Several developments on the poke beat.
We’ve been following the transformation of the former Firenza Pizza into the new Mahana Poke at the Loudoun Station center off Shellhorn Road in Ashburn. The latest sign of progress — the Firenza sign out front is gone and a new, bold Mahana Poke sign has replaced it. Still no word on when it will open, but it seems like they’re moving quickly (probably because it’s the same owners as Firenza).
Meanwhile, over at the Cascades Overlook center in Sterling, The Burn’s been telling you about the new Poke Sushi Bowl location. They’ve opened for business and are happily serving up bowls full of rice, toppings and raw fish (because that’s what a poke bowl is).
If you don’t track restaurant trends (and why would you), poke is the hot thing in the fast casual restaurant scene. (Fast casual is the niche between fast food and sit down — basically a step up from fast food. Think Taco Bell vs. Chipotle or McDonald’s vs. Burger 21.)
Poke started on the west coast and in NYC and is now making its way into the suburbs. Lots of new brands — like Mahana Poke and Poke Sushi Bowl — are popping up to try and take advantage of the wave. Same thing happened with the build-your-own-pizza craze a few years ago and the “Better Burger” rush before that.