Fresh Fish Fuji
I have been going to Oxford, AL for over a dozen years, sometimes many times per year, sometimes once per year. A dozen years ago, there wasn't much in Oxford, AL, a town not too far away from Talladega Super Speedway. As a matter of fact, a dozen years ago it was cell phone, motel and food desert. For a decade of travel to Oxford, I had no cell phone service, there wasn't anywhere I know of that had free wifi, there wasn't one restaurant that I could find a fresh vegetable outside of a wilted iceberg lettuce salad, and there wasn't a motel that made me smile. As a matter of fact, I frowned many times at the one motel I stayed, as the various rooms had bug problems like ants, flies, and the last time I frowned it was either an infestation of millipedes or centipedes. That was just gross, but I had no choice, there was no where else to stay that wasn't down wind from the wastewater treatment plant. Oxford, AL was not high on my list of places to roll into. But what a difference a decade makes. There are now multiple motels of name brands that are clean, have wifi, are new and have no bugs to be seen. There is now cell phone service. There is a "big box" strip mall now with a giant target, a book store, clothing stores, etc. which is great if I forgot something and need to buy an item. It is a new Oxford, AL that is actually quite pleasant to visit now.
The big breakthrough is the food available in Oxford now. For a decade, there wasn't one fresh vegetable to be had at any of the restaurants and believe me, after a decade of wonder up and down the 2 main strips, there was virtually nothing. Seafood was all fried. The freshest veggies were French fries. The healthiest meals were either pizza or bbq. For a short period of time, there was a Korean restaurant that closed quickly, and there was a sushi restaurant downtown, but that closed quickly too. Outside of those 2 momentary blips, Oxfords was a food desert. But within the past 2 years or so, Oxford has seen a growth in restaurants including a Mellow Mushroom which as a fresh spinach salad, and Fuji which offers raw fish that is not deep fried.
Fuji is the best sushi Oxford, AL has (it might be the only sushi). Is it the best I had, no, but it is certainly the best I have had in Oxford, AL. The night I went, the fish looked fresh, clean and well cared for. The fish was tender. They had salmon roe, a favorite of mine. When I was done eating, I did not feel weighed down, I did not consume gallons of oil from fried fish, and I felt like I did something decent for my arteries. At my table, there were people who got the teriyaki combo dinners. Again, the food isn't the best I have ever seen, but it is the best that Japanese style food Oxford, AL had. The upswing though is that everyone agreed we did not feel like we just added plaque to our arteries, and that we were not weighed down with fatty foods. Fuji gave us decent calories for fuel for another day without hardening our arteries.
Fuji doesn't have a lot of veggies, just an iceberg lettuce salad and edamame, but at least it is possible to have a meal sans deep fried foods. Reading other's comments on Fuji, I would agree, it is a bit "pricey" for the area. But then again many other Oxford options are of fatty cheap food-desert foods. Fuji is just refreshing to have in Oxford, AL.
Labels: Alabama Eats