In the last 25 years sushi has grown in the mainstream food scene in the U.S. What was once considered a strange or unfathomable dish to the average American in the 1980s is now one of the most sought after. I know my own cravings for fresh, delicious fish seem bottomless.
As a sushi lover, I heard of poke and ever since traveling to Hawaii to taste it in the land where it originated, I knew I was hooked. Sushi lovers who have tried it know what I’m talking about and those who haven’t will surely love it as another fantastic way to eat raw high quality fish. Even with all of my talk of sushi, it’s important to note that sushi and poke are still quite different.
Unfortunately, like sushi 25+ years ago, poke was relatively unknown to the average American until fortunately shops started popping up all over the place. Lately, one doesn’t need to travel to Hawaii for poke (though everyone should) because its availability is growing every day.
Hometown Poke is one of two places exclusively serving poke in the Providence, RI area. While anyone with access to sushi grade/quality fish can make poke at home (check out my recipe), it’s wonderful to have the reliable option of a quick, easy, and delicious poke bowl from Hometown Poke whenever the craving strikes. The company started as a food truck or cart run by two friends, Becca and Tiffany, but with hours that weren’t great for me personally to get out and try the food. Luckily for all of us, the owners’ passion for Hawaiian food with a Californian focus on health opened up a brick and mortar cafe, which made it much easier to get a poke fix!
Hometown Cafe and Poke Bar
185 Camp St.
Providence, RI 02906
Service and Atmosphere
The interior of Hometown Poke’s Cafe location is modern, clean, and warmly inviting. It makes me want to sit and enjoy my poke in the cafe if I’m not in rush for takeout. Ordering at the counter is easy while the staff is super friendly and helpful if you have any questions.
There are many kinds of poke at Hometown that range from seafood like tuna, salmon, or shrimp to vegetarian or chicken options. The bowls can come over rice (my preference) or even over salad. Personally, I stick with the tuna and salmon as the most traditional, but I am sure that the other options are probably delicious as well.
Hometown Classic – The classic contains Ahi tuna, Atlantic salmon, Hawaiian sauce, cucumber, onion, crab, seaweed salad, furikake, and wonton crunch. If you’ve never had a poke bowl before and have no idea how to assemble one then this is the bowl I would recommend. If I’m in a rush or I want to keep my order simple for someone, this is my go to. From the fresh, perfectly cubed tuna and salmon to the toppings, it’s hard to go wrong with the classic.The Hawaiian sauce is slightly sweet and a touch spicy, but in a very mild way. It highlights the ingredients by allowing them to shine while simultaneously tying them together into one cohesive bowl.
Custom Bowl – Now when I have the time or I trust the person picking up a delicious poke bowl for me, I choose to make my own custom bowl. It not only lets me try different configurations of toppings and sauces, but it allows me to craft my own perfect bowl. In my case, I like salmon, rice, cucumbers, edamame, seaweed salad, scallions, furikake, sesame seeds, masago, avocado, and for the sauce either sriracha aioli or Hawaiian. I could eat this bowl daily and never tire of it!
Writing this post had my mouth watering. Ever since trying poke in Hawaii, I’ve wanted a good option back home to satisfy those cravings. Hometown Poke answered that call for poke in the Providence, RI area. Sushi and poke lovers alike will surely enjoy the hearty, fresh, seafood options at Hometown as well as their other dishes. This little local gift sources from local businesses and has become a staple in our home whenever we’re looking to eat out, but still eat something healthy as well as refreshing. I would highly recommend Hometown Poke to anyone that loves raw seafood like sushi, anyone looking to give raw seafood a try, or anyone just looking for a poke fix.
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