Sunday, July 22, 2012

What can't they do with a flour tortilla at Z's Bar and Grill?

Bowling is quite popular at LC's.

Of late I've been walking down to the near-Southside to Z's Bar & Grill across the street from Graziano's on the corner of Union and Jackson. Z's shares space with the Hispanic American Legion Post 731, the building's owners.

Z's is a friendly neighborhood bar; cool, dark and spacious. Folks on either side of the bar are a generally jovial lot and I appreciate having such a place only a twenty minutes' walk from home. Other favorite haunts in the neighborhood I frequent are the Firehouse Lounge on S.E. Sixth, and tiny but comfy LC's Corner Bar at Jackson and S.E. Fourth. On a pleasant day, this trio makes for a leisurely bar crawl.

Z's offers a fairly decent selection of sandwiches, pizzas, and Mexican-inspired dishes. What I find most delightful with the latter is their employ of deep-fried flour tortillas. For tacos Z's toothpicks a tortilla around a filling of seasoned ground beef and refried beans, not too dissimilar from the fried tacos served at Henry J's on S.W. Ninth [see blog post].

Finished with a smattering of lettuce, onion, tomato and finely shredded cheese, they're fun to eat. Z's also makes their own taco sauce and salsas for added accent.

The appropriately named Z-Nachos boast flour tortillas cut into familiar triangles before frying. Topped with meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, and onion – with optional sour cream and fresh salsa – it's a hefty appetizer. Being housemade, the salsa can range from zesty to inoffensive. You may prefer a healthy dose of the taco sauce if you like your nachos on the picante side.

The big surprise is the bean tostada. For three bucks it's a lot of food piled onto a lone tortilla. Heaped with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, onion, and cheese with salsa on the side – and optional sour cream – I expected the fried flour tortilla to break up leaving me with a pile of dregs to fork up, but surprisingly it held everything up with only a few droppings on my plate. The day I enjoyed this also featured a good zippy batch of salsa.

The bean and cheese burrito I also ordered on this occasion was simple and study with some chopped onion added for texture. It's filling but certainly not as remarkable as the rest.

On Tuesdays tacos are fifty cents off, with a pair going for an even fiver.

In catering to a young Mexican clientèle, Z's offers a few Mexican beers, including 24 oz. cans of Tecate, Buchanan's blended Scotch whisky – a brand once popular in the States but still widely favored in many parts of Latin America – and due to its popularity, pineapple drink is offered instead of orange juice for cocktails. I particularly like it with rum.

Now if I could talk Z's into carrying bottles of Jarritos Toronja.

Z's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


bentoons said...

Z's tacos are soooo good!

Nancy said...

We went to Z's on Saturday after I had read your blog about them and we had the best time. Really really nice people and the food - outstanding. Thanks - keep up the good work!!