Jack’s 99 Cent Store to Duane Reade: Our Sushi is Cheaper Than Your Sushi!


Dear God,

Hello, it’s me Mamacita. I know I haven’t been the best lamb in your flock these past few years. In fact, I think I ate some of the flock over rice with white sauce recently. Nevertheless, I ask you now to stand beside me and guide me through this fishy situation. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no fish; for thy stomach pump and Immodium A-D are with me.

Last week everybody was talking Duane Reade sushi.  But that is child’s play when compared to this challenge. Yes, I am facing this thing we humans call Jack’s $1.99 sushi rolls. People can talk all they want about it, but it is time someone put their roll where their mouth is. How can such an abomination exist and at such a low price? Such dubious consumables are not meant for this world. I can’t answer such an existential question, I can only follow my destiny: to be the cheap and hungry girl that eats the stuff no sane person would touch. So be it. I’m sailing the ship called Jack’s 99 Cent Store and it’s a one-way ticket to the porcelain gods. So here I go.

frozen fish

When I entered Jack’s refrigerated aisle I noticed a couple things. First was the mind-boggling sight of 20 pounds of frozen fish fillets. You can buy a fillet to take home to cook for only $1.29. That’s about the price of a pack of Twinkies. As I came to the sushi section I saw an older Asian woman picking up container after container, eying them up, then putting them back unimpressed. Well that instills confidence.

sushi 2

Once again, I went all out and got the spicy tuna roll and also the salmon/avocado roll. Really, Midtown Lunch needs to get a health plan. I’m just saying, Lord knows what bacteria I was about to ingest. Two containers of raw discount store sushi came to a grand total of $3.98. A bargain basement deal! I took it back to my secret ML lair and unlike last weeks sushi challenge, there was no use bringing the cat litmus test into this. If he turned his nose up at $9 sushi there’s no way he’ll try the 2 buck up-chuck. Plus there is only room for one Evil Knievel in this household. So it was with pounding heart and trembling chopsticks I dug in.


The avocado in the salmon roll was tainted with little brown specks, denoting an over ripe/going bad fruit. I was surprised that the salmon all in all didn’t look too shabby, but the rice was dry and so was the seaweed wrapper. This was also true of the spicy roll.


There wasn’t really very much tuna in the roll, what was there didn’t look fresh and pink. I ate it anyways. Hell, might as well go out with a bang. The one oddly positive point was that unlike the Duane Reade sushi these rolls had black and golden sesame seeds.

If I were Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto I’d give the Jack’s sushi a minus 5.

So take my advice, don’t try this at home –or anywhere really.

Jack’s 99 Cent Store, 110 West 32nd Street (btw. 6+7th), 212-268-9962‎


  • I would be sucking on limes all day to try and cook that stuff in your stomach. Or as Goats suggested, take a couple shots of hard liquor. Best of luck.

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    i just trew up in my trought

  • For your next trick, I suggest killing a subway rat and grilling it over rice and some white sauce. If you do it and post pics, I’ll put up $50 to defray your medical expenses. I’ll make it $100 if you also land a feral pigeon in the same meal (that’s like 20 trips for $3.98 sushi)! You can call it “city” lamb and chicken combo over rice. What’s next, maybe Zach will start a new website and call it hobo lunch?

  • Right on Ceh! That is a F’ING EXCELLENT IDEA!!! I would put up $250 for anyone to eat Feral Lunch! We can easily sub in the subway rat with one of the Madison Square Park squirrels–I could easily catch one in a trap there if necessary! Pigeons too—or better yet, seagulls! WHO’S ELSE IS GOING TO CHIP IN!!!!! This would be the ultimate Midtown Lunch challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • i thought everything from 99 cents store was 99 cents.lol

  • *this does not mean all things in this store are 99 cents..all prices, however, will contain the number 9 in them.

  • Feral Lunch! Don’t make me start a special thread! OR website!!!! I am in the planning stages already!!!! Streetmeas, I know you’re adventurous–not to mention passionate about food!! How about taking on the feral lunch challenge!

    • Did Goats just call me out on Feral Lunch? I’m passionate about food that will taste good and not break the bank. You know what? You get it cooked properly, killing most of the germs, and I’ll consider eating it. LOL. Don’t skimp on the middle-eastern spices and hot sauce. And I might as well throw in the 99 cents sushi as an appetizer since that might be the tastiest thing of the night? I would prefer not to do it alone though. You’re eating it too, Goats, as presumed! We need more adventurous eaters so the challenge is recognized!

  • It is a well know fact that Goats will eat anything.

    Even inedible things

    including cilantro

  • Of course Streetmeas! I would never leave you hanging. I have presented the idea to other friends of mine to see if I can get a fund going for us! I mean, we should get PAID for this feat of strength!

  • This is what I have in mind so far. After catching and killing the meal—still working on this part– to make it safe for eating, I will Butcher it and then boil it, since you need to thoroughly cook meat to rid it off diseases like rabies (Yes, I spent the afternoon researching this). I will then take the meat and we can refry it using a nice teriyaki marinade. I like Soy Vey personally. We can then add some nice ghost chili sauce, and serve it over rice or maybe some risotto!

    I just need to check on a couple of legalities LOL….

  • Actually,Fred, I am slowly getting over my cilantro hatred. One tiny rotten soap tasting leaf at a time.

  • Wow…looks like i created a monster. Actually, I’m just trying to promote the consumption of *ahem* natural, sustainable, locally-caught wildlife.

    All jokes aside, poaching squirrels/rats/pigeons probably is prohibited by some city ordinance, but I would be surprised if the cops would care if you’re discrete about it and don’t place dangerous traps in places where it could hurt someone.

    In terms of safety, I’m less concerned with bacteria, which can easily be cooked dead, then with the toxins that can accumulate through a lifetime of eating whatever the hell it is that these scavengers eat…

    Oh well…we must persevere in the name of gastronomical science!

  • You are right Ceh, there are some legalities involved! But your post was so inpsiring it kept me occupied all afternoon. I am not giving up yet! MOre research to be done! It is a great idea,a truly inspiring idea, and I’ve designed a shirt called “Feral Lunch” which I hope to wear at the next happy hour!

    Sadly, the people I’ve presented the idea to so far think I’m stark raving mad, but any of you who met me at the last happy hr already know that…

    Streetmeas, I will defintiely keep you updated! I expect us to get paid well if i can pull this challenge together!!!!!!

  • Cool. I like the enthusiasm, Goats. I can’t wait to see how you will make it happen. This challenge sounds like the real deal. We will need sponsors and people who will pay to watch us eat the lunch. Looking forward to the update. Thanks for including me. Haha.

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    Wow – the Place and the Food is awesome. I like the sushi food and always prefer this place and Jack’s sliders.

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