It was a little past eleven, the heart of Sunday Brunch-time; STP’s “Plush” diffused from hidden speakers in z grille’s contoured walls; Chef Zack, a stout, serially-tattooed gentleman dressed in khaki board shorts, t-shirt, and backwards fitting baseball cap slipped in and out of the dining room to offer a bag of jerky to a table of regular customers; a group of twenty-somethings retreated to a back corner to enjoy the bottomless mimosas, an all-you-can-drink start to Sunday. The vibe at z grille is edgy, irreverent: skateboards line the cement colored wall above the bar, Bloody Mary’s fill fat Mason jars, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are on permanent rotation.
The deviled eggs, z grille’s métier, were fiendishly good. We ate one of each and exercised considerable restraint in not ordering a second helping. I held out for the Dr. Pepper Ribs, Chef Zack’s signature dish: the pork ribs, perfectly charred and slip off the bone tender were commensurately paired with an Asian-inspired slaw. The fish tacos were the light alternative, though the portions of fish were generous. We spared just enough room for the z-Nut french donut, a heart-clotting recombinant of maple syrup, pork belly, donut, and pecans.
“One should live to eat not eat to live” said z grille’s coasters and as I pondered my meal with Nirvana’s “Dumb” (the acoustical MTV iteration) easing through the cool space I felt at once attuned to both z grille’s mantra and the song’s chorus of “Think I’m just happy.”