Soul Food for Dainty Eaters: Miya’s Hot-Headed Cowgirl

The Hot-Headed Cowgirl roll at Miya's.

Food reviews about Miya’s tend to have common themes. One such trope goes something like “yeah, it’s totally great that you can get some healthy brown rice and pieces of vegetable for three bucks, but no one likes those ‘weird rolls.’” These seemingly unnatural, not quite-sushi dishes get a lot of hate from those turned off by their strange ingredients, confusing locations in the menu, and prices.

So it’s time for me to come out and express my unabashed love for one of the strangest of the strange: the Hot-Headed Cowgirl. The obvious advantage of this roll is that it is the vegetarian version of the Kwanzaa Bananzaa, which as the Miya’s menu cautions, you must be African-American to order. The waiters will actually try to hold you to this. Last night, after my white friend tried to order the roll, the waiter suggested that I order it for him since I was the darkest-skinned at the table. But anyone can order the Hot-Headed Cowgirl, even if it was designed for “strong women who like to ride bulls.”

The roll is filled with cucumber, avocado, cream cheese, papaya, burdock and hot peppers. The sushi staples cucumber and avocado provide a blank palate on which the sweet papaya and burdock interact with the spicy peppers and salty cream cheese for a delicious flavorful explosion. Think of it as a more refined cream cheese and jelly sandwich with a little kick. The dense avocado and cream cheese, moreover, make the roll heavy enough to fill you up without the flavor being too rich.

The roll’s crowning jewel is its coconut-studded rim, which adds the extra dash of sugar necessary to make this an overall sweet tasting roll. I would pair it with a spicier roll (the Spicy Eggplant and Mt. Fuji being two of my favorites) and one of Miya’s many spicy beverages (like Bonobo Juice). Alternatively, you could just get a few bowls of Miya’s classic and cheap spicy miso. Either way, this is one roll that all of you with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss.

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