*****ZEST IS OUT OF BUSINESS******
This is a place I kept hearing about, and I wanted to try, and then I would forget about it. Finally hubby and I made it over one day for lunch. This is mainly a breakfast and lunch place, but they have also recently started serving dinner some nights a week. Every reader review I have read about this place online is a rave, so I thought I needed to go.
They have an extensive menu of sandwiches and salads as well as breakfast items served all day. The place was about half full when we got there and the service was very attentive. At first. Anyway, we ordered sandwiches which come with your choice of sides. I had the hot mushroom sandwich with goat cheese, caramelized onions, balsamic and some greens. The hot sandwiches are HUGE and served sort of hot dog style, wrapped in foil—I realized after I got it that was because it is so big, the sandwich would fall apart if you tried to eat it without the foil. In fact, for me, it was really too big to fit in my mouth, and a bit too much bread I thought, so I sort of ate it open-faced. It was pretty good but a little rich for me—no way could I finish the whole thing. There were A LOT of mushrooms on that puppy though. I got the homemade macaroni and cheese as a side and it was really good. Old fashioned with a nice bread crumb crust. Hubby and both really liked it and the portion is definitely enough to share (which we did and still didn’t finish it).
Hubby had the shredded beef sandwich—I didn’t try it, braised meat isn’t my fave, but I think he liked it about as much as I did mine—good, but so big and a little dry. He got the pomme frites as a side and they were great—one thing this City has mastered it seems are the pomme frites. You can get great ones at Taste, Zest, Nordstrom Café, Brugge and several others. The red pepper aioli was also very good, although not my favorite of all the fancy aiolis you can find around town. Probably Nordstrom has the lock on that with the olive aioli with Taste at a close second with their herby aioli.
The worst part about our visit was the service once we had ordered. It took forever to get our food, and the place wasn’t that busy. I guess I should have been forewarned by the intricate table cloth paper art that is displayed on the walls—clearly people are having enough time to do some large detailed pieces!
The interior is very homey and eclectic—a nice neighborhood café. It is also bigger inside than you would think looking at it from the outside. There is quite a bit of seating.
All in all, the food is pretty good, and certainly very hearty. I would probably go back and next time get the mac & cheese with a side salad or something. That would certainly be a full meal! Or maybe we will go next time for breakfast. Regardless of what you eat, you will certainly not leave this place hungry.
Zest Exciting Food Creations
1134 E 54th Street