PARK SLOPE/BOERUM HILL – Restaurants serving meals in bowls for a fast, casual, and healthy dining experience have been popping up across the city in recent years. BKLYNER already recommended Prospect Heights’ PokéBowl Station earlier this year. Now, two more bowl eateries have recently debuted in Park Slope and Boerum Hill.
BKLYNER first tried Bowl & Blade shortly after it launched on April 1 at 169 5th Avenue (between Lincoln & Berkeley) in the former Brooklyn Crepe & Juice Bar space. The tiny storefront has a couple of tables and stools to accommodate diners and a friendly staff ready to help customers navigate the menu.
Bowl & Blade caters to “health-conscious individuals” with a menu offering “high-quality ingredients and sustainable products,” according to a release announcing the opening. Bowls are made-to-order with customers selecting a base (sushi rice, short grained brown rice, quinoa, organic baby kale, seasonal veggie noodles); a protein (Ahi Tuna, Verlasso Salmon, Sous Vide Chicken Breast, Falafel Waffle, Smoked Tofu); veggies; and serving style (Greek, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Mexican, Peruvian). The choice of protein determines the price of the bowl.
The restaurant is a collaboration between Rajesh Bhardwaj, Founder and CEO of the Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Junoon, Stephen Macrina, and Chef Adin Langille who oversees the open kitchen.
“We have identified a need in the industry for a fast-casual eatery concept that draws inspiration from numerous cultures such as Hawaiian, Greek, Korean, and so on,” said Bhardwaj. “From Chef Adin’s robust experience in fine dining space, he aims to apply the same techniques and quality, but prepare the food in front of the customer in a healthy and affordable way.”
BKLYNER tried the East Medi Bowl (olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, cumin tahini sauce) with brown rice and salmon ($12, with added avocado +$2) as well as the K-Town Que Bowl (kimchi, soy beans, scallion, green beans, cucumber, pickled onion, Korean gochujang BBQ sauce) with brown rice and chicken ($12). Both bowls were fresh, light, and tasty however a bit on the small side. To make up for it next time, we’ll be sure to order a specialty frozen yogurt to finish off our meal.
Simple NYC debuted at 311 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt & Smith) at the end of March, offering poké bowls and bento boxes to diners in the Boerum Hill/Downtown Brooklyn area.
With a location in the Lower East Side, this is Simple NYC’s second outpost serving East-Asian and Pacific Island foods that “pack both flavor and simplicity,” according to the eatery’s website.
Simple NYC’s Brooklyn outpost is playfully and colorfully designed with a few tables, stools, and a long bench for dining in. The menu offers raw and cooked poké bowls in which customers again select a base (white or brown rice, quinoa, greens) and crunchies (wonton strips, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, corn flakes) to accompany their choice of protein (salmon, tuna, chicken, tofu, etc.).
Bento boxes come with either white or brown rice, greens, a daily side, and a choice of steak of the day, slow cooked short ribs, curry or teriyaki ground beef, and pan seared salmon.
BKLYNER ordered the steak bento box with brown rice (with sautéed mushrooms and teriyaki glaze, $15.50) and the (cooked) octopus poké bowl with brown rice (with citrus miso, avocado, cucumber, carrot, pickled ginger, seaweed, and more, $11.50). The steak bento box was hearty and soaked in a sweet and savory sauce. While chewy, the octopus bowl was packed with fresh, flavorful ingredients and very satisfying.
Both eateries are great new options when you’re looking for a quick, casual, and healthy meal conveniently served in a bowl.
Just as BKLYNER was finishing this article, we received a message that another poke restaurant is debuting in Bensonhurst tomorrow at 2145 86th Street (between Bay 28th & Bay 29th Streets)! Poké Nom is hosting a grand opening on Saturday, May 5, featuring 15% off Fresh Hawaiian Poke, ice cream, a live DJ, and more.