With the weather being so warm lately, I have been thinking about wanting to eat outside and I always loved to go to A Gracious Plenty on Cornwallis Road and Alston Avenue because they have a really nice patio section. I had noticed recently that the sign had been changed and was no longer called A Gracious Plenty anymore, so when my friend and financial consultant, Kent Thompson, asked me to go to lunch with him, we decided to eat at the new cafe, called Zyda’s Deli and Cafe.
When you first enter the mustard colored building, much of the place looks the same. There are a few booths near the entry and you go and order at the counter. However, the menu has expanded from the old standards. Zyda’s has a whole section of deli options, such as corned beef, pastrami, Rueben’s, etc. They also have Panini sandwiches, salads, cold sandwiches and wraps. As always, they offer their great selection of burgers as well.
I decided to have the Zyda’s East Side, a hot corned beef sandwich that usually comes with mustard, but I substituted that with mayonnaise. It was served on a rye bread and I got chips as my side dish. Kent got the shrimp quesadilla, which was shrimp, roasted peppers and corn with cheddar and pepper jack cheese served with a bit of a jalapeno vinaigrette.
Kent said his quesadilla was good, but a bit oily and it was definitely spicy. It looked really appetizing to me! My sandwich was good. There was a nice amount of corned beef, but I was at first disappointed thinking I had ordered the pastrami and thought it was a bit bland. Then I realized, there was no black pepper on the edges of the meat, so I must have ordered the corned beef instead of the pastrami. It was nice and warm though. The bread was OK. It’s not the New York rye bread, but an average bread.
We sat on the back patio, which is nice and shaded and looks out onto a little patch of woods, which is much better than many other places in the Triangle where outdoor dining means looking at a parking lot of cars.
I came back to Zyda’s about a week later and ordered the black bean quesadilla. It was grilled with a sun-dried tomato tortilla, and had fresh spinach, corn, black beans, with melted cheddar and pepper jack cheese and a jalapeno vinaigrette. It was easy enough to pick up and eat, but make sure you keep your plate close by as it is a bit juicy and tends to leak a bit of the vinaigrette out as you eat.
I also had a chocolate purse pastry for dessert, which is a puff pastry filled with chocolate and drizzled with a chocolate and caramel sauce. The pastry chef warmed it up for me a bit so the chocolate was nice and warm and a bit gooey. I probably should have eaten it with a cup of coffee, but water had to suffice. At least I felt a little less guilty about eating dessert since I had a somewhat healthy entrée! One thing I love is that the desserts are made fresh every day at Zyda’s and they always have a great selection of temptations.