Zea’s good food, generous servings create great meal experience

More Zea’s, please!

The eclectic menu at Zea Rotisserie & Grill makes sure there’s something for almost everyone. Asian to Cajun is represented with lots in between. Decorated in warm colors and soft lighting with colorful prints along the walls, the restaurant, one of several in South Louisiana and Mobile, is very inviting and comfortable. The selection of soft music playing was also very mixed but pleasing.

We started our meal with the two appetizers offered on their fall menu: fried goat cheese with fig onion jam ($8.50) and the hummus flight ($9.95). The three large medallions of goat cheese in a crispy batter were served atop an Asian-flavored, very thin sesame seed cracker with the preserves on the side. The gooey battered and fried cheese was wonderful, and the slightly sweet preserves and the crunch of the cracker made a great combination. The three types of hummus (Mediterranean, pesto and roasted red pepper) were served very artistically in clear glass dishes, but it was hard to dip the soft pita pieces and we wished more shallow serving dishes had been chosen. Other than that, this dish was excellent as well, and of the three we liked the red pepper and pesto more than the Mediterranean.

We enjoyed the entrees we tried and can recommend them all. The shrimp Breaux Bridge ($15.75) was a generous serving of shrimp sauteed in garlic and seasonings tossed with penne pasta and mixed with a slightly spicy rich sauce that wasn’t too heavy.

The second “finished plate” we tried, listed on both the regular and seasonal menu, was the Gulf shrimp and grits. Zea is known for its corn grits and the island of creamy delicious grits surrounded by the wonderful light brown etouffee sauce, swimming with sauteed shrimp and sausage, didn’t let us down. Seasoned just right this rich dish is very filling but too good not to eat it all.

From the daily rotisserie offerings we had the tender pork roast ($13.95) and loved the juicy tender medallions of pork with a mild rosemary garlic glace that enhanced the meat without masking its taste. This was also a very generous serving and came with two sides. We had the steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes for a well balanced meal.

Always seeking a delicious rib we tried the half rack ($14.95) of the slow-cooked St. Louis ribs. You can order them wet, dry or Thai and we choose the wet. Very tender, the meat fell off the bones and they were just right. Two sides came with this order as well and we sampled the Thai beans and dirty rice. The Asian-inspired snap beans were topped with sesame seeds but didn’t have a lot of flavor. The dirty rice was more moist and seasoned differently than the traditional dish but we liked it.

We shared two of the desserts and both were really good. While not on the seasonal menu, the sweet potato bread pudding ($6.75) was a giant serving of moist bread pudding with flecks of sweet potato topped with a rum praline sauce and pecans. Served warm, this giant serving tasted like fall and we really enjoyed every bite. Our waiter had warned us it was large enough for four and he wasn’t far from the truth. This is a dessert to share. We also really like the turtle cheesecake ($7.75) which was not as dense as the usual offering. The nuts were a good balance to the sweetness of the cake.

Our waiter could not have been more attentive and really added to our overall enjoyment of the meal. The good food with such generous servings along with the welcoming atmosphere will definitely put a return visit on the radar.