Besides the ability to garnish your bowl with a host of fun crunchies (woo-hoo for wonton crisps), one of the pleasures of visiting add-on-to-your-heart's-content lunch spot Poke In the Bowl is curating your choice of proteins. Peckish but preferring only prawns? Arrived to find yourself contrarily only craving chicken? No problem. 

The create-your-own-bowl option at Poke In the Bowl is also available for delivery through GrubHub, and it was while poking around the restaurant’s menu on said site that I started to get a wee curious as to how far I could push the limits of protein customization. At what point would the restaurant pull the plug with how much fish, tofu, and/or chicken it was willing to pack into one not-so-deep plastic dish? 

The answer? A whole lot, but for a hefty price. 

On a rainy Tuesday without pre-made dinner plans, I conducted my delivery experiment. After selecting the “large” option, I built the base of my bowl with mixed salad, edamame, and crab meat, then added my vegetables (onion, cucumber, cilantro, green onion), followed by other accoutrements and sauces (crispy onions, kizami nori, sesame seeds, furikake, truffle ponzu).  

Now, for the meat. A large bowl automatically comes with three protein scoops. I selected triple salmon. 

Click (1). Click (2). Click (3).

Poke In the Bowl then inquired, “Would you like to add extra protein?” and followed up with this reassurance: “Choose as many as you like.”

So, I did at a cost of $2 per extra.

  • Tuna! Click (4).
  • Salmon (again)! Click (5).
  • Classic tuna! Click (6).
  • Spicy tuna! Click (7).
  • Scallop! Click (8).
  • Shrimp!  Click (9). 

The weigh-in.

I added the monstrous mash-up to my “bag," proceeded to checkout, and awaited updates on my order. I braced myself for an annoying “Your GrubHub order has been cancelled” text, or even worse, a call from the restaurant itself berating me for abusing its online ordering system, not to mention being such a pig. 

I received neither. What I did get in just under a half an hour was a poke bowl so packed with protein scoops that the lid threatened to pop off at any moment. It weighed in at 78.7 grams (just under three pounds) and even after eating the whole thing, I felt light as a feather, so elated and grateful was I that Poke In the Bowl showed such patience for my predilection for protein indulgence.

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