Monday, July 11, 2011

Zest! At Night

   I actually didn't even know Zest served dinner because, while I have had quite a few recommendations to go there to eat, they have all been glowing reviews about their brunch.  I am a big fan of brunch, it's actually my favorite meal, and I definitely thought I would make it there for it by now.  But, alas, I was searching for restaurants that I could easily make a reservation for and I saw Zest as an option.  I took a look at their menu and decided we should give it a try.

THe placE

   I didn't spend much time looking around inside because there was plenty of seating outside and the weather was beautiful.  Our reservation wasn't really necessary at 7:30 on Friday, which is good to know for future reference.  We were seated outside on the patio under the shades, which is nice :)  Zest is located in SoBro on 54th, so not as much people traffic to watch as sitting outside in the BR, but I still like it down there.  I would have expected it to be a bit busier, but I think you know as well as I do, there are so many good restaurants in Indy, it's got to be hard to keep busy for dinner!!  There were a decent number of people out there enjoying the summer night over dinner though.  The only think I was kind of disappointed about was that online it was indicated that on Friday nights there would be live jazz.  Now, I know we were there kind of early at 7:30, but we stayed for awhile and there were no signs of jazz happening.  Maybe inside?  But, why would that be?  Outside would be perfect and it would also be great to have something like that at dinner time.  I moved on though and got to enjoying some food, which is what we were there for anyway, right?  Right.

The Food

   For starters, they brought us out this cute little can full o' warm fresh pretzel bread and a french loaf. favsies.  I am pretty easy to please in the bread department, warm, delicious and fresh, I'm in.  They served it with an olive tapenade, olive oil with sundried tomato and a nice hearty mustard.  Hubs really liked the pretzel bread with the mustard.  I almost didn't get any he liked it so much.  I did want to try it, so I grabbed a bite right before they completely disappeared down his gullet.  The french loaf was pretty to die for and I preferred it in the olive oil anyway.  Nice and simple, and, like I said, my favsies.

My entree

  I had a difficult time deciding what to order, there were a few interesting sounding choices, including one of the specials, which was pork and shrimp skewers over some tasty sounding couscous.  But, I decided to try something off the regular menu for reviewing purposes and I wanted to make sure I was getting a real taste of what a Zest dinner had to offer.  I scored me some Baja Tacos.  And dang, they seriously look good, don't they?!?

   A light cornmeal crusted fish served on corn tortillas with white cheddar and a chipotle slaw.  Now, the chipotle slaw was a push for me, I'm not much on slaw usually, but I trusted the combo.  Something I have been trying to do lately, I figure the chefs know what they are doing!!  And, with this, I really think they did.  It was tangy and fun, not too spicy, but a little kick.  The fish was prepared well and I loved the light breading.  I am also a sucker for a corn tortilla always. 

   My Baja Tacos were served with refried black beans made in house (which when I saw on the menu, may have pushed me to ordering this option...I love some beans).  The beans were topped with an avocado salad.  They were also drizzled with the same chipotle sauce that was on the tacos, which made them taste similar, but brought them together as a meal.  For me, the tacos were really good.  I am very glad I ordered them, but the beans were a bit of a pass.  They were not too tasty, a bit bland and I would have preferred more avocado.  

Hubs' Meal

Hubs has been talking about going to Maxine's chicken and waffles for a few weeks now, so when I saw chicken and waffles on the menu, I directed his eyes there.  He thought this might be a good opportunity to fill that craving, or at least give the whole chicken and waffles thing a try.  They also looked really good.  Zest sure did a good job with their presentation.
  As far as the chicken and waffles went, I think Hubs might not have read the menu closely :)  He was surprised by the white-cheddar scallion waffles at first.  They were topped with a dijon gravy and gralic mashed potatoes.  It looked like the chicken was breaded with the same cornmeal breading as my fish.  Hubs' impression of this was that it was interesting, but he thought maybe a little more gourmet than it needed to be.  You know how sometimes something that is simple and delicious can be made weird if you try too hard to make in gourmet?  That's what he thought.  So, it looked pretty, but it wasn't his favorite.  Looks like he's gonna have to try Maxine's for comparison!!

The wrap

   Overall, I liked Zest.  They had a cool little menu and the specials sounded pretty good too.  It was nice to sit out on the patio, even without the jazz (sad face).  I really liked the tacos, and would totally get them again, but I think Hubs will try something different.  I am still looking forward to trying brunch here...AND I am dying to try the world famous mac and cheese.  I am expecting it to be super good, which sometimes works...if it's super good.  So, here's to high expectations!!  Oh yeah, this place was also featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  I didn't do too much research on that and I haven't seen the episode, but I know some people are really into that, so I thought I mention it (not that you didn't already know :)).  I have no idea what they tried here, I didn't want to taint my personal decision-making.

Zest Exciting Food Creations on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum! We *love* Zest. Yes, their brunch is outstanding, but should you ever head down there again for dinner, I highly suggest the shortrib. Absolutely one of my top 5 best things I've ever put in my mouth...


  2. your meal looked really good! great photo too, i LOVE fish tacos, especially when they have a little breading;)

  3. I've been wanting to go to Zest for a while, and this only reinforces that feeling. The chicken and waffles certainly doesn't look like what I would expect it to look like, but it still looks delicious. Also, you should get a twitter handle and tweet about food with the rest of us.

  4. Those Baja tacos look amazing! It's only 9:32am (reading blogs at work, shhh!) and my stomach is already growling.

    -Indy Girl in Love :)

  5. Good stuff. Keep doin it.

  6. We can use mustard oil in pickling, sausage making, and in boiling vegetables such as cabbage. Today I can t imagine any recipe without mustard. Thanks for sharing wonderful recipe for us.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...