The first time we ate at Zapata’s Mexican Grill was for a late lunch after a busy Saturday morning of shopping. The large restaurant in the shopping center next to the Lowe’s off of Siegen was surprisingly full with several large groups, but we were seated promptly in the back section near the bar area where the walls are lined with large screen TVs.
Our server delivered fresh-tasting salsa and chips to enjoy while we were reading over the very extensive menu.
We decided to stay with the lunch offerings and were glad we did.
We tried the taco salad with grilled chicken ($8.75) and the chicken quesadillas ($6.99). It took a little while for the orders to arrive but we were very pleased with them when they did.
The juicy strips of grilled chicken covered the romaine lettuce and tomatoes filling the edible fried flour taco shell bowl.
We skipped the cheese and sour cream and didn’t miss it because the serving of guacamole, fresh and creamy with just enough heat, was so very satisfying. There was a lot of chicken with this salad and we enjoyed every bite.
The lunch serving of chicken quesadillas was very large. We could only eat one of the two quesadillas full of shredded chicken covered with wonderful melted white American cheese and served with a guacamole salad.
On our next visit the service was exemplary and we enjoyed more delicious food starting with the black bean dip served along with the complimentary salsa and chips.
Even those that thought they weren’t fans of black beans liked this creamy treat.
Before ordering our dinner entrees, we decided to try the sampler platter ($8.99) which included chicken quesadillas, wings, a flauta, chicken fingers, stuffed jalapeños, fried mozzarella sticks, guacamole and sour cream.
We appreciated the server separating everything into four servings for us and while we enjoyed the platter, we don’t think we would get this before a meal again because it’s a lot of food.
This would be a fun sampler to order while sipping drinks and catching the game at the bar. One of our favorite items on the platter was the fried wings — because we love good fried chicken.
The chicken chimichangas ($9.99) included more of the delicious shredded chicken inside a fried flour tortilla served with lettuce, tomato, more of the outstanding guacamole and sour cream.
This entree, as are many, was served with fluffy yellow rice and creamy refried beans.
The menu says the refried beans are made fresh daily and you could really get the taste of the beans in this velvety side.
The enchilada rancheros ($10.25) looked like a large salad at first glance because the four enchiladas (we chose chicken) were hiding underneath melted cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.
We enjoyed these very much and especially liked the white sauce on the enchiladas which had a very slight sweet-spice taste.
Our waitress recommended we try the camarones ajo ($13.99) and we were glad she did.
We dug into the dozen grilled shrimp served with both a butter dipping sauce and a cheese dipping sauce (we preferred the butter) and a large order of rice, steamed vegetables and a piece of garlic bread.
Our favorite entree though was the bistec a la mexicana ($13.99), grilled steak with onions and tomatoes. The buttery, tender, perfectly seasoned steak and the grilled vegetables melted in your mouth.
This was served with flour tortillas — if you wanted to make a wrap — rice, the wonderful refried beans and a guacamole salad.
Served on a platter, we could only eat half of this steak dish but made sure to bring the rest home so we could enjoy every bite. It would be hard to order something else on a return trip.
We always try a personal favorite, flan ($3), when we visit a Mexican restaurant, and we were well pleased with theirs.
We also couldn’t resist trying the banana cheesecake chimichanga ($5.25).
We compared the fried confection with its creamy thick filling to banana pudding and bananas Foster and we thoroughly enjoyed every bite of the caramel-drizzled chimichanga as well as the whipped-cream-topped ice cream served on the side — with a cherry on top.