Poke Doke STL – West Coast poke bowls comes to the Midwest

Located in the Central West End neighborhood in St. Louis a bit of Hawaii has come to town. St. Louis is traditionally slow when it comes to embracing popular food trends. Poke Doke has brought Hawaiian style poke bowls to town. The local owners have long craved for poke and had to go to the West Coast to get their cravings, so when the idea came they decided to bring the poke experience to St. Louis.

Much like Chipotle or Qdoba, you start at one end of the counter choosing proteins and toppings and work your way to the cashier. Everything is put into steps to help streamline the procedures in building your own bowl. The menu has instructions for choosing the sizes from small to large. Step one the amount of scoops of proteins that you want with small being 2 scoops ($8.00), regular being 3 scoops ($10.00), and large being 4 scoops ($12.00) with each addition scoop at $2.00). Then there is base i.e. brown rice or white rice and even salad and soba noodles. Then step two choose your poke, which is salmon, ahi-tuna, spicy tuna, octopus, shrimp, or tofu.

Note: Some of the of the poke may not be available on the menu certain days because of delivery schedules for the fish as Poke Doke strives in using only fresh fish.

Step three, the toppings don’t cost extra except for avocado ($1.00 extra). You can choose from a wide variety of toppings to top off your poke, such as crab-meat, mango, seaweed salad, masago, green onions, ginger, wasabi, etc. Then after a little dash of their special poke sauce you can then choose from a range of sauces to top that bowl off. The sauces are spicy mayo, wasabi mayo, and eel sauce.

Since the owners of Poke Doke also run a Chinese restaurant (Hot Wok Cafe) they decided to add a few items from there on an A-la carte menu, which has Chinese restaurant staples like crab rangoons to pot stickers.

At Poke Doke you’ll never run out of ideas on how to configure your own bowl.

I went in the evening, and there was still quite a bit of a crowd. I ordered the three scoop poke bowl with the proteins being salmon, ahi-tuna, and spicy tuna. One thing I noticed, and I hope they change is that they are quite stingy on the meats. I saw the the staff scoop the fish (they use a small ice cream scooper) and it was only half full in the scoop. So essentially, 3 scoops of proteins may actually be only be 2 scoops. This may have just been me, but still even in the late evening they still have enough fish for the next day if they didn’t toss it out, why not scoop a little bit more meat? Maybe next time!

So, how is it? Despite not being too generous with the scoops of the meats, you can really top it off with the toppings instead. I had the crab-meat, green onions, mango, seaweed salad and had it topped off with wasabi mayo and some sesame seasoning. How does it taste? I have to say that it was very flavorful and tasty. Again, you’ll never run out of ideas to configure your bowl. I hope Poke Doke does well, as it brings something unique to the St. Louis area, and its run by a local.

I recommend it to anyone in the CWE area to check it out!

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