On October 18th at 11am, Blk Mkt Eats had their grand opening. I had seen advertisements for this place all week—people were sharing the Facebook event left and right—but I had no idea what this place was. When I finally got the motivation to look into it, I was instantly hooked. Blk Mkt Eats specializes in burrito-sized sushi rolls and poké bowls, aka two of my favorite things in the world. Located at 9 South Vandeventer Avenue, Blk Mkt Eats promised a free sushi burrito or poké bowl to the first 100 customers on their opening day.

In case you were wondering, I was second in line.

First impressions

While I was waiting in line, a local biked by the establishment and commented on how awesome the place looked. He talked about how this storefront had been empty for a while, and he didn't think he'd ever see it revitalized, yet here it was. 

The storefront is small and simplistic, with a modern vibe. There's little seating inside the actual establishment—just some window seating and one small bar-like section in the middle. The layout reminds me of an ice cream shop, which I love. It's the definition of fast-casual. On the wall is one of those trendy neon light up signs that's all the rage. It reads "taste beyond boundaries," which is Blk Mkt Eat's motto.

The grand opening

I got to the restaurant super early. Me, being a sushi enthusiast, was not about to miss this for the world. On my list of priorities for that day, a free sushi burrito or poké bowl was most certainly worth missing class for (sorry mom), so an hour and a half before Blk Mkt Eats opened, I set off for the restaurant. There were only two people in line for a long time—me and the guy in front of me.  Around 10:20am, the line exponentially grew, until it was all the way down the block. A Blk Mkt Eats staff member came out around 10:45am to take the first 10 people's orders. Promptly at 11am, the doors opened.

Considering that I was second in line and a person had already taken my order, I thought that I would've been able to grab my food and go. A few people were able to do so, but I was not. The staff seemed pretty disorganized and communication was not clear, which led to slower service. However, the staff was extremely friendly, and the disorganization did not take away from the quality of the food they produced—perfectly constructed and wrapped.

The menu

The menu is concise and simple. Anything that comes in burrito sized sushi roll form can also be made into a poké bowl, and vice versa. Blk Mkt Eats offers 7 of these preset options. Additionally, they also offer 3 kinds of sushi nachos, which essentially replaces the rice in a poké bowl with fried wonton chips. They have a couple sides available to purchase as well, such as fried tofu nugs, as well as a selection of sodas. 

I was able to nab a free item as I was very much so within the first 100 customers. I chose the Shaka Poké in the form of a sushi burrito, which consists of hawaiian-inspired tuna poké, Persian cucumbers, avocado, green cabbage, sesame seeds, crispy shallots, tempura crunch, alaea sea salt, and unagi sauce. This roll was packed to the brim, and I was not let down. This is everything I expected in a traditional poké, and I practically inhaled the entire thing. 

Final thoughts

In the end, my overall experience was great. I don't doubt that the disorganization was due to the fact that it was Blk Mkt Eat's first day in operation, so I have faith that the kinks will be worked out soon. The restaurant's mission from the beginning was to create something fresh, healthy, and craveable, and they definitely succeeded. Blk Mkt Eats is a diverse addition to the St. Louis food scene, and I'm already obsessed. 

So grab your friends, and head out to Blk Mkt Eats. Free sushi burritos and poké bowls might be over, but this food is definitely worth spending your limited college student budget on.