Saturday, October 31, 2020

Newly Opened on Marco: ZAZA Mexican Cuisine


Carnitas, Carne Asada and Brisket tacos served on soft corn tortillas and garnished with cilantro and onions. Photos by Maria Lamb

Carnitas, Carne Asada and Brisket tacos served on soft corn tortillas and garnished with cilantro and onions. Photos by Maria Lamb

On a Saturday afternoon when most of Marco Island was deep in siesta, I took my daughter Alexis to the newly-opened ZAZA Kitchen. We both had a serious taco craving. Alexis knows her tacos and was anxious to compare ZAZA’s offerings with the taco trucks of East Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, or Astoria, Queens: all neighborhoods known for authentic ethnic cuisine.

ZAZA offers eight varieties of “Street Tacos”: Carne Chicken Tinga (slow-cooked in tomato sauce with chipotle made fresh daily); Al Pastor (caramelized pork, pineapple, cinnamon and house marinade); Carne Asada; Carnitas (slow-cooked pulled pork); Brisket (ZAZA’s signature taco, slow cooked with ZAZA’s magic dust rub); fish (grilled or blackened); and shrimp. All are served with corn tortillas.

Churros at ZAZA

Churros at ZAZA

We ordered the Carnitas, Carne Asada and Brisket tacos. The meat in the Carnitas taco was sweet, succulent and hearty. My daughter, a spice-lover, added hot sauce to her tacos. ZAZA offered us a quintet of hot sauces: red, green, habanero, salsa verde (tomatillo), and picante. ZAZA’s own salsa roja is a milder, smoky sauce made fresh daily – a worthy substitute if you aren’t a fan of spice.

Selection of sauces to enhance the flavor of ZAZA’s tacos.

Selection of sauces to enhance the flavor of ZAZA’s tacos.

You can also ask for your tacos to come with Cotija cheese – a crumbly, dry, hard, cow’s milk cheese named after the town of Cotija in Mexico. In Mexico, Cotija is a staple used to season everything from tacos to soups to casseroles. At ZAZA, you can get Cotija sprinkled on hamburgers, enchiladas, and guacamole. Cotija tastes like a mixture of parmesan and feta: the perfect accompaniment to a street taco.

For dessert, we had room for a plate of churros, a dessert originating from Spain, consisting of a fried dough pastry dusted with cinnamon and sugar and topped with sliced strawberries.

 

 

My daughter’s verdict: ZAZA’s Street Tacos were “legit.” ZAZA’s menu also offers burritos, enchiladas, tortas, quesadilla and their own ZAZA burger.

ZAZA is located at 1095 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island. Call 239-970-5205 or order online at eatatzaza.com.

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