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Sep 28, 2002 09:59 AM

Why so much SUSHI in Northampton??

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What is the story with all of the sushi in Northampton? In this town of 30,000 souls there are 6 (count 'em, SIX) japanese/sushi restaurants! And, there is yet another one scheduled to open above Fire and Water on Main Street soon to make it SEVEN!

I don't get there something I don't know about the insatiable hunger for raw fish with 18-25 year olds?

In the meantime, we have no credible chinese restaurants (all are your basic kung pao chicken spots..) and we have no vietnamese, korean, portugese, spanish, french, latin, or seafood restaurants.

It's getting a little weird out here, chow-wise. Any thoughts?

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  1. I once spent three summers going to school in Northampton with a bunch who darned near lived on sushi. My impression was that Northampton is full of self-involved poseurs and that eating sushi kind of fits the image they like to project. When I went to a restaurant with my classmates I used to have to squelch a mad desire to order a baloney sandwich on Wonder Bread and a glass of red Kool-Aid. Sounds as if Northampton hasn't changed much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: N Tocus

      Ooo-kay...nice generalization, and constructive too -- thanks!!

      To the OP, I would say that Great Wall in Florence goes beyond kung pao chicken (order off the "other" menu). While not *in* Northampton, Go Hyang on Route 9 in Hadley is pretty good Korean.

      "French," I'm not sure really what that is anymore, but for bistro food, Circa and Green Street are good. And it's hard-pressed to find a Portuguese restaurant just about anywhere, although I believe there is something down near Chicopee.

      I am continually whining about the lack of a good seafood restaurant. That would indeed be nice to see. Re sushi, I pretty much only go to Osaka, although for delivery, in a pinch, Teapot is decent.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Because sushi is the food of the gods.

        1. Are the 6 currently open places any good? I'm a huge sushi fan but haven't found a place that I "need" to revisit. I also haven't tried any of the sushi places in the Noho area either, so if there's a standout of the bunch let us know.

          My guess is that since restaurants are *such* risky ventures to begin with that people are going for a type of food that will draw a crowd and, hopefully, keep it. People who love sushi, eat it pretty often when they find a good place.

          Not everyone in NE is an adventurous eater and a Vietnamese, Portugese or even Spanish restaurant might seem, to financial backers, like a far bigger risk if you don't have a known market or customer base.

          1. Also many non-japanese asian restaurant owners will opt to open a sushi place, or offer sushi as part of the menu along with their native cuisine, because japanese food commands a higher price. people will drop 20+ on sushi without a thought, but getting them to pay more than $12 for chinese/thai/korean is tough.