|501 Canyon Ridge Dr.
Austin, TX 78753
I liked the old Zed’s. But I like the new one even more. Yes, my favorite Chicken Pot Pie and Root Beer Ribs are gone, but you know what, I’ve gotten over it. That’s because the kitchen crew, including Chefs Adrian and Daryl, and front of the house marketing person Rachel Landa, have pulled off a minor miracle. For each former dish I liked, there’s a newer, even tastier one.
The Grilled Artichoke remains from the old menu, and it’s still a killer. Mounds of smoky goodness. And the Crab Croquettes are delicate little doo dads with miles of flavor and a nice crispiness.
But the newer dishes have stamped their signature across Zed’s brand. The Corn Beef Reuben is a great example. The sandwich mixes both Thousand Island and Russian Dressing, opts for replacing the sauerkraut with a pickled cabbage, and the result is a killer sandwich.
Another new dish which won’t be a regular, but will be available from time to time is called the Thirsty Clams. Love the steamed Little Neck clams in beer with a hearty sauce heavy with celery and pancetta. This is a unique dish that’s emblematic of the new Zed’s. Another new favorite is the Traditional Fish and Chips. I found that the cod just melted in my mouth, and the light batter aided that process. The flavor was lovely and the texture was perfect. I’d trade this for the Chicken Pot Pie in a heartbeat.
I was likewise taken with the Pistachio Crusted Halibut. The fish is light and flaky with the beurre blanc sauce over bright green beans. I actually had a few bites and then took this to go. Ate the rest around midnight, and it was perfect after about two minutes in the microwave. Dishes that travel well are a hallmark of good restaurants. And a good sign for Zed’s.
You must also try the amazing Antelope Burger. When I lived in Laramie, WY for a year way back when, and watched the antelope gather at the top of the hill above our apartment, I never envisioned that some day I’d be having them as bugers at Zed’s. They are simply prepared, but the flavor and tenderness is unrelenting. A little mustard lettuce, tomato, and onions and voila! Healthy, and a perfect roll.
The desserts are first rate beginning with the Irish Car Bomb Cake. This is a treat without a hint of the violence the name implies. And when’s the last time you had a genuine Root beer Float? I finished mine off with a dollop of Amy’s Vanilla Ice Cream, and it was classic Americana. Moving continents, the Creme Brulet was one of the better versions you’ll find in our city or any city.
Finally, we come to Sunday Brunch. The Chicken and Waffles are a staple, with a smooth, lugubrious flavor. And then can we talk about the Pecan Street Rum Bananas Foster. This dish is enough to make any chef proud and any patron delighted. I haven’t had anything this good since my last visit to Bennan’s in New Orleans. The Brunch runs from 11am to about 4pm. I couldn’t think of a nicer spot to enjoy your food and take in the lovely view with the bridge in the background.
So welcome to the restaurant that completely reinvented itself. The staff is accommodating and full of helpful enthusiasm. Forget what you may have learned from the first iteration of Zed’s. This new one is flat-out going to ROCK!