Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plenty Filling: Zea Rotisserie & Grill

About a week ago, I decided to take my husband and baby out for an early dinner/late lunch.  The hubby couldn't decide what he wanted, so I ventured over to my urbanspoon account to remind myself of my restaurant wishlist.

Surveying the choices, my eyebrows were knitting at the potentials... apparently I have expensive desires.  Then I saw it.  Bingo! Zea Rotisserie & Grill!  I have been wanting to try this place for a year, having driven past many times and having read plenty of rave reviews from local connoisseurs of Albuquerque establishments. 

Arriving in the late afternoon, (before the dinner rush,) we were immediately seated by the man who was also our server.  We were asked if we preferred a table or a booth and, as usual, we both said "booth."  Let me tell you... the booth was HUGE!  I wasn't too pleased that our server chose to seat us at the one booth in the joint that had a major dip in the cushion and had been sloppily repaired with industrial tape.  (I had to scoot way in to avoid the broken spring.)  All that aside, however, and not wishing to complain, we ordered our soft drinks and scanned the menu while our server, Mike recited the specials of the day.  (He was very sweet but his voice was unnecessarily loud.  So loud, in fact, he woke up the baby, who had been sleeping pleasantly in her carrier until then.)

Continuing an optimistic view and ignoring the booming sounds of our server, (even echoing throughout the fairly empty restaurant as he went about his serving duties with us and his other tables,) Michael and I continued to look at and discuss the items on the menu.  What a meat lovers dream!  Every kind of grilled and roasted meat you can imagine priced anywhere from reasonable to down-right riDONKulous.

Asian Almond Shrimp
Remembering other reviews I had read which lavished about the giant portions, the man and I decided to order two things and split them, but first... an appetizer.  The waiter recommended the Hummus or the Asian Almond Shrimp and I had also read about the Asian Shrimp being pretty tasty... So, we ordered the shrimp.  It was indeed delicious; large, crispy-fried shrimp on a bed of crunchy, fresh cabbage and topped with almond slivers, green onions and a spicy-sweet sauce.  (The "sauce" was more of a glaze and although yummy, it was a tad bit sticky for my taste.  Too much corn starch.)

For our main courses, we ordered the Sweet & Spicy Rotisserie Chicken with Zea Potatoes and Roasted Corn, and the Honey Island Chicken Sandwich with Fries.  (When we ordered the sandwich, the waiter asked if we'd seen one before and saying, "no," he said we were in for a treat.)

Boy, were we ever!  It was gigantic!  We could have just shared the sandwich...

Honey Island Chicken Sandwich - Fried breast, bacon, Jack cheese, honey mustard, lettuce & tomato 
The french fries were quite thin and very crispy, (reminded me of Steak N' Shake's shoestring fries.)  Bridgett really liked them, too.  The chicken sandwich was killer!  And, it was only $9.95!  I didn't like their version of honey mustard though... too vinegary.  Good thing I ordered mayo on the side. 

What was really nice was how they split our chicken dish for us onto two separate plates.  The roasted corn was to die for!  I will return just for that!  The Zea Potatoes were heavily and deliciously seasoned chunks of potato... I wasn't sure if they had been fried or roasted, but they were good.  The chicken was moist and perfectly cooked, but I was highly disappointed to see that same, sticky glaze from the shrimp appetizer now smothering my chicken as well.  Like I said before, it was tasty, but way too sticky.  My hands were so messy by the end of the meal, I had to use a baby wipe to clean them.  (They should bring moist towelettes with the check.)
Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Roasted Corn and Zea Potatoes

All in all, the food was quite scrumptious, the service was fast and our drinks were never empty.  If you order smartly, you won't spend a fortune.  Portions are large; sharing is not a bad idea.

The broken booth, the overtly-loud server, the too-sticky glaze and no changing table in the men's restroom, (a MUST for any modern eating establishment.)  Also, we were seated near the servers' station and could hear EVERYTHING they said to one another, and a lot of it was NOT family friendly.

I WILL return, but not any time soon and I positively will NOT be ordering anything with that glaze on it.

All this food for less than $25, (excluding the appetizer and drinks.)

Zea Rotisserie & Grill on Urbanspoon

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