Zen Garden has huge menu, affordable prices


• What: Zen Garden Asian Grill and Sushi Bar.

• Where: 2886 North Ave.

• Contact: 254-8898.

• Menu: Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese.

• Hours: Open seven days, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch; 3–9:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday;  3–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 3–9 p.m. on Sunday.

TWO FOR $25: Dinner for two at less than $25, including tax and tip? It’s not that hard to find.

My husband and I chose Zen Garden Asian Grill and Sushi Bar. My sister who lives in Paonia, a small town with a dearth of diverse dining establishments, visits Grand Junction frequently to get her sushi fix. She practically gushes that Grand Junction has a sushi place, but in fact there are several.

Zen Garden offers a huge menu of sashimi, sushi, sushi rolls and other Asian delights. On the roll menu alone there are 44 offerings, ranging from the common California roll with crab and avocado to the more cultivated palate, caterpillar roll made from eel, cucumber, avocado, eel sauce and sesame seeds.

Lettuce salads with peanut dressing are served to every table. To get the most bang out of our buck, we ordered two soups, miso and hot and sour. Three rolls topped off the dinner: Spicy tuna, California and spicy shrimp.

The ingredients were all fresh, hand-rolled and delicious. The proportions were generous. My husband and I left with full stomachs and a feeling of getting our money’s worth.

I’ll be back, with my sister next time.

Internet comments about a quirky waitress aside, local.yahoo.com/info-31972941-zen-garden, we found the service lovely and solicitous.

For the non-sushi eaters, pad thai, udon noodles and basil fried rice are but of few of the offerings. A small carafe of warm sake can be had for $4.

Dinner total:

Two salads: free

Soup: $1.95 each

Three sushi rolls: $4.50, $4.95 and $5.50

Tax: $1.46

Tip: $4

Total: $24.31

Some other spots in the Grand Valley that specialize in sushi:

Suehiro Japanese Restaurant, 541 Main St., 245-9548.

No Coast Sushi, 1119 N. First St., Unit A, 255-1097.

Kuniko’s Teriyaki Grill, 1133 Patterson Road, No. 11, 241-9245.

COMING UP: “Dinner and a movie at the Avalon,” two free movie admissions with dinner receipt from a downtown restaurant. Showing is “The Quiet Man,” 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St., 263-5700.

IN THE NEWS: Wine Country Inn’s new Tapestry Lounge, with local wines and a full menu of tapas and entrees, is open for business. It’s at 777 Grande River Drive in Palisade, 464-5777.

GOOD STUFF FREE: When you walk into El Tapatio, 1145 North Ave., they serve you not only fresh-made salsa and chips but a Mexico-style slaw made of cabbage, radishes and fresh cilantro marinated in lime juice. Yum. The word Tapatio means, roughly, a person from Guadalajara, or an adjective describing something typical of the region.

LIBATIONS: Happy hour at Boston’s the Gourmet Pizza includes $2.99 Long Island ice teas, margaritas and cosmos. Some appetizers, including wings and nachos, are half off the regular prices. Hours are 4–7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight, every day, 256-7654.

TOMATOES: You might consider putting in a few tomato plants this spring. A colder-than-usual growing season in Florida will probably mean higher prices in grocery stores and restaurants this summer. Already, wholesale tomato prices have more than quadrupled. If you can’t live without a fat, juicy beefsteak on your burger, better get digging.

QUOTE: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” — Sophia Lauren

TALK TO ME: Restaurateurs, festival planners and just-plain foodies: Please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). com with your news, specials events and faves.

Tess Furey is a former editor and restaurant reviewer for the Rocky Mountain News.


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