Sherman's Food Adventures: Fremont Bowl

Fremont Bowl

When visiting a city, most people prefer to eat somewhere close to their hotel and/or place of stay.  Let's face it, the bulk of the population do not have the same level of care when it comes to restaurants.  Now we can take this one notch higher where some will do a quick google search and possibly luck out on something good.  Then we have the dedicated ones who scour social media where they follow in other's footsteps (even better is going with a local who is a true food aficionado).  That is what happened when we were visiting Seattle's Woodland Zoo.  Luck would have it that @teelythefoodie's picture of a Chirashi Don from Fremont Bowl would pop up on my IG feed (that day too!).  Hey the place was really close to the zoo!  Hence we made our way there for dinner.

Let's get right to it, their most popular and photogenic bowl by far is the Chirashi Don for $14.95.  My son more than happily ordered that for himself as he is on a chirashi don fix these days.  Considering the price and the amount/variety/quality of ingredients on top, this was a fantastic value.  The bowl sported 3 pieces each of red tuna and hamachi, 5 pieces of Atlantic salmon, 2 pieces each of tuna tataki and unagi as well as ebi, masago and negitoro.  I tried the hamachi and it was buttery and sweet.  For my daughter, she went simple with the Sake Don featuring 8 large slices of Atlantic Salmon.  They were fresh, buttery and sweet.  Underneath, the rice was chewy with just the right amount of moisture.

I went for the Unagi Don which was one of the more expensive bowls at $16.50, but look at it.  LOOK AT IT!  The 5 enormous pieces of unagi that covered all of the rice and in fact, was more than needed for that amount.  I wasn't complaining though as they were buttery and sauced enough to flavor the rice.  Since there was so much of it, each bite was extra fatty with sweet caramelization.  Normally, with an unagi don, I try to conserve so I have enough until the end.  With this one, I just ate recklessly.  For the same price, the Short Ribs Yakiniku Don was equally stunning in portion size.  There was 10+ slices of tender short rib which also meant reckless eating!  No need to leave some meat for the rest of the rice.  Portion was one thing but the well-charred and seasoned ribs were smoky and sweet.

Viv ended up with the Crispy Chicken Katsu Don served with a side of tonkatsu sauce.  OMG, the portion sizes were just shocking as there was 2 large fried deboned chicken legs for this one bowl.  Once again, portion size wasn't the only thing good about this bowl, rather, it was also prepared on point.  As you can clearly see, the cutlet was thick and only lightly breaded.  Inside, it was tender and bursting with juices.  Loved having the tonkatsu sauce on the side as it allowed customization as well as keep things crispy.  Elaine did something similar with the Crispy Tonkatsu Don also served with sauce on the side as well as shishito peppers.  Just like the previous bowl, there was another large cutlet underneath the one you see in the picture.  It was crispy while tender and moist on the inside.  This was quite impressive due to the leanness of the pork loin.

Costanza went for the Salmon Poke Bowl with the addition of unagi (+2).  It sported big chunks of Atlantic salmon, imitation crab, masago, cucumber and wakame with yuzu sauce.  Again, with so many ingredients atop the rice, it wasn't devoid of flavor as there was a nice balance of sweet, tangy, salty and the aromatic from sesame oil.  I also added a side of Chicken Karaage that was served with a masago mayo dip. These could've been crispier, but the thin layer of flour on the outside ensured that this was mostly meat.  About that meat, it was juicy, mildly seasoned and super tender.  Alright, I know I've repeated many things in this post, but things were indeed large and things were indeed well-prepared.  Couple that with reasonable pricing and I can see why there is always a lineup here.

The Good:
- Reasonable pricing
- Huge portions (mostly the protein)
- Well-prepared

The Bad:
- Eating in is a hurried experience
- Lineup at most times


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