This week my husband turned 30 years old in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Stuck with what to do, and knowing that although the day would involve craft beer 100%, we also needed something along the lines of food; welcome, Poke Burri.
I searched online for ramen joints, for pho joints, for Korean bbq joints, and just about every kind of food that my husband loved to eat, having very little luck at all, until I sat down in a chair and tried to remember just why the city of Raleigh rang a bell in the back of my mind.
Not only is this city the capital of North Carolina, but I do actually follow a lot of Instagram foodies who frequent the food scene here, which is why Raleigh rang a bell loud and clear at the back of my mind; not long ago I had stumbled upon a post about sushi pizza, and sushi donuts – yep you heard me – and instantly I knew I’d found the perfect foodie feast for such an occasion.
With the image now engrained in my memory, I scanned Instagram after Instagram page, until I finally hit the jackpot and found what I had been looking for; Poke Burri was a chain of restaurants that offered unique sushi eats across America and with a few phone calls I had secured a table for 11 people the following the week.
The morning of my husbands birthday we awoke, unwrapped gifts, and climbed into an Uber at 1pm on our way for sushi fun; from the outside the restaurant was basic with a sushi roll logo at the end of what seemed to be a strip mall.
The inside was simple enough, and I noticed that on the wrap around menu above the counter they did not list the sushi pizza anywhere, and it was quietly nestled below the register discreetly out of the way; I was excited to try it immediately, and as we walked in I was informed that my order had been in the works and would be out soon – excellent.
Out of the pizza slice options we had two choices; first a salmon and tuna poke, and second a spicy tuna and crab.
With a group of 11 people we had a mix of both kinds, my husband and I both selecting the salmon and tuna poke, and although the staff looked a little stressed about our big group it wasn’t long before the slices where in front of us in all their yummy glory.
As soon as I saw the slices approaching I grabbed my husbands arm under the table, because they where even better than I’d imagined; an extremely mild spicy mayo had been drizzled upon the slice, along with pineapple chunks, edamame beans, sesame seeds, and a ton of tuna and salmon poke.
I almost didn’t want to eat it, it looked so good, but as the slices came one after another I couldn’t help myself as I became more and more curious of just how this massive slice was constructed.
I started from the tip, using a knife and fork, after learning quickly that this pizza slice was in-fact incredibly hard to eat like a normal slice, and the first bite had me grabbing my husbands arm again to assure him it was everything I’d dreamed of and more.
As a piece of pizza hit his lips I saw the same looks of love, not only from him, but from the whole table as the slices where devoured.
Even without the pineapple on mine, due to my allergies, it bursted with so much flavor I couldn’t stop shoveling it into my mouth.
The poke marinade was bold with the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and all of the amazing ingredients they’d used to create the marinade in their own way, that I didn’t even get a picture – or pay attention – to the spicy tuna slice at the table.
Imagine a poke bowl on top of a pizza shaped seaweed strip, with a tuna sushi roll nestled on the end; that was everything this pizza slice entailed and more.
It wasn’t just the taste that was incredible, but the freshness, and the imagination that went into the dish added a whole other level of appreciation to the meal; how fun to order a pizza, or a donut, or something we eat on a regular basis and have it come out as a completely different food type – it was mind trickery at its best and in the most beautiful way.
In-fact, it was genius; fun interactive dining at its finest.
As my pizza slice came to an end my friends began to order salmon donuts, and spicy tuna nachos, all of which looked equally amazing, and I wanted to kick myself for not having enough stomach space to try it all.
Poke Burri had found a way to combine all kinds of comfort food into one, creating not only a fun environment that was new and exciting, but also an environment that made conversation easy and interesting when discussing each menu item.
As the dishes quickly appeared and where destroyed just as fast, multiple people told me that I had found a gem of a restaurant, and most of our friends went back for a second visit during our time in Raleigh NC.
My husband, smiling from ear to ear, seemed beyond happy with the restaurant choice, and we even spoke about getting a donut or two delivered later in the week to cure our post birthday woes.
With the meal almost over a gentleman appeared to take away our plates, asking if we where celebrating a work Christmas party; without even being able to open my mouth in time for an answer, my friends informed the waiter that it was my husbands birthday that day, and instantly he told us he would be right back.
Moments later he appeared with a pastry fish, filled with vanilla ice cream, and to my husbands cringes we sang happy birthday as a group.
The pastry fish was delicious, and I maybe had more than a couple of bites before I got too full to continue; my husband easily finished off the rest and it was time to move on to some craft beer fun.
Poke Burri was a fantastic choice for such a special day, and although I don’t usually cover chain restaurants, I believed that this one was so unique and fun that I simply couldn’t resist spreading the word of all the awesomeness on the menu!
If you find yourself in an area near a Poke Burri then I’d highly suggest you go and check it out; here’s the menu so you can have a look for yourself.
10/10 for service, hospitality, deliciousness, and fun.
I wish I lived year round near a Poke Burri, it’s just that good!
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Until next time,