So, this Zed isn't dead. It's alive and living in taliesinesque splendor. I know there was a lot of buzz over the new Frank Lloyd Wright inspired building built earlier this year. I didn't buy into the buzz, but I was looking forward to the food. It's American food in its truest sense. Comfort foods, burgers, things that just sound good on menus. Now, I can't say for sure, but there's something on their website about being from Australia. So, I can only assume some Australian restauranteur infiltrated American kitchens and went unnoticed while he stole recipes for the best American dishes and made them his own. Well that's my story anyway. And my hat's off to you, mate. (Do they say "mate" in Australia?)
I need an opinion. I don't do "fine dining" a lot. But, I didn't really perceive this as "fine dining". Is it? I sort of felt like those times I was traveling on business and ate in the hotel's dining room. It's nice, but people are still dressed casually. Which is good actually, because I'm always casual. But, I guess this would also be a nice place for a business occasion or even a date. Or a meeting of people who watch the show "Mad Men". The walls are the same exposed brick as the exterior, and there is a maturity to the atmosphere. They have a candle on each table, but the lighting isn't romantically low. I like that the tables are spaced far enough apart for comfortable conversations. I didn't like that loud scraping noise my chair made against the stone floor when I pulled it out. I'm afraid heads turned. Oops. Sorry. And those chairs, they may have been the strongest connection to hotel restaurant. They are wood framed but upholstered chairs with very low arms. Comfortable, and very different than most of the chairs I eat from. Perhaps I need to get out more.
Now, the best part, dinner rolls brought to our table warm and shiny. Puffy pillowy rolls made from the wings of baby angels. Wait, that came out rather creepy. Or yelpy. Now imagine the best rolls you've had, but fill them with butter flavored air. Still weird. Well, here's a picture of the best damn rolls I've ever eaten...
|Why do restaurants always give two people THREE rolls? Do they want to see if we'll fight over the third?
Our entrees were also spectacular. Hubby got the chicken fried steak and I had the hickory burger. I didn't get a bite of his chicken fried steak, so it must have been too good to share. The burger was a true half pound. They violated a slight pet peeve of mine, which is that the burger way overhung the bun, but I'll forgive them. They grind the meat in house. It's high quality beef and they cook it perfect medium rare, with a nice char-grilled flavor on it. Very, very good. The bun itself had tiny dried serrano peppers in it, so occasionally, my tongue was hit with a pin prick of heat that wasn't present anywhere else in the burger. The Shiner Bock hickory sauce was a well-thought-out barbecue sauce for the burger. They put plenty on, making the burger too messy for the environment I was in, but damn tasty anyway. The cheddar and bacon were also high quality and this was a great high end burger. We commented that although the prices are a little high, they seemed reasonable for the quality and execution we were getting. We've paid similar prices for a much inferior burger recently, so the prices didn't bother us here.
The consensus was that we'd go back and try a lot more offerings on the menu (and more rolls). It's just too bad this isn't the sort of place I can comfortably stuff rolls into my purse when the waiter turns away. Just kidding. I don't do that. But, now that I've thought of it... ???
|The Chicken Fried Steak I didn't get to try. The gravy was reported to be real pan gravy too.
|I forgot to mention how good the fries were. Hand cut and nicely seasoned with a "Lawry's" style seasoned salt.