UMI Columbus Review

My wife and I went out on a date to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary and we decided we wanted sushi. A place that we had been many times before is a place called UMI.  I do, however need to give a little backstory about this place and were it all started at UMI for us.

Earlier in our marriage we lived in a little city called Columbus, Mississippi and we were distraught that there were no good sushi places there. We looked up on the internet a small sushi place in Starkville, called UMI. It was located in a small lot in a strip mall. We weren't sure at the time how it would be. When we arrived we were escorted in to our own little room. In fact, here is a picture of me looking at the sushi menu:

It was Christmas Eve, so it wasn't very busy, and the owner spent a lot of time with us. In fact, he let us try some sushi he had been working on. We ordered, and all the sushi was wonderful. The only thing that made us sad that night was that Starkville was a little but of a distance away for sushi. It was great.

Fast forward about seven years later. Now UMI has grown in Starkville, and now has its own restaurant in Columbus! It is a full restaurant with dining tables and  hibachi tables as well.

As many times as we have been there, I thought I would share a review of the restaurant.

1. The atmosphere: The atmosphere resembles any typical Asian flare restaurant that has hibachi and dinner tables. The restaurant was acceptably clean and the designs were nice. There were flat screen TVs located at every corner of the restaurant for those interested in sports. The hibachi areas were located on opposite side of the dinner tables so there is not much distraction when eating at a normal table. Since we were eating just sushi, we sat at a regular table. The atmosphere was quite good, and it was a very happening place, due to a large amount of people coming in and out of the restaurant.

2. The service: The service was average to above average. We did have to wait just a few minutes after ordering our drinks, but it was not overly long. We noticed our waitress had a whole section so we knew she was busy.

3. The food: The food was excellent.  We started out by ordering the vegetable tempura, which is coated and fried mushrooms, sweet potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and onion. It was a great starter before our main meal.

Our main meal was sushi, and UMI delivered. They brought out a very decorative plate of assorment of sushi, and also had a blinking light in the middle!  Here is a picture of our dish:

Here are the rolls we received: Philly Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Dynamite Roll, Volcano Roll, and Orange Dragon Roll. Every one of the rolls were great. What made the rolls even better was the YumYum sauce that is provided at every table to dip your sushi in. 

What was my favorite? Probably the Volcano Roll. It was cream cheese and tempura shrimp stuffed sushi with spicy crab salad on top. I believe they put panko on top of the crab salad and bake it. It was phenomenal. My least favorite? Probably the Dynamite Roll. I have eaten other dynamite rolls that have been better. Plus dynamite rolls at every Japanese steakhouse seem to be different.

4. Price: The price was very reasonable. Some of the rolls were only 5 dollars a piece. Only one was more expensive. However it was the most tasty. 

5. Overall: A great place for a family, a date, a business meeting, or whatever reason you can make up to come. It has great food, good service and its not too loud to have good conversation. They also have the hibachi, which is entertaining as well. If  you are ever in Starkville or Columbus, Mississippi, try this place out!


1721 Highway 45 N STE 1
Columbus, MS 39705
Mon-Thu: 11:00am-2:30pm
4:30 pm-10:00 pm
Fri: 11:00am-2:30pm
Sat-Sun: 11:00am-10:30pm
(662) 570-4769

315 Highway 12 West
Starkville, MS 39759

Mon-Thu: 11:00am-2:30pm
4:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri: 11:00am-2:30pm
Sat-Sun: 11:00am-10:30pm
(662) 323-5258


San Angel Inn-Epcot-Review

We made reservations a long time in advance to eat at San Angel Inn, a Mexican restaurant located in Epcot. I made this reservation in advance due to the fact that I had probably the best Mexican dish I ever ate there. Period. I built this story up in my head. It was going to be great. I can remember the dish: A duck stuffed poblano with pine nuts, almonds, and cranberries in a sweet sauce. Yum! So after I made the reservation I decided to check out their menu to see if anything was new. I noticed something. The stuffed poblano with duck was no longer there. No worries, they had a similar dish that was stuffed with pork. So here is my thoughts of San Angel Inn since I visited last:

1. The atmosphere: The atmosphere is made to resemble a Mexican cantina. It has a temple in the background with a volcano next to it. There is a boat river-ride that goes right through the restaurant. You will notice it is very dark in the restaurant. Almost too dark. I could see my food, but it was difficult due to lighting.  

Another thing I noticed about the restaurant was it was loud. Very loud. If one hopes to have a quiet, romantic evening here, it probably won't happen.  This is probably because the gift shop is right above the restaurant, where Epcot travelers come in and shop.

2. The service: The service for the restaurant was about par-level. It was nothing stellar, but nothing mediocre. He took our orders, and brought out our food. They didn't go out of their way for exceptional service.

3. The food: I will have to say the food was a disappointment for me. I ordered a Chile Relleno, which was a poblano pepper stuffed with pork, pine nuts, and almonds, topped with roasted tomato sauce:

It was decent. For the price of almost $30 per plate, it did not live up to the standards that I once held this restaurant. The pork was very bland, like it had been boiled in salt water. It was also very limited on the pine nuts and almonds, and there was no sweetness to balance the plate.  While this did not taste bad, I know here in my hometown I can get a stuffed poblano for 6 bucks that is just as good or better than this one.

This was an expensive decent meal in a loud atmosphere. At one time my most cherished dish was at this restaurant, but it is no longer on the menu. I hope the best for the restaurant in the future, but as for now it is not as good as it once was.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival-Impressions

 I had a great opportunity to attend the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World in Florida recently. The festival included vibrant topiaries with character sculptures, garden destinations, and outdoor kitchens. I didn't get to observe the entire festival, because it is an event you would probably want to spend a couple of days experiencing. Here are a few things I observed during the visit:

Butterfly Exhibit

I was able to observe Butterflies on the Go, that had many different varieties of butterflies.   



Throughout the park, where were many decorative flowers,caricatures and gardens. It was a beautiful display of art that was created by world class horticulturists.   


 My favorite part! I was not able to try everything there, but I was able to try a few different things here are a few:



Urban Farm Eats


Watermelon Salad with pickled onions, baby arugula, feta and balsamic reduction.

This plate was a very cool and refreshing plate, that blended quite nicely.














Cider House

Pear cider-brined shredded corned beef with braised cabbage and pears and Branston dressing
This was probably my least favorite dish that I tried. However, it was not a terrible taste, just one that someone would need to acquire.

House-made potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
Probably my favorite of all the dishes I tried. The biscuit was amazing, and the smoked salmon and the crema was fantastic.

Fleur De Lys


Macaron Chocolat Framboise-Large raspberry macaron with chocolate fudge and raspberry jam
 A heavenly french dessert that was not too sweet. The jam was a sweet surprise in the middle.



Florida Fresh

Non-alcoholic watermelon cucumber slush
Cool, crisp, and refreshing. I did not know you could ever mix watermelon and cucumber! Will have to make a copy-cat at home!



Taste of Marrakesh

Harissa chicken kebab with sweet couscous salad

Spicy chicken with cool couscous, it was great! The combination is what made the dish.



La Isla Fresca


Jerk chicken with mango salsa,chayote and green papaya slaw with lime-cilantro vinaigrette
A great finish. I love anything mango and papaya. I also had a non-alcoholic frozen Simply Tropical Juice drink to go with it.




It was a great visual and culinary experience. Not all of the food was perfect, but I didn't expect it to be.  I will, however try to create some of the recipes I have tried. This is me doing my Epcot happy dance:


 I enjoyed the experience, but I believe I enjoyed it more because we were able to experience it as a family.