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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Zeste's...a Little QC Never Hurts!

Note:  October 2013.  Zeste Café and Gourmet Market is out of business. A great loss for the island.

Yesterday I found myself preparing to write a review on a location I hadn't visited really recently...had a couple of hours to spare...so I jumped into the car and braved the high winds for a short trip to the island.  I ended up making 3 food-related stops :-)  No surprise there! 

I hadn't taken the opportunity to write a review on Zeste's since I hadn't been by the shop recently.  This was a good excuse to head that direction for some Quality Control before commenting on, what I knew would still be, their delicious goods.  I had recommended them on a previous blog or two...so thought...I should go check out the goodies in their case today...and the specialty food items currently on their shelves!

So, first stop... Zeste Cafe and Gourmet Market.  I had a craving for some of their Orzo Garbanzo Feta salad.  I haven't had any since having it at the SPI Farmer's Market and I needed some.  Need/want....whatever!  I know I could make it (or something quite similar) myself...but I knew I'd make too much and would be eating it for days.  It just seemed easier to bite the bullet (not a hard bullet to bite!) and stop in at Zeste's for my fix.  Since I can't manage to walk in and just buy the one thing I've come for, I also indulged in a small container of Artichoke Parmesan Dip.  My friend, Trina, made hot Artichoke dip this week-end and I've been thinking about it all morning...so I blame that for my epicurean impulse purchase.  I can't figure out what forced me to purchase the bottle of Bellino Anchovies packed in olive oil...so I won't even pretend.  I just wanted them.  Oddly enough, I would say "no" if you asked me if I liked anchovies.  Because, I don't...on my pizza or visibly identifiable in or on my food.  However, the underlying punch a melted down anchovy adds to many recipes is delicious.  So, since I rarely have them when I want them...I grabbed the last small bottle from the shelf.  My hubby will be glad...he likes anchovies :-)

They have a more limited selection of packaged food items than my previous stops...but still very good quality.  More inside seating now (hence less shelf space) - and a larger selection of wines...still good stock of microbrewery and imported beers.  It is what it has always been... a lovely gourmet shop, unusual on a little island.  The one thing I've never done is actually gone, sat down, and had a meal there.  I generally go for the deli case salads, a cheese, or a specialty food item.  I solemnly promise myself I will stop in for tapas some week-end night...the menu looked delicious.

I highly recommend Zeste's for any resident or tourist foodie - walking in the door just feels "good".  You'll find Zeste at 3508 Padre Blvd... it is the "red roofed" building on the East side of Padre Blvd, headed north from the bridge.  They reportedly make beach picnics to go, and had a selection of picnic accoutrements for sale as well.  I might not think of a beach picnic on such a chilly day...but if I wanted some specialty oils, salts, ladyfingers, cheeses, crackers, or dips and chips...that's the the place I'd go!

When I left Zeste's, I was craving enchiladas, because it was untropically chilly/windy today and it was past lunch time, so I stopped in at Cap'n Roy's...had an extremely generous serving of beef enchiladas, rice, beans, and a small side of lettuce and tomatoes (which I topped with salsa).  I waddled walked out to continue my mini journey, filled with good food and the sense of well-being it provides.  It didn't hurt that the entire bill, including a nice glass of iced tea, was under $10!

Note:  Harlequin Gourmet Chocolats is also out of business.  My next stop was Harlequin Gourmet Chocolats for "dessert" and to pick up a stocking stuffer for "someone special".   My treat was a deliciously decadent Coconut Cream Truffle.  I really, really tried to hold off eating it until I was home so I could truly enjoy every delectable morsel with the requisite closed eyes....unfortunately, the siren song of chocolate lured me upon the rocks.  I had no more than touched the front of my tires on the bridge heading home, than I found the truffle unwrapped in my hand and it heading north to my mouth.  It's like crack.  I couldn't help myself.  I had it completely finished before I made it to the post office in Port Isabel.  Oh.... I'm so ashamed. HA! Not really.  It was some good good chocolate!

So, all of my stops received an A+ on this brief excursion.... or on the SPI Flip Flop Foodie rating system....

5 – OMG – that was outstanding!  I can’t wait to go back J

Zeste Cafe & Gourmet Market on Urbanspoon

Cap'n Roy's on UrbanspoonStumbleUpon

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