After the Green Mountain hike in the Buffalo Creek Rec Area I was pretty hungry and thirsty. I had tried to go to Zoka’s one other time but got there way before they opened at noon and had to find a different spot. Today I pulled up just as they were opening and had a real nice experience.
To start out they have the inside closed but their are small tables set up on a wrap around porch that they have and some larger tables in a small dirt lot next to the restaurant. The views from the porch are pretty nice for a lunch.
I also want to give them credit for really doing the social distancing right. They have all these windows that surround the place and they have taped the menu’s to the glass. When you are ready to order, step to the window. A server on the inside, behind a table for distance, takes your order and when the order is ready they place it on the table and you walk over and take it. Seemed really efficient and safe.
Now to the food. I had to go with the “Zoka burger” as it seemed to be their special item. It did have their name on it after all. The burger was a 1/2 pound of Kobe beef with Cambozola cheese, sweet and spicy bacon on a ciabatta bun.
Other than the fact that I have no idea what Cambozola cheese is the burger sounded pretty good. It tasted pretty good as well. The onions and bacon stole the show a bit as they were the dominant flavors on the sandwich. The bacon also had a nice crispness to it that countered the softness of the beef. The beef was cooked perfectly and was still very juicy even cooked at medium.
The only change I might have made was the ciabatta bun. While the flavor was good, the burger being as large and with the bacon and onions made it a little tough to keep on the bun. That is the definition of a first world problem right there.
I got the onion rings on the side that came with a chipotle dipping sauce. They may have been the best onion rings I have had. The batter was light and crisp but still soft. Also there was very little grease with them. Add on the sauce which had a little spicy and sweet flavor to it, and the rings were a winner in my book.
The view was amazing and the food was delicious after a hike. If you ever find yourself in the Pine area, give Zoka’s a shot.
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