Sunday, May 10, 2009

Z's Oyster Bar and Steakhouse

*****AS OF JUNE 3, 2011 Z's IS CLOSED*****

We were trying to think of a place to go where you could get a good steak (hubby and I were in the mood for one after a weekend seafood extravaganza) and where my in-laws could get something else. We decided on Z’s Oyster Bar & Steakhouse because, well, it seemed like the perfect middle ground, and most of our experiences there have been good.

Sadly, on a beautiful weekend night, this place was pretty empty when we got there. It is a nice restaurant with a decent deck (maybe a bit too much noise from 465, but whatever) but was pretty quiet, much like many restaurants around here lately.

Anyway, I ordered the roasted clams for my appetizer to split with hubby, which is one of my favorites usually. Unfortunately, these clams were so sandy, they were inedible. Both of us got sand in our first ones, I tried one more, and more sand, so we sent them back. Blech, nothing worse than sand in food. Luckily, we had also ordered a “Washington salad” to split which had apples, candied pecans and Danish blue cheese in a maple-walnut vinaigrette. It was more than enough to split, and it was a really good salad. Washed away all traces of the clams. My in-laws ordered the cornmeal fried oysters which were very nice (and a smallish in size). I was surprised that the portion wasn’t as large as most things there, which is generally fine with me, but some might find it small in comparison.

For my main, I had a petite prime filet. It was very good. Your basic, properly cooked filet, nothing fancy, but done well. For sides we ordered a bunch (you really only need about 2 to share for 4 people, but we all had different ideas). We had the cream style corn which is one of my favorites. They tend to use fresh corn (from Florida this time of year) that is still crispy and delicious and just cook it with some cream and butter—this isn’t the creamed corn that comes in a can. We also ordered the house cheese browns which are like chunks of roasted potatoes with cheese all over. They are quite good, although I think hubby likes them more than I do. Finally, we had the spinach Florentine with mushrooms, onions, bacon and Mornay sauce. Hubby loved these. I thought they were pretty good as well, but I was more interested in the corn I guess.

All in all, it was a really good meal, save for the clams. Not sure what the deal was with those, but I have never had so much sand in clams even when I cook them at home! I am worried about this place though—it is a big place and appears to be faltering like so many these days. If you want to support a good local northside (it’s in Castleton) steakhouse with great seafood (usually anyway, just avoid the clams!), you may want to give Z’s a try before it is too late.

Z’s Oyster Bar and Steakhouse
6220 Castleway West Drive
Indy, 46250


  1. Not sure what your definition of local is, but I believe this is a branch of Louisville based restaurant. I do think they chose an odd location, frankly.

  2. Urbanophile,
    Yeah, I was torn about this--there is only one other location in Louisville as you mention. This is why I didn't classify this as a chain or an independent in my labels. But as far as steakhouses go on the Northside, it is one of the very few that isn't a real chain--I figure, I would rather support a guy who owns two restaurants than a corporation that owns 100. But thanks for pointing it out.

  3. I'm so glad you posted this. We really enjoyed our last meal at Z's but it's quite a drive for us so we rarely go there and quite often forget it's there. We will remember to go within the next few weeks.

    I'm sorry about the clams. There is no excuse for any food being sandy unless you're sitting on a beach.

    I agree with Urbanophile that it is an odd location but aren't most places in Indy in odd locations? I worry about so many restaurants here as so few get can get walk in traffic and so many are tucked so far away in poorly designed strip malls that you would never see them from the street.

    Anyway, thanks for reminding us that it's there and that it's good.

    -Disgruntled Foodie