Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zea Rotisserie and Grill - New Orleans, LA

I awoke one afternoon in my hotel room in New Orleans with the gut rumble hunger usually associated with a hangover. Not wanting to leave my hotel, but desperately needing time alone and some food, I headed out. Shaded eyewear mandatory.

Not wanting to (or luckily for me, needing to) travel too far, I popped across the street to Zea Rotisserie and Grill. They are somewhat of a southern chain, but not so large they suck (kind of like Buca Di Beppo - one of my favorite Italian places.) The exterior was inviting and very modern, and I was greeted right away when I stepped inside. The area is divided with varied seating if booths and tables, and is spacious and clean. I chose a booth and studied the lunch menu, which I would rate a 4 out of 5 on my lunch menu scale.

It only took about a minute for my server to come, who was extremely friendly and accomodating. He helped me finally decide to order a small zeasar salad (siiiggghh...i know, i know) and the lunch portion of 1/2 rotisserie chicken (1/2 chicken roasted on an open flame - $14.95), and decided on the sweet and spicy chili glaze. It came with a side, so I decided on the red beans and rice so I could at least say I tried some local specialties during my trip!

I didn't get a good picture of the salad, but I literally could not even eat all of it. Not because it was so huge, but because it was SO overdressed and salty. I had a few bites, slurped down like 2 diet cokes, then hit re-set on my mind before my lunch came.

I started off by trying the red beans and rice, which were surprisingly hearty in a thick gravy and a good kick of spice. I know I don't have much to compare this to, but I was definitely won over by this southern classic!

The chicken was extremely moist, juicy, and even greasy. I know that dark meat with skin is usually a little greasy, but I had to ask my waiter for lots of napkins (the cloth napkins just don't cut it in these situations.) Despite it being a little messy, the chicken was flavorful and savory. The seasoning didn't add anything significant, but it didn't take away from the essence of the bird either. Overall, I ate half of my 1/2 bird, all my red beans and rice, and was stuffed.

Zea was very, very good. And since I am staying in the same hotel next time I go, I definitely will return.

Zea Rotisserie & Grill on Urbanspoon


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