High Five Poke

By on 14 February, 2018 in Food, Restaurant Reviews with 0 Comments

I’m sorry. What? Are you trying to poke me?

No. It’s pronounced poh-kay. It rhymes with “okay.”

So like Pokemon?


Well, ok. So long as there’s no poking involved. What is it?

It’s food! It’s a new restaurant in Montgomery! It’s a trend that might actually have some staying power because it’s delicious!

Where is it?

It’s on Carter Hill in a shopping center called “Westminster,” although nobody calls it that. It’s in there where the Panera is, and there’s a YMCA in there too. High Five is in the space that used to be a restaurant called Maki Fresh.

And what is this again?

It’s a bowl of food, usually with fish (but you can get chicken or shrimp). It’s a Hawaiian thing. According to People Magazine:

Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — usually tuna — which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces.

According to Huffington Post:

While it may seem like a new trend, this simple and addictive Hawaiian dish has been around for centuries. It’s basically Hawaii’s favorite food and for good reason: Poke is healthy, delicious and totally unique.

And according to Midtown Montgomery Living:

It’s a bowl of fantastic fresh ingredients that you can customize. The base is either noodles or mixed greens or another trendy food item called “zoodles,” which are stringy zucchini noodles (it’s better than it sounds). Then you decide if you want salmon, or chicken, or tuna, or whatever, and it just goes from there. Cilantro? Carrots? Wasabi?

Don’t want to make a bunch of decisions? They’ve got some standardized templates that are good places to start. By taking one of the popular “off the rack” bowls, you can get a sense of the thing — how fresh it is, and simple — and then you can get crazy with the customization on your next visit.

It’s not just the array of options that makes High Five Poke a really great place. There are a few other dimensions:

It’s fast. Because people are just putting ingredients in a bowl, there’s no cook time and barely any prep time. You go down the row, telling them what you want, and it ends up in a bowl. You get a drink, pay, and you’re ready to start eating. The line moves really quickly, even though some people get a little paralyzed by the dizzying options available.

It’s not expensive. Let’s be clear. This isn’t the cheapest lunch in town. But for ingredients this fresh, you’re getting good bang for your buck. Fresh avocado isn’t cheap. But you can easily get out of there for $12 or so, which is a fair price for lunch. The tuna and salmon are high grade and delivered fresh from Destin Connection. They pack a protein punch into a bowl of other fresh ingredients, and make you feel like you got your money’s worth.

They have ping-pong. Out on the patio, there’s a really nice looking ping-pong table. We didn’t play because it was a little chilly (and windy, which is always a factor in outdoor ping-pong). But next time we’re there not on a quick lunch hit, we’re totally playing. And the owner said he was going to get a few other items for the patio, including some more seating and tables, and a cornhole set.

All in all, they may have a tough go of it if people in Montgomery aren’t willing to try new things. But once someone goes in the door and gets a bowl, they’re likely to be a repeat customer (with their rewards program, your tenth bowl is free). Here’s hoping that our neighbors will give Poke a try.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with one cat, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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