When I think about poke, it is not normally associated with brunch. Poke shops are becoming popular in Chicago, with a poke place in almost every neighborhood, quickly catching up to New York.
Normally poke places are pretty straight to the point, with a menu granting you options of different types of fresh, raw fish or a combination of fish, mixed with greens, vegetables, sauces, rice and other toppings to complement the flavors.
I was intrigued and delighted when I discovered that FireFin Poké in Wicker Park had debuted a weekend brunch menu. Ever so curious, I had planned to stop by next weekend, until randomly my foodie friend Emily texted me, asking if I wanted to go to brunch with her.
I had not planned on brunching because I had a wedding at 2 o’clock, but since poke is so fast, I thought, why not? I hurried over to meet her and our other foodie friend Ashley in Wicker.
I have been dying to try FireFin’s poke for a while, and unlike other poke spots I have been to in the city, they proudly display an extremely large menu that boasts all different types of poke bowls, not your standard build-your-own-bowl that I am used to seeing.
Although FireFin is fast service, it is the type of place where people stay for a while and enjoy themselves. The space itself is cute and welcoming, with large open windows at the front, long wooden banquet tables, and light pastel lampshades that hang from the ceiling. It definitely embodies Hawaiian vibes and is a perfect spot for grabbing lunch in summer.
The brunch menu is kind of limited, which is honestly not surprising considering it is a poke shop, after all. We ordered all of the brunch menu items, plus a poke bowl naturally.
The first to arrive at the table was the SPAM stack. Truth-be-told, I have only had SPAM once or twice in my life. I have never really been a fan. This was different … good different.
The stack arrived with two pieces of fried SPAM, between two layers of rice, and topped with a fried egg, grilled pineapple slices, and green onions. All three of us loved this and cleaned the plate in about three bites each. It was truly unique and delicious.
Next our poke bowl arrived. We had chosen the “Tuna on Fire,” Emily’s favorite, made with ahi tuna, fire sauce, pickled jalapeños, avocado, sweet onions, cucumber, and crispy shallots. It was bomb. Light and refreshing, bold with flavors, and full of super fresh fish. She had raved about this bowl, and I was so glad she recommended it.
Following our poke bowl was the spam and egg sandwich on a toasted potato bun. It came made with seared SPAM, grilled furikake, pineapple, fried egg, and spicy mayo. The SPAM tasted just like a piece of ham or Canadian bacon.
I liked this sandwich, though I was briefly deterred by the egg. The egg white was runny, which I wasn’t a fan of. I don’t mind a runny yolk, but the thick and gooey egg white turned me off.
Avocado toast came to the table next, which was three slices of toast topped with avocado, pickled tomatoes, scallions, and a “YMCA” sauce. It could have had a little salt sprinkled on top, but it was nonetheless delicious.
Finally, the overall fan favorite of the table arrived; the Hawaiian French Toast. This dish was so unique, flavorful, and downright delicious. It was a beautiful combination of battered toast, tropical fruit compote, whipped cream, coconut syrup and topped with coconut flakes.
It was summer in your mouth; well balanced, tropical fruity, and had the perfect amount of sweetness.
For a spot devoted to delivering the best poke in Chicago, and offering a variety of different bowls—staple ones with fresh fish, or unique chicken and vegetarian options, or even dessert bowls—it is surprising that FireFin has such a well-executed and unique brunch menu.
All three of us enjoyed it, and I encourage people to stop by for a quick weekend bite, and give this stellar brunch a try. Also, they carry Kona coffee, a Hawaiian favorite; a truly delicious blend.
The Bitches Say: B. A cool, unique, fast-service restaurant offers a fun place to enjoy a quick and delicious meal. The menu options are limited, but the yummy food makes up for that.
1415 N. Milwaukee
FireFin Poké serves weekend brunch from 10 am. until 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.