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Zapatista

July 3rd, 2013 (11:02 pm)
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Zapatista

1703 Freedom Dr
Naperville, IL 60563
(630) 904-1703
zapatistarestaurant.com

I felt like going out to dinner and had a choice between Naff Naff Grill and Zap. I went to Naff for lunch and thought I'd try something new and let myself be surprised. Zap is an upscale Mexican restaurant. For those familiar with Cozy Mels, it's what Cozy Mels would look like if it was made today. It's in the current style you have seen other new restaurants (no ceiling covering up the duct work, bricks on the walls, just enough light to read the menu, spartan look, etc) but with some Mexican decorations. There's no wall between the seating area and the kitchen so you can see orders coming in and if even watch your meal being made.

The complimentary chips and salsa were good. The salsa had a chipotle base that made it distinctive over the other Mexican restaurants. The service was prompt and friendly. I ordered the manager's special of chicken cooked in wine with veggies including two kinds of cabbage. Imagine my surprise when they brought out a burrito with rice and beans on the side. I didn't know what form the entree would take so I accepted it. I thought it was strange, but what the hey this was a new experience and I wanted to keep an open mind. Now imagine my surprise when I took a bite out of the burrito and tasted shrimp. I hate shrimp. The smell, the taste, that membrane around the meat, YUCK! It turned out they got my order wrong. Fortunately there weren't many people there and my server remembered what I ordered. I'm not sure how that happened. Since they couldn't take it back they let me keep it while they made my original order.

I gave it an honest try. But I couldn't eat half of it. The burrito was cut in half and one half put over the other artistically and after a few bites the filling fell out of the bottom. Usually I try to finish things since I hate wasted food, but this dish did not work for me. It felt mushy and unappetizing. The Mexican style rice was sticky clumpy and some of the spices didn't make it to some clumps. The black beans were good though and I used the salsa to spice it up some and make an impromptu dip for the chips.

My actual meal was pretty good. It was a salad with shredded cabbage (green and red) with tomatoes, multiple kinds of greens, corn, jimmica, chicken, and some other things. It was filling and was well made. It wasn't spicy at all, just flavorful with different textures from the vegetables. My server only charged me the price of the burrito since it was cheaper, but I made up the difference in the tip. The rest of the staff was attentive with only a small problem with the language barrier that led to my bowl of chips being taken away before I was really done with them. It's wasn't enough to mention.

I usually judge a place by asking the question, would I go back. The problem I have in this case is that if I want to go to a good sit-down Mexican restaurant I'd go to Cozy Mels. It's closer and more familiar. I'm rarely in Zap's neighborhood. I wouldn't have been there at all if I wasn't considering grabbing something at Naff Naff and got the urge to try something new. But I wouldn't mind going back if I was in a group who wanted to go. Just be sure you keep your menu so you can be sure what you ordered is what you got.

C+ (I'm deducting one letter grade for the wrong order)