Hook to Hand: Pacific Counter Brings Coastal Classics to St. Pete

What’s Cooking? Not much… with poke bowls and sushi burritos!

Pacific Counter may be the new kid on the block in St. Petersburg, Florida, having just opened at the end of August, 2018. However, its three co-founders and owners, Eric Bialik, Tanner Loebel and Chitt Noythanongsay (better known as Chef Tock) have a collective 40+ years of restaurant experience among them, as well as a passion for food.

Pacific Coast Friends & Family Crew

Co-owner Eric Bialik described the eatery’s cuisine as primarily Hawaiian and Japanese, with a lot of influence from other Pacific Islands. “Chef Tock is from Laos, and my wife is Filipino, so those are just some of the influences,” he said. He also noted that Tock is a classically trained sushi chef, having studied with a sushi master for ten years. “He doesn’t take shortcuts,” Bialik said of Tock’s approach. “You look at our sushi rice, it’s a two-hour process that gets repeated all day long, cleaning the rice, cooking, adding the rice vinegar. Nothing is rushed, nothing is skipped.” The restaurant’s selection of eight sauces are all from Tock, and all are made fresh in-house daily.

Tofu Bowl

Bialik said that the build-your-own bowls are very popular for delivery. He also said, laughing, that his accountant sister had examined the options for build-your-own and determined that there could be as many as 6.5 million different combinations. “So we like to say, ‘Start your journey to 6.5 million!’”

Because much of Pacific Counter’s offerings are cold, they tend to travel very well. “We keep dressings and salads on the side in delivery, to keep things fresh,” Bialik said. “I’d say the tempura shrimp is maybe one thing that shouldn’t travel, but we do have people order it repeatedly and say it works well when popped in an oven at 350 for 1-1.5 minutes.”

Getting ready to cater!

In the “never say never” category, Bialik admits to being surprised about one item on their menu and how well it does in delivery: The Dole Whip ice cream. “You wouldn’t think that would deliver well, but Bite Squad shows up so promptly that it works,” he said. “We can give it to them right away, and they get it out there. We’ve even just added a pint option and recommend people pop it in their own freezer for a few minutes when it gets to their house. It’s become very popular.”

If you’re a restaurant interested in partnering with Bite Squad, you can find more details over at our Restaurant Partner’s website. We’d love to welcome you to the squad!