Zest! Exciting Food Creations
1134 East 54th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
Zest! Exciting Food Creations
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.zestexcitingfood.com/
- Phone: 3174661853
- Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Tuesday - Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm; Brunch: Saturday: 8:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday: 8:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Comfort Food, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Valerie Vanderpool
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Entertainment, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Entertainment: Live Jazz Guitar in our Courtyard Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings.
A word from Zest! Exciting Food Creations
Downhome Goes Uptown is our food concept that takes down home dishes made with loving hands and raises them to a fun and surprising sophistication level. It takes intensely flavored ingredients and combines them in creative ways using the imaginative techniques worthy of big-city chefs. Downhome Goes Uptown is also a service concept that means everyone who comes to Zest! is treated with the welcoming friendliness rooted in the warm hospitality of Valerie’s southern family heritage.Continued
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Zest! Exciting Food Creations reviews from OpenTable diners
- SuperbSQIZMOMDined on 8/23/2013Everything was wonderful. Went with our waiter's food suggestions and he was right on. You should give it a try. You wont be disappointed. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. They're all scrumptious. ;o)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoying the outdoorsOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/24/2013Enjoying the break from the summer heat... Had brunch outside half order of biscuits and gravy, cowboy potatoes, fresh fruit, and hot tea. The biscuits and gravy had big chunks of sausage and had a cheesy look... They were quite greasy as we're the cowboy potatoes. The best part of my meal was the fresh fruit! Service was great, although never offered to warm my tea! This was my first visit to try someplace new... Though I was not overly impressed with breakfast, the menu looks like there are some great choices for other meals.... It might be worth one more visit!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Poor serviceMikeVIPDined on 7/12/2013We sat for about 25 minutes and the only person who came was the water server. No one came to even take a drink order. Once we saw some staff standing in the corner talking and not working, we left and went to another restaurant.
- What a restaurant should be.PeterfromDetroitDined on 7/10/2013My family and I went to Zest on the basis of the great reviews people had given. We were certainly not disappointed! We were there for lunch. Zest is an inviting funky neighborhood place in a little strip. We arrived a bit early for our reservation and were seated immediately. The menu is varied and has many unusual items. My wife is a vegan and had no trouble finding things that she was very happy with, including dessert. The service was excellent as was the food. We had a great time and would recommend Zest to anyone. I can see why this unpretentious place is so popular.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our first time there. We werePortiemomDined on 7/6/2013Our first time there. We were the only folks not in shorts and flip flops so their dress code suggestion was off. We had a reservation for three and they gave us one of the worse tables in the restaurant and it wasn't close to full. We all ordered off the menu as our server just didn't sell the special that nite. Two of the entrees were very good but the chili rellenos which are a house specialty were awful. The poblano pepper was barely cooked, the stuffing of Mac and cheese had no Cheese and the Red sauce that covered the rellenos tastes like watered down Tabasco. The restaurant was saved by their desserts
- Great neighbor spot, fantastic foodmoms4VIPDined on 7/5/2013Unexpected treasure in a Broad Ripple neighborhood. Have dined there several times for lunch but tried it for dinner last winter and the food was so memorable my husband and I couldn't wait to bring our friends there. The atmosphere is very trendy and the food is wonderful. Try the braised short ribs or the Chicken & Waffles but make sure you end the meal with the Malva Pudding. It is worth the extra calories!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cool Atmosphere, Veggie-FriendlyOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/5/2013The sauteed kale side was my favorite - perfectly cooked, delicate baby greens. Blond brownie was amazing, made on the premises, and the best I've ever had. Easy to choose vegetarian or vegan options, and they seem to choose very good quality ingredients. Presentation is very nice with artistic touches like swirly sauce designs - like you would find in much higher-priced restaurants, but without the big price tag. We loved the artwork on the walls - done by a local artist I think - and we liked the mellow lighting and cool, unusual layout of the place. The veggie burger I ordered was tasty, although it kind of fell apart as you ate it - don't order it if you are trying to impress your date LOL. Looking forward to making a return visit soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Satisfied!ASullyDined on 6/22/2013The 3 napkin burger was fabulous! I was a little disappointed that my Mac n cheese was cold, but the other foods were so good I didn't even mention it. The servers aren't overly peppy which I actually like, but others in my party thought she was annoyed by us. Overall, a good experience and I hope to go back and try the S'mores dessert!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FunOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/21/2013We went to zest and had the chow down midtown menu. We shared fun appities and wonderful desserts. Service was good and it was a very pleasant evening. They offer some very interesting and some traditional meals.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EnjoyablejojoDined on 6/21/2013Birthday party luncheon for the girls. Some of us had never been to Zest before. We all enjoyed the occasion. Our bloody marys were delish. Two of us had the Baha fish taco and loved it. One gal had the fish sandwich special with the mountain of shredded lettuce on top. The fish dishes were wonderful. The last of our party had a quiche. She did not finish, it looked like yesterdays. All in all the food at Zest is abundant. - sometimes it appears too experimental with ingredients. For instance the cup of avocado and chicken soup was overwhelmed with tortilla chips. Very innovative menu, very large portions. Our waiter was slightly too attentive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quality is slippinghibiscusDined on 6/19/2013The first few times I ate at Zest, the food was wonderful. Recent reviews were disappointing, but I thought that was an aberation. I was wrong. Even though I made reservations, we were told we had to wait- not because the tables were busy, but to even out the flow for the wait staff. The food was definitely not up to Zest's reputation, the wings were burnt, and the fried chicken was smothered in bbq sauce to hide the tastelessness of the chicken. While the desserts were fine, we had to wait over 20 minutes for it to be served after our dinner plates were cleared. I might dine at Zest's again, but it won't be a priority and it won't be for dinner.Special Features:
- Chow Down MenudinerDined on 6/15/2013Zest has wonderful food but they are known for their baja fish tacos and they weren' t on the Chow Down Midtown menu this year and that was the primary reason we chose Zest as our dining experience. In my opinion those should always be on that menu!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always improvingOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 6/15/2013I have been eating here for years. I remarked to my wife after our last dinner at Zest that, while the food has always been excellent, it always seems to be getting better. This is true regardless of the time of day. The full liquor availability with a great hand-crafted cocktail list has also helped to solidify Zest as one of the best restaurants in Indy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I ate here with my boyfriendOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/14/2013I ate here with my boyfriend during Chowdown Midtown, and we opted for the limited Chowdown menu. The food was outstanding! We both loved the crab cakes, and my boyfriend had the filet with onion jam and bleu cheese sauce, which was delicious. I tried one of the specialty drinks, and thought it was refreshing and different. We chose the s'mores for dessert, which were exactly as advertised, and a fun change of pace at the end of the meal. One drawback was the service was kind of slow. We waited a little too long between each course, and I had to remind the server to bring my boxed food back to the table. However, the service did not overshadow the dining experience, and I would love to go back to try more of their exciting food creations.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Everything we ordered wasOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/14/2013Everything we ordered was delicious except the cake we had for dessert....disappointed with our selection.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Repeat customerFoodieVIPDined on 6/12/2013I have been to Zest many times and have taken friends there several times. Unfortunately this night was not a good experience for some friends that I took for the first time. Our waiter was MIA and our dessert took a long time to receive. The restaurant was busy (due to Chow Down Midtown specials) when we arrived so we understood why the entrée took awhile to receive. No problem. Food was great. However our desserts were cake and Smores. Neither of these items should have taken 15 - 20 minutes to receive, especially since most of the other diners had left already. I will likely go back again, however I doubt my friends will go back since they did not have a good service experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- trying a new restaurantilovepieDined on 6/11/2013We wanted to try something new and had received a gift card for Zest. Met some friends and really enjoyed the whole experience! The food was great and we had an excellent waiter. Loved the atmosphere and definitely would recommend this restaurant to all my friends and family. We be going back to try the smores!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I was very disappointed inOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/11/2013I was very disappointed in the food and the service. The appetizers arrived minutes before the entree. With the special menu of the evening, we were not reminded of an upcharge and the bill was a big surprise!Special Features:
- Big DisapointmentOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/7/2013We had been looking forward to trying dinner at Zest. We were very disappointed in the food. There award winning mac and cheese is not amy mire flavorable than Kraft. The savory waffle was pretty bland and not crispy. It was difficult to find the shrimp on the she blt. They were in process of changing menu. Prehaps this was the reason.
- Great dinner at ZestIRTattendeeDined on 6/1/2013My husband and I had a relaxing and delicious meal at Zest before going downtown for the symphony. Food was great, service was efficient, waiter was very knowledgeable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing RestaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 5/31/2013My husband and I tried Zest for the first time on Friday 5/31. Our server Michael was great. He walked us though the menu and had really good suggestions and information the options. Zest has a unique liquor, beer and wine list. We had a fabulous Hey Mambo Sultry Red wine that went great with the Pork Osso Buco and Short Ribs (that melted in our mouths) along with a side of the World Famous Mac & Cheese. We enjoyed every morsel on our plate. We will definitely come back again and have already shared this venue with our friends. The restaurant is very eclectic with photos and paintings on the wall. They also opened up a little lounge called Twist connected to the restaurant that we did try out that night but looked very chic. A+++Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Zest...continues to wow!OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 5/25/2013I always love the food there. They now have a lounge/bar that I recommend highly. Very hip look ....very intimate feel. Enjoy!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A trendy alternativetheindependentcriticDined on 5/14/2013As a bit of a burger connoisseur, I was anxious to try the "Three-Napkin Burger." The burger received the highest rating from Indianapolis monthly and, yep!, it's a decadent burger. You can order it medium (standard) or medium well. I opted for medium well and settled in with the homemade chips and an iced tea. The burger was substantial, made as ordered and a delight. The homemade chips are awesome. The iced tea was also terrific and our server maintained refills. There's even a small wheelchair ramp to ensure complete access. Very good food, fantastic service, and decent ambience. "Zest" feels "trendy" and offers a small outdoor dining area. Drink selection is solid and both drinks/food offer some local choices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ExperienceJasonDined on 5/3/2013This was a wonderful place - we had a wonderful dinner, great drinks and then shut the bar side of the restaurant down later that evening. In total we spent 6 hours at Zest and it was a wonderful evening. Highly recommend this place for any occasion - great date place! Reservation recommended. The bar side is very cool/hipster and a great compliment to the restaurant side. Will definitely go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I feel that the reviews ofItsAlwaysSomethingDined on 4/27/2013I feel that the reviews of Zest! that I have read were very generous. Everything; food, service, ambiance was all fair at best. I particularly did not like the area by the front door. I felt like I was in a garage at a cookout.
- Can't wait to go backSchmanetVIPDined on 4/26/2013Loved the food, hated the cramped seating in the room we were in. Next time we will ask for a different table, but I can't wait to go back and sample more of this interesting menu.Special Features:
- While the menu is somewhatRedinkVIPDined on 4/26/2013While the menu is somewhat limited in choices, the choices are not what you would see in most restaurants. The food was very good and the portions were of a good size. The service was good and the wine list has enough choices to make anyone happy.Special Features:
- Go to this restaurantFoodieVIPDined on 4/25/2013I am a repeat customer. Always excellent food at ZEST. Highly recommended restaurant. All of my friends like this restaurant. I will go back.Special Features:
- Food never disappoints. LovedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 4/24/2013Food never disappoints. Loved the appetizer and main course. The dessert was outstanding. Our server, while polite and knowledgable, was a bit slow. The evening was probably 30 minutes longer that normal.Special Features:
- I had the Baja Tacos. TheOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/23/2013I had the Baja Tacos. The flavor was a llitle bland to me. The side of black beans & toco strips had a nice kick to them. But I wished I had been able to get the shredded beef sandwich I saw on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. It might have been available but I forgot to ask the waiter.Special Features:
- Our service was slow and notlpcremerDined on 4/19/2013Our service was slow and not very attentive. Our appetizers came out separately with a long wait in between. One of our friends only received part of her dinner until we asked. 3 of the 6 of us really liked their dinner and the other 3 were just ok with it. I will not rush back to this restaurant.
- Fantastic !!! I have beenOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/19/2013Fantastic !!! I have been telling friends about I t everysence I went there !!Special Features:
- Table with no serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/19/2013We arrived on time for a 6:00 pm reservation and were promptly seated and given water. That was the last we saw of a waiter until we got up and left at 6:30. In a room of nine tables only three were occupied. It wasn't like they were busy or couldn't see us. I felt very sorry for my date but it was too late the evening was spoiled.
- My fiance and I wanted toOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/13/2013My fiance and I wanted to check Zest! out because we had seen it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and were going to be in the area. The food was amazing; I had the award-winning 3-napkin burger and it was probably one of the best burgers I've had in a while. My fiance had the Baja Tacos and also said she enjoyed them. After jokingly asking if we could meet Guy Fieri, we were actually able to meet head chef Valare. Very nice lady and it was cool getting to talk with her for a few minutes. A little pricier than I normally do, but it was worth it. Great place!Special Features:
- First attemptOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 4/6/2013Fun, eclectic vibe. Excellent wait staff. Ordered the 5 hour braised short rib which unfortunately was pretty fatty. Served with rather taste-less greens and polenta. My wife ordered the stuffed poblano pepper which was very good as were the tomato bon bons. Two for three. We will return.Special Features:
- So much fun and delicious!caseyyummDined on 4/5/2013My sister and I decided to try Zest before a show at Clowes Memorial Hall. Neither of us had tried it before. We arrived and were seated promptly due to the reservation. Each room is very different in the restaurant which makes it neat. My sister ordered their burger and I ordered the shrimp BLT and we both got the mac and cheese. All of our food was delicious. The Mac and Cheese is outstanding! GET IT! We then got dessert and we ordered the S'Mores. This is also a very fun and enjoyable dessert that we highly recommend! We both would go back in a second! Thanks!Special Features:
- work on the bloody maryOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/5/2013Visited Zest for lunch. Great atmosphere, service and food - pom frites, fish tacos and veggie burger. The margaritas were surprisingly tasty, however the Bloody Mary was rather bland and watery lacking the "punch" expected - it would have benefited by adding at least a celery stick and rimming the glass with some interesting spices. Don't want to dis the restaurant over one marginal cocktail, but given how well everything else was presented, it made an impression. And we'll be back.Special Features:
- Disappointing serviceDebCVIPDined on 4/4/2013This time around the experience was disappointing. I don't think they had enough staff. Lots of waiting between interaction with the staff. We were there probably 20 minutes before we got drinks (maybe longer). They absolutely vowed we would be out in 90 minutes to meet our showtime; we were not. Can't say after this trip I would recommend unless you had no other plans. Everyone at our table was impressed with their food choice, however.
- Love Zest!rudy53Dined on 4/3/2013Zest is a great place! We often eat there for brunch and lunch and tried it for dinner for the first time. Very pleased!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Trying too hard.LikenewDined on 3/30/2013I have been there twice before and would recommend for brunch but the dinner menu was over complicated, trying too hard to be original--everything we ordered except the filet was flavor piled upon flavor. Frankly if what you want is steak there are other places. I ordered the short ribs and the bone on my plate was the size of my fore arm. I felt like Fred Flintstone! Food arrived lukewarm. The vanilla bean cake was dry and tasteless. The server was gracious.