Poke Munch Establishes Itself as a Popular New Eatery

Destiny Albrecht, Staff writer

Edwardsville has been expanding its diversity of food options with new developments in the last few years. Poke Munch is one that has been talked about quite a lot lately, with its grand opening taking place on July 16, 2022.

Poke Munch is a Hawaiian-based restaurant that presents healthy meals, such as seafood or chicken bowls mixed with ingredients of your choice. It is located right next to Bella Milano off of Highway 157.

As soon as I walked in, the staff recommended the most popular item. The Crispy Hei Hei was a mix of chicken, brown or white rice, cabbage, cucumber, sweet onion, carrot, mushroom and their special unagi sauce. They also suggested sides to go with the entrees, including tofu fries, sesame chicken tempura tenders and mushroom pot stickers.

I thought that the Crispy Hei Hei was really good and not too expensive. It was around $14 for the meal and tip combined. The breading on the chicken was good and the flavors blended together extremely well. Seafood was the main ingredient in most dishes, although chicken was perfectly substituted for it. And, if you don’t eat meat, there is a vegetarian option.

While I did not get any, desserts are on the menu as well. However, they are limited to only a few ice cream flavors.

Senior Kaila Marshall, a customer that tried it for the first time, said, “The food seemed super fresh and it was very filling.” She enjoyed exploring the many ingredients provided.

The menu is pretty diverse, but building your own bowl is an alternative if you don’t prefer the suggested meals. There is also a big selection of drinks, including Bai, Fiji, Coke, Fitz’s Root Beer and tea.

The food is not the only refreshing experience; the spacious seating room is very nice as well. There are many chairs and tables, as well as a couch along the wall. TV plays in the top corner of the restaurant, and quiet music can be heard from the speakers.

Walking by the kitchen, I noticed that it was polished and it reassured me about the quality of the cuisine. It’s important for a restaurant to have a clean area, so the bathroom was also impressive in terms of the faculty keeping up with it throughout the day.

Speaking of the staff, they were very kind when it came to recommendations and service.

“The service was truly amazing,” Senior Taylor Heberer said, “I was given information about what poke was and the types of bowls. The workers were very kind, patient and welcoming!”

Overall, this new restaurant was a fresh view and a great inclusion to Edwardsville. It offers different foods for the people and provides a cultural learning experience for the city.

Along with Poke Munch, Chipotle, Freddie’s and Collins Farms are newly introduced restaurants. There are more rumored upcoming restaurants coming soon, such as Chick-fil-A and Panda Express, so it is a very exciting time for the food industry here in our hometown.