The Cuisine: California meets New South
Go For: Homemade desserts, friendly service, and the black-eyed pea salad
Written by Blake Miller
If it weren't for the coconut chocolate fudge torte sitting within reach of me throughout my lunch at Zada Jane's, I just might have escaped with a full stomach and light meal to boot.
No such luck.
But that's what makes Zada Jane's a great place to dine—vegetarians and meat lovers, carb-conscious consumers and go-all-out eaters alike will find a menu full of options. Besides the organic/all-natural ingredients used in the majority of the menu items (think tofu and drug-free meat), this Plaza Midwood hot spot boasts dishes that look like they'll set you back a day at the gym but, in reality, are generally pretty good for you.
From several omelet options loaded with healthful ingredients (the Happy Triker combines broccoli, roasted garlic, sautéed onions, roasted red peppers, and portabella mushrooms) to the Hummus Frummus Wrap (chickpeas, cukes, sprouts, and roasted red pepper), those looking for some nutritious grub can come here and breathe a sigh of relief—finally, not just salads!
But those not cal counting will be satisfied, too. The Druther's Clucker (a fave) is hot pressed with sun-dried tomato mayo, grilled Ashley Farms free-range chicken, caramelized onions, and mozzarella on soft focaccia bread. And the Kool Kips' Nachos (get the small for lunch—the portions are generous on this one) spill over with organic blue corn chips, grilled veggies, black beans, roasted corn, pepper Jack queso, and cheddar cheese.
And, of course, the delectable sweets made in-house are worth the extra half pound you may gain while washing it down with a café mocha at the bar.
As good as the food is, the real star here is the atmosphere. Bright colors and large windows add energy to a cozy space, which fills daily with Plaza Midwood hipsters and urban young professionals, especially during the weekend brunch hour. The air is smoke free, and laid-back, friendly servers pay careful attention to customers' culinary quirks.
1601 Central Ave. (704-332-3663), www.zadajanes.com $, BR, BF, L, P, FSB.