Zarzour’s - Real Food, Real People

Sunday, December 1, 2013 - by Willie Mae

It had been a long time since I had eaten at Zarzour’s, but it seems that people are talking about it again and I wanted to see if they still had the same good ol’ food that sticks to your bones. Zarzour’s has been in the same place and have been run by the same family (though different generations of course) since 1918. If you have never eaten at Zarzour’s, you need to visit them just for the historical fact alone. They always had good food from what I remembered.

My son Jack planned to meet me there if he could get away from work, so I had to try to remember where it was. I looked online at their Facebook page to get the address but also to see what food they served now. Most restaurants that I view online usually put up several pictures of their food dishes, but not Zarzour’s. They had a few pictures of food, but it was mostly pictures of “people”. There were scads of photos, over and over of people and I knew a few of them.

I pulled up on Rossville Avenue and went inside. I went all the way to the back hoping it would be warmer near the kitchen. They had a sheet of paper on the table with items listed of a few specials and their daily entrées. I wanted to try a burger but it was such a cold day, I thought I would go for a hot steaming meal.

While I waited for my son to show up, this young man in carpenter pants sat down and a waitress asked him what he would have as she walked by him hardly stopping and went into the kitchen. He told her he wanted the country style steak and she brought it out immediately. It appeared that he was a regular and apparently on a quick lunch break. It was good that they were able to have that boy a meal so fast. He said, “Ooh, goodn’ hot.” The next thing I knew, he had gotten a call on his phone and he told them he was on his way. Now, I know that boy had to have swallowed without chewing – it was gone so fast! But I was just glad he got to finish his meal, before heading back to work.

I was about to think Jack wasn’t going to get away from work to meet me, but he finally made it. We both ordered an entrée with two sides and cornbread for $9.25. Jack got the pork and rice with white beans and potatoes. I chose the country style steak with black eyed peas and spicy cabbage. Our meals were brought out fairly quickly too. I guessed they had their meals cooked up and ready to serve. Now, I always put pepper sauce in my cabbage and I guessed that was what they had done to call it spicy cabbage, but when restaurants call something spicy I usually have to add a little more. I didn’t see pepper sauce, so I grabbed the Tabasco sauce and sprinkled quite a few drops on top.

From now on, I will trust that when Zarzour’s says it is spicy – it’s spicy! I noticed little pepper seeds in the juice from the cabbage so they had seasoned it with hot peppers. The Tabasco sauce seemed hotter than I was used to and, when I looked at the bottle, it wasn’t Tabasco – it was called Trappy’s Bull Louisiana Hot Sauce. It was good! I will have to remember that stuff and get some at the grocery store!

Jack seemed to like his meal. He said he didn’t care for the cornbread too much, but I liked it. I could taste the buttermilk in it and I like buttermilk cornbread. For him not caring for it, I think he should have put the basket in between us, but he kept it on his side. Ladies don’t usually get a second piece of bread (unless they can sneak it) but since it was on Jack’s side, I decided I really didn’t need a second piece anyway.

When Jack finished his meal he said, “Now that was soul food.” It was ‘goodn’ hot’ on such a cold day and we enjoyed our meal. I wanted to try the lemon icebox pie, but Jack needed to get back to work and I was actually full from my meal.

Zarzour’s is a friendly and cozy place with good people and good food. If you haven’t tried them, go visit! They are sure to fill your tummy with a hot meal even if you are in a hurry.

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