By Steve Cook – BURO Editor
I recently interviewed Blue Awning Books owner Marshall Hamilton and he recommended that I visit his favorite sushi restaurant – Roll On Sushi Diner on Burnet Road. I did just that and talked with owner Chip Reed:
BURO: How did Roll On Sushi Diner get started?
REED: Roll On Sushi Diner is a very Austin-inspired concept. My brother and I began conceptualizing the idea about 12 years ago, then we actively worked on it for about 4 years before we finally secured our location on Burnet Road in November of 2010.
Our goal was to present a twist on traditional sushi (even though we do traditional very well!). We wanted to make sushi more accessible, fun and casual. Some people say we ‘Austinized’ sushi, and a portion of our menu contains Austin-inspired rolls.
BURO: Why sushi?
REED: Sushi is a very communal food. When a couple or a group come in, usually everybody gets a separate item – then a lot of sharing goes on. One of the biggest misconceptions about sushi is that it’s all raw fish. Sushi actually really refers to the rice. My brother and I are not tied by traditional boundaries so we start with a rice roll, which to us is a blank canvass – we’re unlimited as to the new items we can create.
BURO: Why Burnet Road?
REED: We looked at many Austin locations for over a year and a half before we settled on Burnet Road. Burnet Road is a growing road, with a lot of buzz and energy behind it, just like Austin.
BURO: What’s your favorite menu item?
REED: It’s actually an off-menu item called the Super Grouch. The regular Grouch is sushi rice with a soy wrapper. Inside that is roasted chicken, roasted poblanos, caramelized onions, arugula and jack cheese served with a chipoltle aioli sauce. The Super Grouch kicks it up a bit – we add our house-made guacamole and bacon. It’s quite tasty!
BURO: If the Super Grouch is off menu, can BURO fans still order it?
REED: Absolutely! Just tell us you heard about the Super Grouch on BURO and we’ll make one for you!
Roll On Sushi Diner
5350 Burnet Road #2
Austin, TX 78756