Within the past year, a handful of poke restaurants have set up shop across town, including PokeBao in Coral Gables, Ono Poke in Wynwood, and Poke 305 in downtown. Now, instead of braving traffic for a fish fix down south, North Miami-Dade has its own place, Poke + Go (2451 NE 186th St., Miami).
Poke + Go, located next to an Aroma Espresso Bar near Aventura, is a collaboration by partners Andrew Gong, João Da Silva, and Niti Masintapan. The trio is behind a pack of Asian-inspired restaurants in Broward County, including two Amazing Asian Bistro locations in Plantation and Pembroke Pines, as well as GoBistro and GoBento in Hollywood.
Specializing in the trending Hawaiian-born seafood bowl, Poke + Go blends diced raw fish, typically marinated in a thin soy-based sauce, with vegetables, seasonings, and creamy sauces.
The fast-casual concept uses an ordering system similar to Chipotle's. Customers select either a bowl ($12) or a burrito ($9) and then make their way along a counter to select proteins and toppings.
After selecting a meal type, the customer chooses a base, such as white or brown rice, zucchini noodles, or baby kale, and a protein, including tuna, salmon, tofu, or beef or chicken teriyaki. Poke + Go offers a plethora of toppings, such as tomatoes, scallions, spreads, cucumber, edamame, and avocado (for $1 extra), and sauces like spicy mayo and white garlic.
As customers select their ingredients, they are able to watch the staff create their orders in real time, ensuring each meal is tailor-made.
Poke + Go's burritos are filling enough for one, and the bowls are large enough for two or three, depending upon hunger.
In addition to the DIY offerings, there are also pre-designed bowls and burritos. Favorites include the Pokie Dokie, packed with tuna poke, red onions, scallions, cucumber, wakame, avocado, sprouts, pickled ginger, and shoyu sauce, and the Oh So Salmon, made with salmon teriyaki, avocado, wakame, Asian slaw, carrots, radish, sprouts, and zesty cilantro sauce.
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Taste aside, what makes poke so popular is its pleasing appearance thanks to the vibrant colors of the ingredients.
The concept comes from the Hawaiian word "to slice or cut raw fish" and is favored in major cities such as Los Angeles and New York, as well as locations with large Hawaiian populations. Poke has been popular for months or even years in other parts of the country and world, and now it's catching on in Miami.
Poke + Go
2451 NE 186th St., Miami; 305-705-3784; eatpokego.com. Daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.