Date Night gets invited to a red carpet event! We are very excited to be attending our first restaurant grand opening in the three-year history of this adventure. We are at Lenox Square, where Zinburger is previewing their drinks and menus at an exclusive event.
There are eight other locations on the east coast. The restaurant is located near the Cheesecake Factory entrance to Lenox. The idea is a wine and burger bar, with over 23 wines by the glass. For us beer lovers, they have eight on tap. The wine focus allows Zinburger to have a cool logo…
On Wednesdays, you can enjoy half-price bottles of wine and it looks like there are half-price sides during happy hour. They are probably going to draw a lot of people from the nearby office buildings.
We really do walk on a red carpet and get a very cute picture made. We would publish it, but then restaurants would recognize us and give us special treatment like they give self-important Atlanta Journal-Constitution food critics (read about that here), and we don’t want that to happen. Let’s go inside and take a look around.
There’s a big bar towards the front of the space.
There is a nice patio area for nice nights like tonight. The view is an extra bonus: the valet line at Lenox. We did not arrive via a limo, but you get to see them come and go here, including a faux-rapper who pulls up in a Rolls-Royce with a fake entourage of people making a big deal about him. (Note to rapper: if all your “fans” are wearing the same t-shirt, it’s probably a staged event.)
One other observation–it’s loud in here. There’s lots of wood and lots of concrete and the sound bounces around. The Date Night decibel meter hits a 93-decibel peak, which is loud. Sit outside if you want quiet.
You have to like a place that hands you a glass of Malbec when you walk in. Now that they are open, they won’t do that, but you can get your own at the bar.
At the bar we score a Straight to Ale doppelbock from Huntsville, AL. It’s our first try from this brewery and we like it. It has many caramel and toffee notes. We’ll have to investigate this brew the next time we are in the beer store.
Looking around the room, there are other influential bloggers here. The “Buddah of Barbecue”, Grant Goggans from Marie Let’s Eat is in the house along with Serena from Hot Dish Review and Anish from Spatialdrift.
A nice touch during the opening is very small versions of the burgers on the menu so be aware that the pictures you are about to see are not the normal portion size.. This is the signature Zinburger, which has manchego cheese, onions braised in zinfandel and mayo. Very tasty.
There are salads like the Chinese chicken with orange, carrots, red pepper and wonton chips in an Asian vinaigrette dressing.
And the Napa, which has craisins, almonds, and goat cheese.
You are not limited by meat. How about the ahi sandwich with avocado, cole slaw and a soy glaze? This was one of our favorites tonight.
We also got to taste a few cocktails from the bar, which makes Anish very happy. He likes his cocktails mixed by professionals. The spiced mule is rum and ginger beer.
Or you can try the “zingria”, a fruity delight on a warm night. Our favorite is the “girl next door”, a lemonade and vodka concoction. It must be good as we forget to take a picture of it. After we told our server how good it was, she brought us two full-sized drinks. They do not get photographed either.
And speaking of the servers, you can tell a lot about how a restaurant is going to do by how friendly the staff is. Everyone who comes to our table is friendly and has a smile on their face. During their training, they tried everything on the menu and sampled a lot from the bar. They know what they are selling and we think Zinburger will do well in the service department.
The Kobe burger is another favorite. This one has cheddar cheese and mushrooms. For $5 more, you can “upsize” your burger to a Kobe burger. We could tell a difference in taste between the Kobe and the regular Angus patties.
You want fries with that? You can order truffle fries or sweet potato fries.
Or onion rings if you prefer.
Now comes the hard part. There are nine milk shakes on the menu. And two desserts. We sample a bunch of them. Someone has to do this. We sacrifice our waist lines for you.
The “Bars of Zin” shake contains chocolate ice cream, Kit Kats and Nutella. Top it with whipped cream and you have a “zinfully” good shake. This is our favorite dessert of the night. If you are watching our table, you will notice that we have a second round of this shake.
The creme brûlée shake is a bit too sweet for us. Caramel lovers might want to go with the salted caramel shake.
If shakes aren’t your thing, try the pie. Everyone likes pie.
The chocolate cream pie is good.
So is the banana cream pie. To tell you the truth, if you are going to blow the calories, order one of the milk shakes, which we like better.
Our first impression: A fun and loud spot that will attract the after-work crowd. If the food and drinks are as good as the grand opening, Zinburger will become a Lenox favorite. Who knows–maybe you will see a real rap star here.
Disclaimer time: Since this was a grand opening event, Date Night did not pay for the food and drink described above. Our writing prose, however, is priceless. Thanks to Tom Beyer and DFPR for the invitation to this fun and well-organized event!