CHEAP EATS: Grab sushi from Oyako
Areader recently called to tell me about a new sushi restaurant - Oyako - that opened in Springettsbury Township.
Deb Volker wanted to help spread the word about the new business because of her experience there. She especially likes its food, prices and proximity to her home near Wrightsville. Before Oyako opened in June, Volker would drive to Masa in West Manchester Township for sushi.
But she also likes the owners, who she described as gracious and friendly.
"I have a heart for people who are really working to make a life for themselves," she said.
Volker said the owners weren't very confident in their English, so she wanted to reach out for them. I thought that was really nice of her, and I appreciated the gesture.
Sometimes, language becomes a barrier when I seek businesses to cover for Cheap Eats because I interview the owners and ask permission to take photos. It's hard to explain over the phone. Sometimes the owners aren't there, and the message gets lost. But I want to start working around that more to ensure that Cheap Eats features more diversity.
I stopped by Oyako on
a Tuesday afternoon. The
restaurant is tucked away in the Stony Brook Shopping Center. It's easy to miss.
Inside, Asian screens separated the entrance from the front of the restaurant. Red-cushioned booths lined light blue walls. Red paper lanterns hung around the sushi bar, manned by co-owner Andy Li.
I ordered a house salad with ginger dressing and a tropical inferno roll - shrimp, smoked salmon, mango and scallion topped with avocado and tobiko.
The ginger dressing tasted sweet and had a stronger hint of soy than other varieties I've had.
The sushi roll looked beautiful, with avocado slices wrapped around the rice and red fish eggs and orange spicy mayo dotted on top.
I love the presentation - almost as much as the taste - when dining out for sushi. I knew the tropical inferno would be good because my boyfriend, Dan, often orders it from another restaurant we go to.
After lunch, I sat down with co-owner Susan Lin, Li's wife, to talk about Oyako.
The couple, who moved to the U.S. from China in the '90s, worked at a sushi restaurant in Harrisburg for eight years before opening their own business.
Lin said they like to eat sushi, and Li learned how to prepare Japanese food after coming to America.
She said business has been somewhat slow because many people don't know it's there.
To attract more customers, Lin and Li started offering an all-you-can-eat sushi special for $18.95 on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Lin said customers can order any roll from the menu and that some patrons come more than once a week for the special.
Sometimes, they tell Li to surprise them with a roll of his choice.
Oyako also has a Christmas Eve special: soup or salad, one cold or hot appetizer, two special rolls and dessert for $19.95.
Lin said the specials have caused business to pick up.
It's difficult enough to start a small business. I can only imagine how much harder it would be to promote one's business through a language barrier.
Fortunately, appreciation for food and hard work are universal.
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants, aiming to please our palates and our wallets. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 717-771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org, @leighzaleski.
Read more Cheap Eats profiles. If you go
LOCATION: 3619 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township
LEIGH'S PICK: House salad and a tropical inferno roll ($12.95)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to
9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $1.75 to $20.95
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
KID'S MENU: No