Zzzzz

Order the coffee black; you'll need it at the dull Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill

Every Dallas restaurant, no matter what its breed, must do steak. It's written somewhere as an unwritten rule, and I'm not talking about the chicken-fried kind (though there's a Z version of this, too). The New York strip was a thick piece of fat and gristle crowned with a shallow puddle of melted Gorgonzola butter. It was a shame the meat was so poor because the Gorgonzola butter treatment gave it a tangy edge that cut into the richness, hinting at a potentially interesting interplay. A side of fried mashed potatoes was dry and pointless.

Diablo pasta, green and red linguini in a chipotle garlic sauce, was loaded with pieces of juicy chicken. A pocket was riddled with crumbles of tangy white cheese, and the linguini strands were sown with slivers of bright green jalapeño--another robust dish that was beautifully balanced.

The iron skillet cobbler arrived sizzling and had dough that ranged from crispy to gooey. This skillet plunder was supposed to be a peach cobbler, but other than the sweet sizzling juices, we had trouble uncovering any fruit.

Z'Tejas has nailed the basics, like cornbread, but needs work on the flourishes.
Stephen P. Karlisch
Z'Tejas has nailed the basics, like cornbread, but needs work on the flourishes.

Location Info

Map

Z'tejas

12800 Hillcrest Road
Dallas, TX 75230-1524

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Dallas

Details

972-250-6551. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $$

Fish tacos: $7.50
Oyster shooters: $7.95
Tortilla soup: $4.25
Voo doo tuna: $16.95
Gorgonzola New York strip: $17.95
Santa Fe enchiladas: $8.95
Diablo pasta: $13.95
Iron skillet cobbler: $5.95
Big stick 'rita: $8.95

Closed Location

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Service at Z'Tejas is perky jerky courtesy run amok, the kind that makes you wonder if you should tip 20 percent or use a flyswatter. One server seemed to stop by our table every five minutes to ask us if everything was OK. Another server referred to everything as his, as in, "I recommend my fish tacos," or, "That's my Asian dipping sauce." Very creepy.

Visually, Z'Tejas is a cavalcade of rich polished woods, rough-hewn planks and chandeliers with large stars hovering over the top of them. Colors--blue, burnt red and gold--repeat throughout the restaurant (wall sconces shimmer with cobalt blue and amber), and the posts and trim throughout the place are studded with rivets. Some 13 Z'Tejas grills have taken root in California, Washington, Maryland, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada in addition to Texas. More are on the way. That means more and more diners will need the help of a big stick to stay awake through Z'dessert.

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