The Block: Not so average concept produces average meals

Austin Mucchetti

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Lucas Gillespie

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With colorful lights and a wide space, The Block has an inviting atmosphere for diners. The food court style restaurant also provides many different food options.

Photo by Lucas Gillespie

With colorful lights and a wide space, The Block has an inviting atmosphere for diners. The food court style restaurant also provides many different food options.

Pike and Rose is constantly bringing in high-end, hip restaurants and their newest addition is no exception. The Block is an Asian food hall consisting of Poke bowls, noodles, Taiwanese ice cream and more. 

From the start, our night out at The Block didn’t go well. Although Pike and Rose has lots of parking, finding an open spot proved to be a challenge, especially on a Saturday night. Be advised that both parking garages may be full if you plan to go for dinner. Once inside, diners will discover that The Block has a refreshed and modern atmosphere. There are couches and plush seats in the bar area and the whole dining space is adorned with bright pastel-colored tables and chairs. The multicolored lights and large, garage-style windows also make the space feel a lot brighter and more lively. 

The premise of the dining experience is simple. There are four different restaurants in the space, with a communal soda machine in the middle. Diners can choose from Pokeworks, which serves Poke bowls, Oppa for rice bowls and hot pots, Mama Meis for noodles and Snocream for dessert. It is also a very efficient system. Rather than having to listen for your order to be called once it’s finished, the individual restaurants have their own buzzers that notify you when your order is ready.

We both chose to go to Mama Meis and got the spicy Singapore noodles with beef, as well as General Tso’s chicken wings. In terms of flavor, the Singapore noodles were lacking. Although it was spicy, we found that this spice overpowered some of the flavor from both the beef and the noodles. We also thought that more could have been added to the dish in terms of toppings and ingredients. The whole meal was just noodles, beef and a minimal amount of vegetables. Even though there was extra soy sauce and peanuts for customers, we wish that there were more options for veggies, sauces, and other toppings to be added in before the meal is cooked. The wings were another story. We would say there were about 8-10 wings, but unfortunately, we were so hungry that we forgot to count them before digging in. All in all, they were better than we anticipated. The sauce was sweet and savory, complementing the tender chicken well and leaving us disappointed when we finished them all. Aside from the taste, there were some other important things to note. For one, $13.45 for wings and soda was on the pricier side. Although we enjoyed our meal, we kept thinking we could’ve gotten something similar at other restaurants for much cheaper. In addition, after eating them, there was sauce all over our hands which was not easy to get off. 

Overall, we found that The Block a bit disappointing. However, in terms of decor and atmosphere, it was fantastic. Although, with overpriced meals, a general lack of flavor in some dishes and inconvenient parking options, The Block is just…average.