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Chosabi

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When the first Chosabi opened on King Street in the Exchange District, it was meant to be the one-and-only.

But visitors kept saying how much they loved the concept, and thought Winnipeg could sustain more locations slinging the trademark sushi burritos.

“We didn’t expect it to be such a big hit in Winnipeg,” says Chosabi manager, Roger Wilkinson.

“Within six or seven months, we opened up Pembina and we had great response. We decided to open up on Portage (Avenue) – it was a great location and you’ve got to take it while business is good.”

For its third installment, Chosabi found a prime location on Portage Avenue facing the University of Winnipeg campus.

“We wanted to be downtown,” explains Wilkinson. “It’s going to be the new hotspot with the new development going up (behind MTS Centre) – expanding out and bringing a lot more people downtown.”

Since opening on Portage Avenue, Chosabi has served many students who say they used to make the trek to the Exchange District for its poke bowls or burritos, and are happy to have the convenience of the new destination.

“This area is mostly going to be driven by the students, the local businesses, and the area residents,” says Wilkinson. “But mostly by the students… after eating in the cafeteria a few times, you get sick of eating the same thing.”

One of the things that set Chosabi Portage Avenue apart from its sister restaurant in the Exchange is it’s a bit of a streamlined version. Modeled more closely after the Pembina Highway location, it features build-your-own bowls and burritos, offering a selection of proteins, vegetables, flavour-enhancing toppings, sauces, and your choice of crunch (like wonton chips). Though trimming out some of the hot items like curry and spicy udon soup, Chosabi’s tried-and-true menu staples in the bowl and burrito varieties remain at Portage.

With a focus on sustainable nutrition, Chosabi is designated as ocean friendly by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. “It’s something that we’re happy to do,” explains Wilkinson. “It’s all the little things that make the burrito or the bowl great.”

As well as ensuring they aren’t supporting the overfishing of tuna and crab, Chosabi uses only the freshest ingredients, sourcing some ingredients locally, and using all compostable or recyclable take-out containers.

The feel-good containers will help relieve all guilt when Chosabi adds its build-your-own concept to its menu on Skip the Dishes.

Find Chosabi at 104-520 Portage Ave. and on skipthedishes.com.