What is a poke burrito, you ask? Imagine a seafood burrito but swap out the bread with a seaweed wrap. It will be a fun and healthy change of pace, which is what this restaurant will be all about. The atmosphere will match the array of foods – unexpected, fresh and refreshing. In addition to its namesake dish, the restaurant will feature poke bowls, sushi on rice and rolls, bubble tea (a favorite beverage for Debbie), Japanese-style ramen noodles, hibachi cooking and sushi rolls. Poke Burrito is slated to open this July. This will be the first restaurant in Howell that focuses on poke.
Making a Difficult but Rewarding Decision
One year ago, Debbie and Tommy Dong made a difficult yet one of the most rewarding decisions in their lives together. After working 12-hour days, seven days each week for ten years at a local award-winning restaurant in Howell, they sold the business to devote 2020 to their family of four. It was the right decision and a fresh start. Even with the pandemic and its inherent limitations, they made amazing memories of laughter, cherished conversations and adventures. They basked in the beauty of growing together as a tight-knit family with a tween and a teen.
The two also focused on themselves – exercising, becoming more fit and changing their eating habits. “We took care of our children, and we took care of ourselves. We smile more, are healthier and are ready for the next step in our lives,” explains Debbie.
With high hopes for fulfilling futures for their children, which includes college, Debbie and Tommy researched ideas for less time-consuming restaurant that offered delicious, healthy food that would be appreciated by their former Howell patrons. They considered buying a franchise, but none fit their vision. Starting from scratch and after months of visiting NYC, Philly and NJ shore towns collecting menus, visiting websites and seeking feedback from friends and neighbors, they decided to open Poke Burrito at Howell Plaza.
“We were determined to stay in Howell since our family loves it here. As it is, we miss our customers, but with the new Poke Burrito opening, we get to see them again – I can’t wait!” shares Debbie enthusiastically.
In fact, one of Debbie’s favorite aspects of working with the public is “talking to our customers. We treat them like friends and family, and they do the same for us. In fact, there’s no need to even buy anything, just come in and say hi.”
Poke Burrito is the perfect addition to Howell Plaza Shopping Center’s existing array of healthful and fun-oriented stores and businesses for families and individuals alike.