Zola’s Pub and Grill – expected more

Because I’m also addicted to other food blogs, I’ve heard a lot about Zola’s Pub and Grill (in Covington) and how good their burgers are. Combine that, with a restaurant.com coupon and we so have lift off to eating.

I’m taking it easy on the fish fry’s because they are there to fund raise and they aren’t restaurants. If you own a restaurant, everything that comes from your kitchen better be awesome – because I am all about critiquing it! Your job is to make good food – and I expect nothing less.

Let me just say here that I am NOT an anti-chain snob. If a burger is good, then a burger is good. Regardless of how many restaurants they have chained together! My top 2 burgers are from Five Guys Burgers and Fries (this to me, is a basic AWESOME burger – good beef ratio and perfectly STEAMED cheese <–the key!) and from Red Robin. (Yum…well seasoned beef and GOURMET toppings – I might give up one of my kids, not saying which one, for the Guacamole Bacon Burger – just sayin’) I’m aware that some people might question my choices but my response to that? Sorry for ya – this is my blog and my taste buds!

Back to Zola’s – first, we went on a Saturday night (March 12, 2011), early. It’s definitely a bar first and then a restaurant. We sat upstairs, away from the smoke (gotta love KY) – and  we were the only table up there. It’s sort of like an old house – bad carpeting, old tables and chairs and a fireplace that doesn’t work. Decor was…ugly.

The server(s) that we had were friendly and on it – and you could tell that they liked their job and the food. I did feel bad that they had to truck up a flight upstairs every time, to get to us!

Since we had to spend $35 for our GC, we got 2 apps – the Cheese Fries, $4.95,(fries topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions) and Cheese Sticks, $5.95,  (if I have to explain what these are, stop reading, cause you’re a moron). And, those were my brother-in-law’s choice.

They were both…average. Let’s face it, you can’t mess up Cheese Sticks – but you can certainly take them to a different level. Zola’s didn’t. And, the Cheese Fries were okay – needed a sauce. <–Oh, forgot to mention that I believe most things need the right sauce with it. I’m a saucy girl.

I got the Zola Burger, $7.95,  (burger, bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms, capacolla ham and American Cheese) with the Asian Cole Slaw.

Looks promising, right?

It was NOT a burger that made me forget all other burgers. It was BEEFY. Yes, I’m aware that burgers are beefy. There are people who are burger minimalists. They believe in burger, salt, pepper and the more beef, the better. I am NOT that girl. While I don’t like “fillers” (eggs, bread, etc) in my burgers, I’m all about the seasoning!!!! I don’t want to feel like I’m eating an actual whole cow. My husband and I disagreed about the burger – 1/2 pound of non-seasoned beef is a lot of beefiness. Bottom line, from all the good reviews, I was expecting more.

The Asian Cole slaw – was horrible. In addition to loving food, I’m also a helluva cook. (insert giant ego here) I make an awesome Asian Cole Slaw – and that was my comparison. This one was cabbage and soy sauce – if there was something else added, you couldn’t tell. *see me if you want to learn how to make it the right way*

What I did get out of this was a fabulous night out with the best man in the whole world (that would be my husband)!

The results of my reviews are this…would I choose this restaurant again?

In Zola’s case, no.

Zola Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

*I guess people DID want to see me and the Asian Cole Slaw recipe! 🙂 Here it is!*

Asian Cole Slaw

1 package (16 oz.) broccoli slaw

1 package (16 oz.) cole slaw

2 packages Oriental flavored Ramen noodles (flavor packets reserved)

1 cup slivered almonds

1 bunch green onions

1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained and cold

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 soy sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp pepper

Crush noodles from ramen packets and combine with almonds. Melt the butter – stir in 1 packet of oriental seasoning. Toss the noodle and almond mixture and toast, on stove top (medium heat), for about 5 minutes (or until you can smell the almonds!)

Combine the sugar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil and remaining  oriental seasoning packet.

Next, cut the green onions and add to the cole slaw and broccoli slaw. Add the noodles and nuts. Add the pepper and sauce mixture. Gently stir until the slaw is coated. GENTLY, stir in the oranges. Chill for at least 2 hours. Stir before serving.

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