Like many east Cobb eateries, Zeal Kitchen and Bar is tucked into a strip mall. But, what it might lack in location charm, it makes up for inside, with a handful of delightful surprises. Step inside with us, and discover five reasons why you should check them out.
1. Cool vibe
Don’t let the average-looking exterior fool you — inside, Zeal offers a surprisingly modern and trendy space for kicking back with friends and family for a meal. Brick walls, industrial ceilings and Edison bulb light fixtures give the space a casual, cool vibe.
2. Buffalo chicken panini
The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner — as well as weekend brunch — on its seasonal menu. Recently, one of our favorite dishes was the Buffalo chicken panini (still available as this was written). It’s a hefty sandwich, with tender, breaded chicken and just the right amount of heat; you might plan on saving half for later, but, inevitably, you’ll end up devouring every last crumb. It comes with house-cut fries, but you can substitute zucchini fries (which we recommend), sweet potato fries or a side salad.
3. Scallops with Brussels sprouts
On the dinner menu, try the diver scallops — a crowd-pleasing standby that’s served with crispy Brussels sprouts in a balsamic brown butter sauce. Simple, but flavorful, and well cooked; it hits the spot every time.
4. Zucchini fries
It’s hard to beat traditional french fries, but the zucchini fries at Zeal are a formidable opponent. These light and crunchy creations make a nice accompaniment to some of the heavier burgers and sandwiches on the menu. The best part, however, is the remoulade dipping sauce, for a creamy, zesty kick.
5. Gluten-free options
If you get frustrated trying to find decent gluten-free options when dining out, you’ll be happy to know that a vast majority of Zeal’s menu is gluten-free (or has an option to be modified to be gluten-free, like substituting a gluten-free bun for burgers). Dietary restrictions won’t dull your meal here.
Zeal Kitchen and Bar. 1255 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, 678-401-7142, zealrestaurant.com.
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