Poke bars are popping up everywhere, but it was still surprising to find the ultimate bowl of the traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad inside a Wallingford convenience store (former home of The Erotic Bakery). Co-owner John Chung is the brains behind the unlikely gem that is 45th Stop N Shop & Poke Bar, where you can get heaping bowls of cubed ahi tuna, salmon or red snapper atop rice and seaweed salad for $11–$13. Yummy extras, such as fresh avocado, edamame, lettuce and imitation (we don’t mind) crab meat, are what make Chung’s bowls stellar.
To maintain the poke’s freshness, he has a local distributor (Chung is tight-lipped about his source) deliver fish every morning, and Chung’s parents—Paul and Tina—prepare it in small batches throughout the day. Seriously, just go. Wallingford, 2323 N 45th St.; 206.708.1882.
Sam Crannell, chef and owner at now shuttered LloydMartin, opened South Town Pie in May