Sunday, January 9, 2011

**Restaurant Review: Za's**

One of Vivian's new pastimes is going out to "the restaurant," as she refers to it (this applies to ALL restaurants).  One of her favorites is the spaghetti & meatballs at Za's.  Neil and I like taking her there because it's one of the few meals we order that she eats without a bunch of fiddling around and playing and non-eating.  Interestingly, she rejects spaghetti at home, but will plow through a bowl of Za's spaghetti.  

If any of you read my post "How my husband has influenced the Columbia restaurant scene"then you know we are no strangers to this restaurant. So this isn't a new place review, just a review of today's meal.  

Vivi ordered her usual, and as usual, ate very well.  She gave it a thumbs up and was very pleased to be able to demonstrate to our waitress her "happy plate."  For those of you without kids, that means a clean plate.  She was also delighted about the itty bitty grapes that were included in her side of fruit.  I must admit they were quite cute indeed.

Neil ordered the roast beef sandwich.  It's thinly sliced beef on a crusty sub roll with peppers, onions and cheese.  I tasted it and thought the roast beef was nice and flavorful, but the steak sauce that they served with it didn't do it any favors.  It was thick and very vinegary, but Neil tells me "It's just steak sauce.  That's how food service steak sauce tastes."  Ok, then.

I ordered an old favorite, the personal size (although I can only handle 1/2) "Zeus Za." Za's has very nice thin crust pizza that is baked in a wood-fired oven.  The Zeus is a beautiful combination of tomato, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, red onion and feta.  My pizza today was quite good, but the chef du jour was pretty heavy-handed with the red onion and light on the feta.  The onions were well cooked and soft but there were just too many.  A little more feta would have provided that subtle little goaty "bite" that makes feta so special.  

This is not an actual photo of my Zeus, but it looks pretty similar...
For any of you who have never been to Za's (and I doubt there are many who have not) I do wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant.  It's a comfortable yet mod locally owned spot right in the middle of Shandon & Heathwood.  They will make you happy whether you're there for appetizers before an event, drinks on a crowded people-watchin' Friday night or just a good ol' fashioned pizza and beer outing.  Check out their menu here, and then give it a go. I'm pretty darn sure you'll leave there happy.

Za's Brick Oven Pizza on Urbanspoon

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