It's been somewhat of a Christmas time tradition for Cindy and I to go out for sushi and then take in a movie on Christmas Eve. Later this week will probably no exception as there's a couple movies I would like to see and there's some pretty good sushi in the area. One place that we like going to from time to time is a newer sushi place about a mile from where we live - Red Ginger.
Red Ginger opened up in the summer of 2010 and we've been there about four or five times since it opened up. It's housed in a small strip mall on the spot where Duck Creek Tire used to be before they moved further out in Bettendorf, behind Bruegger's Bagels and right across the parking lot from the Burlington Coat Factory store (see map).
The interior decor of Red Ginger is a very contemporary theme with a nice bar area, a medium-sized dining room and a couple sunken booth tables off to the side for somewhat authentic Japanese dining. (They even ask you to take your shoes off when dining.)
We like to sit at the sushi bar when we go to Red Ginger. It only seats six or seven people and it can get kind of crowded if it's full. But one of the good things about the sushi bar is that the sushi chefs will give you a treat right off the bat. This particular night, we both got an appetizer that consisted of broiled eel strips topped with a tangy sauce, some bamboo chutes and parsley. It was actually pretty good.
The menu at Red Ginger is just more than sushi. You can get teriyaki and tempura dishes, chicken or pork tonkatsu (cutlets that are deep fried), as well as soups and salads. Cindy especially likes the miso soup at Red Ginger. Not that it's much different from anyplace else, she likes the taste of it.
They have a number of specialty rolls at Red Ginger including their Crazy Tuna rolls. They take spicy tuna, and avacado and other things and roll them all together, then top them off with some more spicy tuna and breaded crunchies (foreground, picture below left). Oh, boy, is it good. It's expensive ($12.75), but it's a wonderful treat when we go there. We started off with a Crazy Tuna roll as well as a Spicy Tuna roll. The Spicy Tuna roll is actually a pretty good value at $4.75. Most other sushi places charge upward of $6 to $7 bucks for a similar sushi roll.
We also ordered up pieces of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, smoked salmon and red snapper sushi (above right). The fish has always been fresh tasting at Red Ginger and this visit was absolutely no exception. I especially love the smoked salmon at Red Ginger. It literally melts in your mouth and has a great taste to the fish. Sometimes, I'll find yellowtail to be a little fishy in taste from some sushi places, but I've never run into that with the yellowtail at Red Ginger. Along with a couple of Asahi beers for me and green tea for Cindy, it's a great meal. But at $1.99 to $2.50 a piece, it adds up quick.
Because of the price of sushi - and the fact that we usually pig out when do eat sushi - we don't go to Red Ginger as often as I'd like. It's usually a $75 dollar bill with tip each time we go out for sushi, so our sushi adventures are few and far between. But they do have a very reasonably priced lunch menu where you can get four pieces of sushi, six pieces of sashimi (sushi with no rice) and a chef's choice roll for $11.95. Red Ginger has been a wonderful addition to the rotation of restaurants we like to go to in the Quad Cities. And we're happy that it's close to home.