Foodie on the Half Shell: Have an eclectic meal at Zenith's Cafe


Photo Credit: Olivia Beals

A hidden gem is amidst us, everyone. As a self proclaimed trendy foodie, I was disappointed in myself for not knowing about Zenith’s Vegetarian Café sooner.

Experience this with me…you are going to brunch on a Sunday morning with friends, expecting a little hole-in-the-wall of a café. Instead, you walk into what appears to be a huge antique store filled with only the best vintage clothes, decorations, paintings, statues, jewelry, light bulbs, and, of course, about 100 different Virgin Mary statuettes. It is a good thing that there is a large antique store chock full of goodies to look at because the wait for their café can be around an hour long. Don’t worry though, there is coffee available to tide you over and a funky sitting area to rest your legs after climbing through the mountains of antique glory.

The dining room is just as funkadelic, and it even had remainders of Christmas décor when I was there a couple of weeks ago. You sit down at your own unique table with interesting table cloths and pitchers of water that look like they belong in your great-aunt Gertrude’s house. You could be sitting with other people in a communal style (as you know I hate), but if you have a large enough group you won’t have to worry about that.

The brunch menu is small and mainly vegan unless you add the option of cheese on some dishes. You can order the usual brunch options such eggs and French toast or go for something a little more unique, like a tofu sandwich with Gouda cheese, Russian dressing, and cucumbers or a curry stew. Either way, for only $11.50 you can get an entrée of your choice, a tea or a coffee, and unlimited access to their buffet.

The buffet is very casual and made up of about a dozen different cold dishes such as spicy green beans, pasta in pesto, a green salad, hummus, dolma, and different types of bread. There is something for everyone there—even my sister who is a picky eater was totally happy with her eating experience. Another table full of delicious looking vegan desserts. My favorite item at the buffet was the spicy green beans that seemed to have an Asian-inspired flavor.

The entrees are just as yummy. Don’t expect anything fancy—it is all just simple home cooking. I had the red bean tacos which were simply docked up with some lettuce and pico del gallo. Every entrée came with some mushy curry rice thing that went perfectly with my tacos. The other entrees that I saw were the blueberry pancakes, the malkin melt, and the seitan burgundy, all of which were also served with the curry rice. All of the entrées are generous portions and seriously worth your buck.

The brunch is great option, but they are also open Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Stop in for shopping, brunch, lunch, or dinner. All types of people show up at this joint including children, baby boomers, and, of course, a lot of hipsters. The prices are low, the food is plentiful and the ambiance is superior to any other trendy vintage café around here. Drag your grungy combat boots and worn out TOMS into this place and live your unique and oh-so-edgy dream in this eclectic yet quaint café. Go. Just go​.