As we Floridians know, poke has been a growing trend. However, this new poke place located in the new midpoint park and eatery should finally convert you if you're not obsessed yet. Da Kine poke is now expanding to Gainesville, in a cute little food truck that we can't help but love. Plus, that outdoor seating and fresh vibes just make us want to take off our masks and eat some good food.  

Juliana Morcos

Their Oh-So-Perfect Location

If you haven't visited Gainesville in a while because of online classes, or if you're just too buried in your books, you might've missed the opening of the most Gainesville perfect place called "midpoint park and eatery." Located in the heart of the innovation district that's minutes away from campus, this new concept of a food truck park is bound to win over all of Gainesville's foodies (and even non foodies).

Juliana Morcos

They created a beautiful atmosphere with lots of green areas, picnic tables, lounge chairs, and best of all, a perfect selection of food trucks. Aside from Da Kine Poke, you can also find Keller's Kitchen — a hip American bistro, and Mexi Cocina Gainesville — a vegan friendly Mexican joint. It is quite literally the perfect place for any event imaginable. From an outdoor picnic with friends to a night out with your special someone, to a quick bite between classes and a late breakfast after a night out, the place truly has something to offer to every Gainesville resident. And rumor has it, live music might make an appearance later on for those stuffy summer months. 

Location: 931 SW 2nd Ave, Gainesville, Fl.

Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 11am to 7pm

Who are these guys?

Juliana Morcos

Originally from California, Pete Downing founded Da Kine Poke after moving to Central Florida and seeing there were barely any poke places and a very open market for the fresh Hawaiian inspired concept of poke. After 6 years they have expanded to two different locations in Orlando, one in New Smyrna Beach and their newest food truck in Gainesville. Their Florida team consists of Matt Pearce, owner and district manager; Brian Starks, owner, and Herman Camarena, owner. 

Juliana Morcos

Their focus on small and community based locations was very helpful during the starting months of the pandemic. They had great support from their communities, with constant take out and delivery orders and big groups supporting their operations.

Their key to surviving these crazy times was to constantly learn different things and adapting the food training to be Covid friendly. They have sanitizer and an enforced mask policy for their employees and anyone who enters the shop. The biggest bonus they had was their abundance of outdoor seating in the already existing locations which helped maintain a good stream of costumers without having to put them in danger of exposure. Overall, they truly overcame one of the biggest challenges food businesses have faced and they did it with grace (even opening two new locations in the midst of the chaos). 

What I liked the most about them, and what drew me to them, was their incredible social media presence. In this climate, a strong media presence will get you far. I discovered them online even before their food truck opened through their engaging content. Their social media manager, Bree De Flippis, really knows how to read the online room and how to spark curiosity, which I believe is a great trait for small businesses trying to leave their mark. Overall, this team is ready to take over Florida one town at a time, so don't wait too long to try their new food truck and feel their vibe. 

What to order

Gainesville Favorite: Aloha Green Bowl - Edamame, scallions, cucumber, cilantro, seaweed salad, avocado, green curry coconut miso sauce, & crispy lo mein noodles.

Juliana Morcos

House Favorite: El Diablo - Scallions, toasted rice crisps, crispy onions, spicy mayo, avocado, & sriracha salt.

You also have the option to build your own, which honestly, is always the best option if we're talking poke. There's three options for bases, brown and white rice and some spinach for the healthy. Then, you can choose 8 toppings out of their topping list which include things like Furikake (Japanese seasoning), wonton chips, pineapple and a list of fresh veggies. The bowls come with either tuna, salmon, or tofu, and you have an option of 8 different sauces to choose from. Let's just say I would probably spend a good ten minutes building my perfect order from so many things to chose from.