Freshido brings Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls, pokerritos to downtown Harrisburg
The pokerrito, a trendy sushi burrito food mashup, is now available to buy in downtown Harrisburg.
The owners of fast-casual Asian restaurant Freshido held a ribbon-cutting on Thursday for their new establishment at 300 Market St., next to Rite Aid in Strawberry Square. Freshido specializes in poke bowls and pokerritos.
The poke bowl, pronounced "POH-keh," is a popular Hawaiian dish that incorporates cubed raw fish or other protein served over a bowl of rice with other seasonings and vegetables. It's like deconstructed sushi.
The pokerrito blends the flavorful ingredients of sushi and rolls them like a burrito. But instead of tortillas, oversized sheets of nori are used.
Shawn You and Benson Chan, the owners of Freshido, believe this made-to-order concept could be the next big franchise idea. They are currently awaiting a trademark on the name and working on franchise paperwork to expand the restaurant to new locations.
"(Franchising) is our goal," Chan said before stepping behind the counter to build a custom poke bowl with fresh salmon and tuna.
Construction of the space at the corner of Third and Market streets started in July. The restaurant occupies the former Plum Sport space.
Similar to Chipotle, where you place your order at a counter, Freshido can customize bowls to add healthier options, such as multigrain rice or zucchini noodles.
There are signature poke bowls for people new to the concept. More adventurous customers can select from a six-step build-your-own bowl menu with more than 50 different options between the rice base of the bowl, the proteins and a variety of vegetables, sauces, toppings and other seasonings.
For bowls with two scoops of protein, the price is $9.95. Three-scoop bowls run $12.95.
You, a co-owner in Shogun, an Asian fusion restaurant in Lower Paxton Township, and Kondu at the Harrisburg Mall, said Freshido takes the Kondu concept up a level in terms of flavor. Kondu specializes in sushi burritos and teppanyaki entrees, which are fried-rice hibachi dishes.
He believes Freshido's fast service and fresh ingredients, many of which are sourced locally, will appeal to people working in downtown Harrisburg.
Freshido also could work well in surrounding communities, including Hershey, York and Lancaster. You also sees opportunities in suburban retail centers with similar fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Five Guys.
Local commercial Realtors and developers have already been meeting with the owners about regional expansion plans. Given the ongoing revitalization efforts in downtown York, for example, it's not hard to imagine Freshido opening up soon in the White Rose City.
Freshido is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.