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Poke’ Cafe’ in Dunedin could use some changes

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This past weekend I visited Poke’ Cafe’ in Dunedin with a family member for a bite to eat. I hadn’t enjoyed a sushi burrito since I visited I’a Poke in San Francisco. Indeed, I have grown accustomed to avoiding poke or sushi burritos in Tampa because of the sheer lack of effort people seem to put into the product.

Poke’ Cafe’ definitely gave me the impression that it is trying to be a stand up poke restaurant, but overall it wasn’t to my taste. It bills itself as a “fast food concept to ensure super fast service and the lowest price possible”. Poke is sold by the pound. Prices range from $ 7.50 for 1 scoop to $ 13.50 for 3 scoops.

pokecafe2

They offer a ton of options for fish and the menu seems to tilt toward Korean-inspired flavors and dishes. I wanted to try the sushi burrito which they call a “poke burrito” so I went ahead and ordered it.

It comes with two scoops of “poke, rice or noodles, kale, avocado, kimchi, scallions, crunchies, togarachi, choice of sauces and non-premium toppings. With a side of pineapple-mango salsa.

Available toppings include scallions, togarachi, wasabi Peas, masago, sesame seeds, wasabi, roasted peanuts, jalapenos, crunchies, crispy garlic & onions, house pickled ginger, cucumber salad, roasted pineapple-mango salsa, shaved coconut, radishes, tomatoes, seaweed salad, edamame, avocado, house-made kimchi, and roasted shittake mushrooms. Some toppings cost extra.

I took the sushi burrito or “poke burrito” ($ 10.50) as is. It is a little strange because they use a tortilla and then put the seaweed inside and wrap the sushi burrito twice.

pokecafe1

The tortilla was cold and didn’t really have any flavor to it. Being Hispanic I will judge the tortilla more harsh than an average American probably would. I understand the tortilla from a control point of view (sushi burritos are messy), but adding an extra layer between the fish takes away from the flavor and didn’t end up helping my experience.

pokecafe4

The fish was good, but I found the toppings included in the burrito to be both detracting in flavor and also lacking in appeal. The rice didn’t really leave anything worth writing home about.

The kimchi was by far the biggest detractor and heavily overpowered everything else in the burrito – it also was not to my liking in flavor and was neither spicy nor flavorful. Their spicy mayo uses gochujang which is Korean spicy paste and it also underwhelmed and left a strange aftertaste.

Overall, I don’t think Korean ingredients taste particularly good with fish (unless we’re talking octopus) and would be better with meat items such as beef or chicken. The eel sauce didn’t really taste great either, which was kinda surprising because normally eel sauce is a major plus on sushi dishes.

The pineapple-mango salsa was also a bust.

The restaurant outside says “It’s better than sushi”, but I think some elements of sushi would be particularly good with these dishes and should be incorporated better.

My overall impression was that they have a good idea and the fish was good, but they could fine-tune the toppings and sauces. I would also ditch the tortilla in the burrito and recommend building your own bowl or burrito.

The staff was really friendly, seemed like a family-run business, and overall I had a decent lunch. Service was definitely a plus. I still am not sure if I would visit again though.


Restaurant Name: Poke’ Cafe’
Neighborhood: Dunedin
Cuisine: Poke, Sushi Burrito
Address: 1140 Main Street Dunedin, Florida 34698
Phone Number: (727) 871-7653


Carlos Eats

August 30, 2017 |

One-way streets a cure-all for Clearwater Beach? Maybe not, some say

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The 4th of July weekend is here and so are the crowds along Clearwater Beach.

  • Clearwater city council to vote on one-way streets proposal in August
  • Proposal would make Coronado Drive and Hamden Drive one way streets
  • Some beach residents do not like the idea

As those tourists and regulars flock to the award-winning beach the city streets will get jammed.

But city officials have a proposed plan that they say could help alleviate the congestion.  

The city is revisiting an old plan to clear up traffic congestion on the south end of the beach: One-way streets.

City officials have a proposed plan that they say could help alleviate the congestion. The idea proposed would make Coronado Drive and Hamden Drive one way streets.

This is not the first time city officials have discussed this plan. The idea of making two majord roads on the beach one way first came up in 2009. It wasn’t well-received then and is not overwhelmingly popular now.

"It’s bad during spring break," said beach resident Janet Keyes. "It’s bad during a holiday weekend, but other than that we don’t have a problem. We just deal with it."

City officials want to make it easier to deal with it.

The idea proposed would make Coronado Drive and Hamden Drive one way streets.

City transportation officials say the one-way streets would alleviate congestion and make it safer for pedestrians.

Not everyone is on board.

"Traffic and parking, we’re fighting for every grain of sand," said beach resident Nan Shore. "Yeah, that’s what happens when you build seven hotels in one year."

City officials said they are working with residents and are aware many aren’t happy with the one-way proposal.

Some residents have said changing the streets to one-ways would intrude on the buffer are near their homes.

Transportation officials said more residents may get on board with the proposal after this busy weekend.

Clearwater city council members will vote on the Coronado and Hamden street proposals on Aug. 4.

Bay News 9 – local-news

July 1, 2016 |

Weather forecast: Some showers overnight into Monday

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Here’s what you need to know about the Bay area weather heading into Monday:

  • Some marine showers, storms in the Gulf
  • Monday morning muggy, light winds
  • Highest chances of rain shift inland in afternoon

Monday morning will be a typically humid and muggy one with lows in the mid 70s north to around 80 near the coast. Through the early morning there may be some marine showers and storms in the Gulf. A few showers will be possible developing onshore by daybreak.

Throughout Monday the winds will stay light, which will allow for a sea breeze to develop along both the west and east coast. But with a slight westerly flow, the west coast sea breeze will shift inland a bit faster. This will cause the highest chances of showers and storms to shift inland over the interior counties toward afternoon, where the boundaries converge.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the winds will shift to a more defined onshore west-southwest flow. This will allow for the rain and storm chances to start early at the coast.

Then, the showers and storms will shift more inland and eastward as the sea breeze pushes farther inland. This pattern will remain unchanged through the end of the week and into the weekend.

No temperature changes are expected, even with a weak front moving in just to our north. With westerly winds, daytime highs will be in the upper 80s near the coast to low 90s inland, while overnight lows will remain in the mid to upper 70s.

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Bay News 9 – local-news

June 26, 2016 |
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