Hearts were broken when Wallingford staple The Erotic Bakery closed in 2014, and it seems not enough of them were mended by its replacement, Art of Confections, which has since shuttered as well. Will the latest arrival to the corner of N 45th and Sunnyside fare any better? It might, with passionate reviews like this one that came through the Eater tipline: "THE MOST AMAZING HIDDEN GEM I HAVE EVER FOUND."
The key to the 45th Stop N Shop & Poke Bar is in the latter half of the name: Tucked into the back of the shop, behind the racks of candy bars and chips, is a poke and sushi counter that's driving fans wild.
Already the venue, only a couple of weeks old, has 28 Yelp reviews, none of which is below five stars. Wallyhood blog's Jordan Schwartz calls it his "new favorite sushi joint." A pro-tip from the person working the day Schwartz visited even steered him from a sushi burrito order to a poke bowl, which is nicely customizable and costs $14 or less depending on how many items you add.
Raw seafood at a convenience store might sound suspect, but according to Wallyhood, store co-owner John Chung says all the fish is delivered daily by a local distributor. Chung also "opined that the convenience store façade was an accidental marketing genius ploy," creating an alluring "in the know" quality.
As long as enough enthusiasts brag about their insider knowledge, that kind of cred should take a business like this far. Try it for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments.
2323 N 45th St, (206) 708-1882, Yelp. Open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Edited, 4/27/16: Chung reached out to clarify that not all of the fish at his store is sustainably harvested, a claim made in the Wallyhood piece that he believes stemmed from a miscommunication. This article has been edited to reflect Chung's correction.