After hours of marathon shopping, or hours of watching the woman in your life try on every item of clothing in the mall, you’ve finally made it to the food court. You scan the possibilities and nothing looks appetizing. Not pizza. Not a sandwich. Not a teriyaki bowl. Luckily, at Scottsdale Fashion Square, there’s another option, one that’s much more appealing than awkwardly hovering over other patrons or elbowing people for tables in the crowded food court.
Z’Tejas is right around the corner, and there’s no tray carrying or standing in line.
As soon as we sat down, my dining companions and I realized that Z’Tejas’ atmosphere is as far removed from the hustle and bustle of the brightly lit mall as Pluto is from the sun. The dimly lit interior is accented with dozens of hanging lights that add to the modern Southwestern décor – there’s not a cowboy hat or cow skull in sight. There is, however, a mural, reminiscent of Thelma and Louise, with an empty, two-lane highway leading into the picturesque desert, towering red-brown mountains and wide-open sky.
Dark wood, wrought iron accents and low lighting invite diners into a comfortable place to have a relaxing meal in between all of the credit card swiping.
The name of the game for our meal was spicy. We started off with Z’Tejas’ signature catfish beignets served with jalapeno tartar sauce, which, for someone who has never tasted catfish or a beignet, were surprisingly delicious. The crispy cornmeal crust paired with the moist, yet flaky catfish made me keep eating, even though the beignets were piping hot.
With our beignets we had the complimentary cornbread topped with mouthwatering honey butter, which never fails to satisfy. If I could I would take a tub of the honey butter home with me.
For dinner we shared our meals family style. The Voo Doo Tuna, topped with peppercorn vinaigrette, spicy soy mustard and pickled ginger, was a table favorite and the side of seasonal vegetables, a mix of zucchini and seasonal squash, were a delicious addition.
The chef’s soup of the day, chicken and vegetable, was packed with veggies and spice. The celery, red peppers, zucchini, onions, among other veggies, and chicken were immersed in a rich broth that we couldn’t stop eating.
The pesto rubbed chicken, on the gluten free menu, was a surprise from a side of the menu to which I don’t usually venture. The tangy cilantro pesto rub complemented the grilled flavor of the chicken.
To end our night, we ordered the ancho fudge pie. The dash of ancho chile didn’t overwhelm with spice but enhanced the chocolate flavor, while the walnuts, pecans and flaky crust balanced out the rich fudge.
A meal at Z’Tejas would refresh and relax even the weariest shopper, giving him or her a new jolt of energy to continue shopping. But even if you aren’t part of the hustle and bustle of the Fashion Square shopping experience, Z’Tejas is a perfect place to take your date, your family or your friends for tasty food, with a hint of spice.