Restaurant week Fall 2013: Zona & Co. Grille

If you’re one of the many campus bar crawlers, it’s very possible that you’ve walked right past Zona & Co. Grille’s on the corner of “Gorgeous Washington” Street. It’s that little place with the really cool patio outside. Yeah, you know the one. Emulating that very familiar, very comfortable American bar ambiance, Zona’s offers a very diverse and unique menu, spanning countries, cultures and cuisines. The menu offers a contemporary take on classic southwestern, Asian and American cuisine in an atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a gimmick. Ever pass up a chance for good Mexican food because you didn’t really feel like putting up with sombreros and mariachi? Not at Zona’s!

Paige Nazinitsky / Managing Editor

The interior is warm and neat: red walls, dark tile floors, five TVs hanging all around the room. A few of the tables are made from slices of a log, very rustic. The menu may seem limited, but whether you like tacos, burgers or udon noodles, Zona’s has a little something for everyone. It shows in the clientele too. Whether you’re a crew of moms out for a glass of wine or a college bro pack out to watch the game, Zona’s is the place.

The food, of course, is incredible. The portions are big, which is good, because you’re going to want to take some home, and the appetizers are fair to share. The nachos are made with their house-fried corn chips (taste more like puff pastries), layered with black beans, jalapeños, pico de gallo, sour cream, your choice of chicken or shrimp and melted queso. The beauty behind the dish lies in the cheese sauce; it’s more creamy than cheesy and avoids that fake cheese taste that you’d get in a high school cafeteria. They’re also seemingly never-ending, which is nice at a base price of $11 (with chicken). However, there is plenty to go around, and sharing among the table is highly recommended.

Gavin Morrow, a sophomore majoring in chemistry, claims they’re “the best nacho’s I’ve ever had.”

For the entree, Zona’s makes sure nobody is left in need. With seven different quesadillas for around $11 (they’re gigantic too), they have everything from plain queso to buffalo chicken to chicken bacon ranch. The tacos come soft, ready to be devoured. The burritos come at a price that rivals even the best that Chipotle has to offer. The sandwiches (burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, typical bar food, all around $12) come the way they should, and the homemade french fries are something to be applauded. Not too greasy, and topped with a salivating seasoning. Oh, and if you’re feeling a little Pacific, they have udon noodles (about $12) that will make you want to say, “Hee, sore wa yokatta ne!” (Roughly, “Wow, that’s great!” according to japanese.about.com.)

Zona’s offers a unique contemporary take on everybody’s favorite foods and offers them in generous portions and beautiful presentations. You wouldn’t expect it at first glance, but this isn’t your typical American bar and grill. So this Restaurant Week, consider Zona’s your stop for the food you love, in the atmosphere you enjoy, for fair prices with which you can’t help but agree.