Tag Archives: seafood

Ocean Poke Company to open with week long specials

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
  • Citrus: Tofu Rice Noodles, Albacore, Scallop, Mango Relish, Edamame, Watermelon Radish, Coconut Flake, Citrus-Ponzu 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/

 

Eating my way through Delray Beach, Boca Raton & Boynton Beach.

Some live through stereotypes, some live in stereotypes and from time to time I live in a stereotype. That is the case when I travel to visit family in southeastern Florida towns of Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. Certain aspects feel like a Seinfeld episode when Jerry is visiting his parents in “Del Boca Vistas”. The best times revolve around food and eating out and all that come with the experience. On a recent visit I ate out for most meals in strip mall eateries or dockside by the water and these are my chronicles, see if my experiences sound familiar.

Most were simple meals with family and friends catching up and watching life go by as its high season in south Florida with snow birds, families visiting parents & grandparents and full-time residents.

Shortly after arriving in time for a mid-morning breakfast on the way back from the airport we decided on my aunts favorite greasy spoon, The Green Owl III in Boynton Beach. Breakfast and lunch served with simple staples of eggs, French toast, pancakes and the special of the day, Scrapple. I’m not entirely sure what Scrapple but you don’t see it here in Phoenix very often. I can say the eggs, corned beef hash and slice of French toast is exactly what you’d expect. Not huge portions but good solid breakfast foods with the regulars and an always full & hot cup of coffee with change back from a $10 in most cases. Cash only!

As often as I’ve visited in my 40 something years to this area there’s always a  favorite or 2 on the eating schedule. For dinner we made reservations at the family favorite Banana Boat on the Intercoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach. It was my 1st visit in a long time at this nautical & beach themed restaurant where seafood is good and fresh. The French Onion soup was spot on for bargain price of $6.95 before I stepped out of my seafood comfort zone and went with filet of Macadamia crusted Key West Grouper. The fish was good and flaky and the Orange Rosemary sauce was vibrant and delicious. http://bananaboatboynton.com/

We passed on desert as we headed down to the bustling Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach to Doc’s All American for soft serve ice cream. Doc’s pre-dates any of my visits back to when my aunt grew up in the area and Doc’s was the place to go for food and fun when she was in high school.

I know what you’re saying, where’s the stereotypes and Seinfeld episode in all of this. That picture comes into play when family continues to arrive and we head to Saturday morning breakfast at Poppie’s Restaurant & Delicatessen  in Delray Beach where Miltary Trail meets Linton Blvd. This staple for gossip, big portions and people watching is slowly filing with regulars for morning coffee or after tennis at the club. Walking by the glass encased meats and deli favorites right to our table or booth I don’t remember but you get the drift. I expect Jerry, George and Elaine to coming strolling through the door any second as if they’re visiting Jerry’s parents. http://www.poppiesdelidelray.com/

I went with a platter of eggs, home fries, corned beef hash & a bagel. Big portions tasting the way it should as if we were up in New York deli.

For lunch, plans get made with our hometown friend for our traditional sushi lunch at Lemongrass Asian Bistro www.lemongrassasianbistro.com/  in downtown Boca Raton among the Bentley’s and Rolls Royce’s. This was our first visit to Lemongrass as our previous sushi place a couple blocks away has jumped on the ramen & noodle bandwagon. The sushi was fresh and filing as was it’s presentation. The Summer Roll(Vietnamese spring roll, not sushi) was one of favorites with its mint and shrimp stuffed goodness. Our favorite roll was the Aloha Roll with pineapple and more and my Bento box of sashimi and a “Sex on the Moon” roll was perfect.

During our late lunch I was informed dinner would be of the early bird kind at 4:30 for Chinese food. Up I-95 a few exits back to Delray Beach in a nondescript strip mall is Bird Nest Tree. http://www.birdnesttree.com/

My sister & I must have been the youngest patrons of this (stereo)typical Chinese food restaurant with dim lighting, leather booths and round tables. I opted to skip dinner as the taste of sushi still lingered on my palate and dinner plans with friends in Ft. Lauderdale was only an hour or so away. I did nosh on the large fried wontons on the table and grabbed a taste of Kung Pao chicken before our server scolded me and slapped a “sharing” charge on my families bill. It all looked and smelled like good Chinese food, maybe next visit for a full experience.

That’s not the end of my eating escapades as other meals were had at the country club, in homes of friends and family and at the wedding which brought all of us to Florida, that’s another post in itself. If you find yourself traveling the roads of these parts, these and other restaurants from previous visits make for good eating and people watching.

 

Liberty Station opening in February by owners of Market Street Kitchen

Options are good and the residents of north Scottsdale will have another dining option when Liberty Station opens in February. The new restaurant will be where Scottsdale Rd. meets Carefree Highway and is from Keeler Hospitality Group, owners of Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch.

The menu will be focused on American comfort food with a regional twist including specialties from Boston where the Keeler family is from. Lunch and dinner will be served with Executive Chef Michael Hunn and Chef de Cuisine Dan Watts running the kitchen where they will source local ingredients for much of the menu.

Creekstone Farms will be supplying the meats with much of it being smoked in-house in a custom smoker and will include Texas brisket, Carolina pork shoulder and my favorite, St. Louis spare ribs.

The bar will include classic cocktails, local craft beers and a variety of wines.

“Liberty Station is truly the definition of ‘neighborfood.’ You will enjoy a scratch-made meal that is relatable and incredibly tasty, while greeting friends and neighbors in our very comfortable dining room. We’ll have community tables, a very large bar and two patios. We want our neighbors to become friends at Liberty Station,” said Paul Keeler, President of Keeler Hospitality Group.

Liberty Station will be a place for all to enjoy as their will be vegan and vegetarian options including Vegan gnocchi and a Portobello sandwich on Udi’s bread and over a dozen Gluten-free options. A few of the menu highlights will be….

  • Tavern Mac & Cheese with cheddar cream, bacon breadcrumbs and Pasilla chiles, $10 (shared appetizer).
  • Piggy Wings, grilled pork shank with sticky BBQ sauce, $9 (shared appetizer).
  • Liberty Chopped Salad, with white balsamic dressing, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pepitas, $8
  • Boston Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and celery on a brioche roll, $18 (lunch menu).
  • All American Chicago Hot Dog with mustard, tomato, onion, house relish and sport peppers, $8 (lunch menu).
  • Chopped Brisket Grilled Cheese with smoky cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and a grilled tomato, $12 (lunch menu).
  • New England Clam Boil with Littleneck clams, rock shrimp, new potatoes, corn and hot link sausage, $24 (dinner menu).
  • Kobe Meatloaf with shoestring onions, ketchup vinegar glaze and mashed potatoes, $17 (dinner menu).

Once opened Liberty Station will be serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. nightly. Happy Hour is offered at the bar Monday – Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

 

Ahipoki Bowl coming The Wedge near ASU

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.

Logo courtesy of Ahipoki Bowl
Logo courtesy of Ahipoki Bowl

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.

 

 

 

Cocunut’s Fish Cafe opens in Chandler

Coconuts fa5eb284-0fde-4726-b1d6-60373d6bdb36_mIf 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.
Coconut's Fish Tacos f747922d-08a8-4a7b-98e0-bb71b235a437This 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

New restaurant alert in Tucson….Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo) has opened it’s doors.

Restaurants come and go and in Tucson a new has opened, Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo) www.soho-az.com opened about a month ago. The kitchen is led by Chef Ben Lieberman whom has been leading San Diego’s dining scene at restaurants that include Searsucker and Burlap and has also included stints in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

With creative appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees, SoHo offers lunch, Happy hour and dinner uses high quality meats and seafood for its menu that include a broad selection of sandwiches and burgers. “Each item on our menu has been carefully thought-out and perfected,” said Chef Lieberman. “Our focus is on home cooked food made from scratch. The result is entrées that are reminiscent of traditional comfort food while also celebrating a modern upscale gastro pub approach to food and service.”

Through his experience is various cuisines Lieberman enjoys showcasing the unique flavors that are created by combining ingredients in an innovative way that is perfect for SoHo. Some of those menu items include Crispy Ahi Tuna with apple kimchi, tempura asparagus & soy caramel ($18.00), Social House Extreme Burger with foie gras, fried egg, truffle aioli & provolone ($18.00), Firecracker Duck Drums with spicy hoisin bbq, green onions & sesame seeds ($10.00), Bacon & Eggs with spicy hoisin bbq, pork belly, poached egg, brioche & brown butter hollandaise ($11.00), Spiced Venison Carpaccio with pecorino, fried caper, yoke & truffle aioli ($11.00) and the Blackened Salmon Tataki with roasted sweet corn relish & horseradish whipped cream ($10.00).

To compliment the menu, there are 32 beers on tap and a distinctive wine list has been created.

Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo), 446 North Campbell Avenue Suite 150, in Tucson, AZ is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. (520)747-5223

Lobstah or lobster, know matter how you say it’s all good!

No mater how you say it or prepare it’s usually worth the search

Portuguese Kale soup at The Mayflower in Provincetown

Steamers at The Mayflower in Provincetown

Lobster is the bounty along the New England coast and if you asked 50 people who prepared it the best, you’d get 50 different answers from Maine to Cape Cod. I’ve made my way to my Cape Cod summer retreat where the search always is on for the best seafood taken from the cool waters in the bays from the nearby by the Atlantic. Lobster rolls are king up here, but so is lobster bisque and the Italian Lobster Risotto from the old Italian neighborhood in Boston. Below is some of what I’ve enjoyed in the first few days. I’ve seen lobster rolls priced from $13.99- $20.99 on local menus. Stay tuned for more and follow me @SandyWasserman to see how I’m eating my way thru cape Cod.

Lobster risotto at Dolce Vita in the North End of Boston
Nickersons Fish Market lobster roll in Chatham on Cape Cod.
Lobster sliders at Mason Jar deli in Harwichport on Cape Cod