When Island Fin Poké Co. opened last November next to LA Fitness (south of County Line Rd. and west of Bruce B. Downs Blvd.), owners Jeff, Brenda and Jason Sproat never could have anticipated what came in March.
“Fortunately we were able to remain open and were set up for all the pandemic concerns and restrictions,” Jeff says. “We have a very clean environment and quick service for takeout or delivery, while being affordable and healthy. We added on-line ordering with a curbside pickup option for convenience and safety.”
Jason, Island Fin’s general manager, says that he has seen many pre-Covid regulars starting to return recently.
“More of our guests are dining in and many long-time guests are coming in multiple times per week again,” Jason says.
Island Fin Poke Co. provides guests with “boat to bowl,” locally and responsibly sourced ingredients for each individual to create their own perfect poké bowl. With eight proteins, more than 25 toppings, a variety of house-made sauces and specialty mix-ins, the endless possibilities allow guests to get creative and try something new every visit. The restaurant’s comfortable beach shack environment bring residents on a short trip to Hawaii as they enjoy delicious, fresh and healthy, immune-boosting meals.
“Sushi lovers love our spicy tuna, salmon and ahi tuna,” Jason says, “while those who are not sushi fans or are hesitant about consuming raw seafood, can choose cooked chicken, shrimp or even octopus for their proteins.” And, Brenda says that the house-made sauces are what separate Island Fin from all others and the friendly, knowledgeable team helps you customize your perfect bowl.
Island Fin’s regular poké bowls typically provide 40g of protein and up to 90g in a double-protein bowl. Gym members, trainers and health professionals love it! Bowls that are perfect for Keto diets, and vegetarian and even vegan options also are available.
And Now, The Food!
I have been an Island Fin fan from Day One, especially since I can choose from spicy or regular tuna, or even have a scoop of each, in my bowl. Other proteins I didn’t mention before include salmon, Spam and tofu.
I try to stay away from both brown and white rice as my base, so I usually just choose the spring mix lettuce.
I love Island Fin’s mix-ins, although I keep telling Brenda I wish there were even more veggies to choose from, but my faves are the OG veggies, the spicy pickled veggies, edamame and corn. There’s also sweet onions and jalapeños available.
The marinating sauces include Shoyu (gluten-free soy), Ponzu (soy with fresh orange, lemon and lime juices), Island Fin Fire (pineapple, habanero peppers, cilantro, wildflower honey & soy), Wicked Wahine (hot and sweet) and my favorite, the OG Sauce (sweet onions & fresh jalapeños, with soy, olive oil and rice vinegar). I avoid most of the crunchy toppings (like crispy onions, garlic, wontons and tempura crisps), but love adding sesame seeds, seaweed salad, cucumbers and pickled veggies.
I also don’t usually get a finishing sauce, but available options include avocado cream, wasabi cream, Togarashi and Jamaican cream, but I will probably try the new vegan Ono Ono sauce (sweet Thai chili, fresh cilantro and scallions and chili and ginger paste) in the future.
I love the Surimi (crab) premium topping. Other premium toppers include avocado, masago (fish eggs) and macadmia nuts, and they all cost you $1 extra per bowl.
Coming soon will be a Stubborn soda fountain drink machine. Stubborn sodas have unique and “healthier” options using pure cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup or processed sugar.
But, speaking of sugar, I also love Island Fin’s cool & creamy Dole Whip desserts, available in rotating flavors. My favorite so far is the strawberry-vanilla swirl.
Island Fin has been active in the Wesley Chapel/New Tampa community. During the pandemic, the restaurant provided bowls and Dole Whips for front line workers at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, participated in community events at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County and recently sponsored a food drive with donations going to the Make A Difference organization.
As a family-owned business, Brenda, Jason and Jeff are most proud of the comments, reviews and ratings from the community.
“Seeing happy faces and hearing wonderful comments, along with 4.9 and 5.0 ratings on Facebook, Google, Yelp and UberEats, make all the hard work worthwhile,” Brenda says. “Guests realize that they can safely have really delicious tasting food that’s actually boosting their immune systems and is super fresh and healthy, too.”
One of the things Brenda says she loves to do is to bring mini-bowl samples of Island Fin’s delicious food to area gyms, fitness centers and health clubs, because, “it instantly translates into new customers for us! People who are working out and eating healthy really love our bowls!” And, even though Christmas 2020 is behind us, Island Fin does offer gift cards, both Classic (plastic card) and E-cards (send by text or email). Island Fin gift cards make great gifts for your dog sitter, co-worker or anyone who makes your day!
Island Fin Poké Co. is located at 6417 E. County Line Rd. (between LA Fitness and Winn-Dixie) and is open every day, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., for dine-in (socially distanced), take out, online ordering with curbside delivery and all major delivery services. For more info, call (813) 575-8002 or visit IslandFinPoke.com.