I met Janet, the owner of ZenFish Poké Bar the same way I met most my new North Carolina friends, on Instagram. We had our first friend date eating noodles and I knew instantly I found a kindred spirit. Shortly after our first friend date, I visited her restaurant!
I always get a little nervous when I try my friends’ restaurants. I want to wholeheartedly love and support their endeavors. So I ordered my first sushi burrito at ZenFish Poké Bar during my initial visit, and felt simultaneously relieved and silly for my apprehension because it was fantastic! I’ve since come back to try their rice bowls and decided I needed more people to know about this small restaurant with a big heart.
ZenFish Poke Bar is a tiny restaurant with so many careful details.
For instance, there are compost and recycle bins on site, which I’ve grown accustomed to in Austin, but haven’t seen much of in restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham area. Also, Janet cares about supporting other local business, so ZenFish sources its produce from local farms, decorates with plants from Zen Succulent, a Durham business, and rotates out local beers and kombucha on tap. Even the uniforms are chosen with love, with a rainbow uniform option to offer support to the LGBTQ community. I can go on listing out other thoughtful details, but I’ll end with the signature bowls and how their names reflect Janet’s core values, Compassion, Gratitude, Courage, and Kindness.
If you don’t want to order one of their signature bowls, you can always engineer your own bowl, which is what I did. I opted for a rice bowl, but other bowl options are quinoa, zoodles, and salad bowls. To design your own bowl is quite simple. First, you pick what kind of bowl you’d like (salad, rice, quinoa, or zoodles). Then, your proteins, toppings, sauces, and crunch. I went for spicy tuna and imitation crab for my proteins and topped with mango, edamame, seaweed salad, and finally, crispy shallots for crunch! I love that I can feel good about every meal I eat here. The flavors leave me satisfied, the ingredients make me feel like I’m taking care of my body, and the values manifested in every sourcing decision make me feel socially responsible. Win, win, win!
Janet is a petite woman with a big heart and personality. It’s not surprising that she is the woman behind a petite restaurant with a big impact on the Durham community! I very much recommend ZenFish Poke Bar!
ZenFish Poke Bar
810 9th St, Durham, NC 27705
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