Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Aloha Poke Co.

-Grubbing in Chicago
New to the 'Scene'

Well I cant say that I'm surprised with one of the hottest food trends in our country right now. It was me who predicted that Hawaiian would be the nations next big food trend. It was last year while in San Francisco eating at one of the city's hottest restaurants that it occurred to me that Hawaiian food has next. Well I guess I'm somewhat right. While I haven't seen any trucks specializing in loco moco or a stall serving Spam Musabi at one of Chicago's new food halls, there's been plenty of Poke. The Hawaiian snack made with raw fish has taken the nation by storm. In the last few months Chicago has seen different poke shops open up with more coming. Same thing for NYC, Austin, and so on.

Newly Opened in Lakeview

Hawaiian style fish salad has always been a staple for both locals and also visitors to the island but in recent months it's becomes a staple for people in the lower 48. Well for those of us in trendy food cities anyway. When Aloha Poke Co. opened in the French Market there was as many tweets about the line as the product itself. It seemed like every influencer on instagram was sharing pictures of poke out of nowhere. Probably because they were invited to come try it for free but still it was as if I was suddenly following the social media accounts of Hawaii's food people. I wasn't going downtown, searching for parking, and then waiting in a long ass line but when a second location opened up I was there. On my first visit in the evening the Lakeview location of Aloha Poke was packed to the point where the total amount of people waiting for food only increased while there. So we left. I decided to go back the next day during the daytime and was able to walk right in and order an Aloha Bowl.

The "Aloha Bowl"

Aloha Poke Co. allows you to build your own bowl or you can request one of their own. The topping options seemed endless and I didn't want a bowl of toppings with some raw fish on the side so I opted for a specialized bowl. This one consisted of pineapple, cucumber, scallion, jalapeno, and Maui onion sesame vinaigrette. You choose your rice (white or brown) as well as your raw fish (tuna or salmon). As someone who's always loved raw tuna it's easy to like poke. But why the sudden boom? We've been eating sushi for decades. I dont have an answer but Mike Sula over at the Reader may. Check out his piece on the sudden fame of the Hawaiian snack which seems here to stay. Like it or not.

Up Close

Aloha Poke Co.
843 W. Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
No Number Listed

1 comment:

Zach Friedlander said...

Thanks for the review man!


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