It seems like Poke, the Hawaiian raw fish salad, is the biggest food craze of 2017 much like the FroYo was a few years back. It seems like every other week there is a new Poke restaurant or location opening around Phoenix and the week of March 27th is no different. Ocean Poke Company opens along the popular restaurant row of Indian School Road in Phoenix.
The fast casual Ocean Poke Company offers fresh “poke bowls” with vegetables, grains, noodles, fruits, sauces and proteins which are healthful and energizing. During the week-long celebration many daily specials will be available.
“Our options are a little different—we wanted to feature both signature bowl ideas for poke fans who want to make it easy—and customizable options with more variations for those who really want to create their ultimate bowl,” said Ocean Poke Co. Co-Founder Chad Ahrendt.
The 7 signature bowls are offered with 2 protein scoops for $10 and 3 protein scoops for $12 and include
OPC: White Rice, Tuna, Salmon, Cucumber, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Wasabi, Green Onion, OPC Sauce
Cali: White Rice, Imitation Crab, Cucumber, Avocado, Green Onion, Pickled Ginger, Wasabi, Sesame Seeds, Spicy Mayo
Kim Chi: Tofu Noodles, Albacore, Shrimp, Kimchi, Daikon Sprouts, Pickled Red Onion, Green Onion, Masago, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
Heat Check: White Rice, Spicy Tuna, Cucumber, Jalapeno, Wasabi, Green Onion, Daikon Sprouts, Chile Flakes, OPC Spicy Sauce
Go Hawaiian: Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Edamame, Green Onion, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
Go Green:Quinoa, Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Green Onion, Avocado, Daikon Sprouts, Edamame, Pickled Red Onion, OPC Sauce
Ocean Poke Co. is the brainchild of 4 successful entrepreneurs & Phoenix natives Chad Ahrendt, Chris Mercato, Charles Richardson and Brian Delia who bring many years of combined experience to the company. “We have managed many businesses in the natural health industry, and I know this will help impact Ocean Poke Co. for the positive,” said Richardson.
Below is the schedule of daily specials.
March 27 & 28: 50% off your bowl
March 29 & 30: Buy one bowl, get one free (equal or lesser value)
March 31: A percentage of proceeds will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital
April 1: Free Cali Bowl or $8 off any other bowl, 11 am – 1 pm
Ocean Poke Company is at 3619 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018 and hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Sun-Thursday) and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. http://www.oceanpokeco.com/
Locally owned Ahipoki Bowl has announced its 3rd location to be across from ASU at the new Wedge building on Rural Rd. between Apache & University. They are hoping for a March 2017 opening.
Ahipoki Bowl at The wedge
The Wedge had been a well-known bookstore but is being converted to take better advantage of car and foot traffic along Rural Rd. to serve the area with other amenities. According to co-owner Jason Janzen ” The campus at ASU has been on our radar since day one, Ahipoki Bowl has a massive appeal to health conscious millennials and we expect this new location to be our busiest location to date and a launching point for our upcoming beer and wine program roll-out”
What is Poke?
Poke is native to Hawaii dish and is made from sushi grade fish including Ahi tuna, salmon and shrimp and garnished with vegetables and exciting toppings such as seaweed salad and is served over a bowl of rice.
Ahipoki Bowl will be at 1015 S. Rural Rd. Tempe 85281 & more information can be found at www.ahipokibowl.com Other locations are in Scottsdale and Chandler with 4 more in southern California.
If you love to eat fresh fish in the southeast valley get excited as Coconut’s Fish Cafe has opened in Chandler at the southwest corner of Alma School & Ocotillo Rds.
Coconut’s is know for their fresh fish tacos that include Mahi Mahi & Ono, grilled fish burgers, seafood pasta, the well known “Taco Mountain” and other healthy options. Diners can eat on the patio or inside among the Hawaiian and beach decor. This is the 3rd location from local owner Kim Kuhljuergen, who after visiting the original Coconut’s in Maui in 2010 opened his 1st Coconut’s in 2013 in north Scottsdale. Why Chandler, according to Kuhljuergen “We have had people driving to enjoy our food from the East Valley for years—we are delighted to give them an option in Chandler.” The 2nd location in Scottsdale is at Scottsdale Rd. & Shea Blvd. with others planned around Phoenix in the next few years.
Coconut’s has been featured in Travel + Leisure magazine as “Best Place to Eat Like a Local” and has garnered other national recognition including a near perfect score from Zagats since founder Mike Phillips opened in 2009.
Coconut’s Chandler will be open 7 days a week from 11am-9pm. www.coconutsfishcafe.com
Whether you’re heading down to scuba dive, check on your money or warm up from the winter blues Grand Cayman Island has its variety of dining for everybody. Considered by many to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean (say that a few times after a few Pina Coladas), Grand Cayman is a rather small island in the western Caribbean Sea with several influences native to island or imported. The majority of the dining scene is on the western side of the island near George Town, but throughout the island you’ll find several other restaurants (in some cases barely that) frequented by locals which is the best way to taste the flavor of the island and the region. This is exactly what we did on a recent visit.
Surrounded by turquoise blue water, you’d be correct if you guessed that a lot of seafood is being served along with “jerk” food. “Jerk” is a mildly spicy seasoning found throughout parts of the Caribbean including Jamaica and Grand Cayman. The use of cloves gives it a distinctive flavor than most other spicy seasoning and it’s most commonly found on chicken and pork.
After getting some recommendations from hotel employees and checking local guide books we made our way to RankinsJerk on Shamrock Rd. on the border of Bodden Town and Lower Valley. No big menu at this walk up restaurant just a few daily specials and couple of staples that include Jerk chicken($8), Jerk pork ($10) both w/ red beans and rice and small salad which were very tasty as was the Mahi Mahi filet and the chicken soup. We knew it would be good as we walked in to the minimal looking dining room to await our food, which was packed with locals eating lunch. So quiet you could hear a pin drop. It was also one of the few places I saw goat on the menu but decided to pass.
If you’re craving kangaroo or crocodile Make your way to the Gun Bay area of the Eastern Districts to Tukkawww.tukka.ky where Chef Ron who hails from the Queensland area of Australia will introduce you to Australian food with a Caribbean flare at his beach side restaurant. With an extensive menu we were there for his Walkabout Wednesday tasting menu which included 3 courses for $40 C.I plus gratuity. Crocodile and Conch Fritter, Breaded Brie and a Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls were the 1st course followed by a choice of pan seared Barramundi, Grilled Mahi Mahi and Prawn Skewer, Mixed Grill Brochette consisting of lobster, shrimp, chicken and lamb cutlet or Angus beef filet and Kangaroo sausage. All the food presented tasted great and the presentation was the best we’d seen on the island. The Date & Walnut pudding w/ Butterscotch sauce was my choice for dessert delicious and had me wanting to lick my bowl. This was by far the fanciest restaurant of our visit.
If you make it to the North Side be sure to visit Over the Edge Restaurantwww.over-theedge.com over looking Old Man Bay. With a variety of sandwiches, salads and main courses served in a nautical setting this was the restaurant we kept saying we had to get to and finally did for our next to last lunch. With a nice variety of fish that included Snapper, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Codfish and Lobster just to name I few. I went with the Fish & Fries (fish n chips). This was not your battered and fried fish that I was expecting but a seasoned and breaded then pan-fried filets which was a pleasant surprise. It was also the only place I noticed turtle steaks on the menu for those that crave it. Also be sure to ask for the jar of pickled peppers if you want to add a spicy kick to your meal.
If you find yourself hungry in George Town or along Seven Mile Beach and want to avoid the touristy places you can watch the waves rolling in at The Royal Palms Beach Clubwww.royalpalmscayman.com Part beach club, part patio restaurant this was slightly more mainstream with burgers, pizzas, salads and sandwiches. I went with the Mahi Mahi sandwich ($10.50 C.I.) with the Jerk mayo which was very good.
We also ate a couple of good meals where we stayed at the Morritt’s Grand Resort on the northeast corner of the island at Colliers Point. At David’s Restaurantthe seafood risotto and coconut shrimp salad were winners.
Other good choices we visited was the Wreck Bar and Grill at Rum Point www.rumpointclub.com for eating at picnic tables and under the palm trees after a visit to Sting Ray City. On one visit I went with the Traditional Style Jerk Pork ($11 C.I.) which was a generous portion
of pork along with red beans and rice, corn on the cob and coleslaw. For my final meal of our trip we returned I had the Jerk Chicken Wrap off the special board which was very flavorful. Definitely the most kicked back place of our visit with its hammocks and clear blue water to stare into.
A few other places were recommended to us that we could not get to were Chester’s Fish Fry in Bodden Town, South Coast Bar & Grill on the water by Frank Sound and Vivine’s Kitchen in Gun Bay that looked like someones home and identified by a sign hanging on a street side mailbox. All of these were in the Eastern Districts part of the island.
The Cayman Islands have their own currency (C.I.), some places quote both C.I. & U.S. dollar prices & U.S. prices are 20% higher due to the exchange rate and any change given from U.S. dollars is given in C.I.
So whatever your reason for visiting Grand Cayman Island be rest assured you won’t go hungry and if you take these recommendations and others from the locals you should be leaving very satisfied and a few pounds heavier.