To most people, Don is probably “the place where Sushi Republic used to be” or “the place next door to Coffeeology.” Walking by, you wouldn’t expect Don to be much better than its neighbors: two convenience stores, two mediocre ethnic restaurants, and two chain sandwich shops. On the contrary, Don surpasses its neighbors in quality, atmosphere, and service.
Glenn and I moved Don to the top of our restaurant list when we found out that they served ishiyaki (or, more accurately, when we found out what ishiyaki was). Japanese ishiyaki is very similar to Korean dolsot bibimbap. Both employ a technique of cooking raw food (an egg or meat) at the table in a hot stone bowl (along with rice and vegetables). Glenn ordered the bowl with bulgogi (marinated beef) and I ordered it with spicy tuna (it was so spicy!). The waitress brought us a variety of sauces, but Glenn thought the teriyaki went best with bulgogi and I thought the sesame went best with the spicy tuna.
Did I mention we ordered an appetizer? I used to take gyozo (pork dumplings, pot stickers, whatever) for granted, but now I’ve had enough slimy or deep fried versions to know better. These were delicate and delicious.
I always complain that all the nice, sit-down Greensboro restaurants are overpriced. Don was a great date spot — small, romantically lit, excellent service — and, even though we ordered an appetizer, two entrees, and drinks, our bill was under $40. When I make my list of affordable date spots in Greensboro, Don will be at the top.
Don Ishiyaki and Ramen is located on Tate Street near UNCG. It’s a small Japanese restaurant that offers rice bowls and noodle dishes (entrees are under $10). This would be a great restaurant for dates, but not for large groups.
423 Tate St.
Greensboro NC 27403