When I walked into Blue Ash’s new Rising Roll (4122 Hunt Road, 513-793-7655) an hour and a half after I’d called my lunch order in, I didn’t expect to feel like I was walking into a relative’s house. But I did. “There’s our mystery girl!” the woman sweeping the floor said. “We were worried about you, thought you’d been in an accident.”
As the friendly man at the counter rang up my food, he said, “Did you see that I tried to call your cell phone? I’m glad you’re OK!”
He handed me my Big Island Tuna Salad ($7.29) and Original Veggie ($6.79) and asked me if everything was OK. I answered yes, suddenly feeling like I should pull up a chair, stay a while and talk about my troubles. But instead, I bolted out the door with my food.
CityBeat rarely reviews chain restaurants, but Rising Roll has such a great reputation we made an exception. (We did for Fatburger as well.) And I’m glad we did. This place certainly doesn’t have the coldness of some chains — it’s friendly, if not friendlier, than a few locally-owned places I know.
As for the food, I wasn’t disappointed. The Original Veggie was original; instead of hummus or pesto, Rising Roll uses guacamole for the lively concoction of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted red peppers and provolone. The guacamole was very mild and perfect with a touch of mayo. The Asiago Basil bread added a touch of herb, which was nice, and the potato salad had a delicate creaminess but wasn’t too heavy on the mayo. (Bread options include Multi-Grain, Sourdough, Soft Whole White Wheat, Sun Dried Tomato Wrap and Croissant.)
For dinner that night, I had the Big Island Tuna (all white meat albacore with chopped hickory-smoked bacon, dried cranberries and chopped pecans). I’m not usually a bacon girl, but I went for it. I’m not usually a tuna girl either, but I’m trying to increase my Omega-3’s these days. I was a bit disappointed. The tuna didn’t taste fresh, but the cranberries, pecans and bacon were a smashing addition. The lightly herbed pasta salad worked nice as a healthy side.
If I lived or worked in Blue Ash, I’d be at Rising Roll every day for lunch. With options like Firecracker Chicken (marinated fresh grilled chicken breast topped with roasted red peppers spicy pepper jack cheese and firecracker sauce) and The New Yorker (with fresh, hot, corned beef coleslaw and Gulden’s Spicy Brown mustard), it’s hard to resist. Luckily, you don’t have to, because they offer so many healthy options.
CONTACT HEATHER SMITH: [email protected]