about burgers and sandwiches. Restaurants are now offering less processed food, more local ingredients, fresh flavors and gluten-free plates. In this health-conscious day and age, guests are looking for something light and healthy, in addition to being affordable.
Sapporo’s lunchtime sushi offerings have expanded to include bento boxes for guests on the go; some of their most popular sushi rolls at affordable prices; signature rolls, such as the Cougar Roll and Surf & Turf Roll; and a “$5 & Under” sushi menu for those who are dining on a dime. The wide range of sushi offerings, in addition to the noodle and rice bowls, is where guests will find the healthiest eat-out options available at Sapporo.
Some health-friendly facts that sushi novices, and aficionados alike, may not know is:
1. Sushi has omega-3 fats, which protect the nervous system as well as provide vitamin D and proteins.
2. Sushi can lower your cholesterol.
3. Omega-3 fats contained in fish help prevent mental illness and can help maintain your blood sugar levels at a healthy range.
4. All sushi dishes (excluding eel and some fusion-style sushi) are low in saturated fat and high in protein.
So when that lunch bell brings and your stomach is doing its midday growl, remember the keys to dining healthier, smarter and more affordable. Burger King and Panda Express are not the only options; restaurants throughout the Valley are pulling out the stops and providing the freshest fare available to offer guests a more enjoyable lunchtime experience.
Sapporo’s Asian BBQ Pork Sandwich Recipe
WT / MEASURE:
|Pulled Pork Shoulder||4 oz|
|Red peppers, julienne||1 oz|
|Snow peas, julienne||1 oz|
|Red onion, julienne||1 oz|
|Fresh cilantro, chopped||1 T|
|Asian BBQ||2 oz|
|Napa cabbage (julienne)||1.5 oz|
|Pork stock||2 oz|
|Kosher salt / black pepper||to taste|
|Slaw dressing (soy sesame dressing)||2 T|
|Brioche bun||1 each|
|Vegetable oil||½ T|
1. Roast cleaned pork shoulder in 1 gal. pork stock to ½ gal Asian BBQ for 2.5 hours (in oven at 350 F). Remove from oven, remove from liquid, and cool for 1 hour. Pull pork and marinate in additional 2 cups asian BBQ; hold.
2. Cut all veg. for slaw, and hold for service.
3. Saute pork with oil, then add Asian BBQ, continue sauté on medium for 30 seconds.
4. Cut and toast bun, place open faced on large plate, marinated slaw on top, pork on bottom.
5. Serve with fries or salad.