Autumn is full of Fall festivals, crazy planning schedules and unavoidable, high levels of stress. We're all in search of that brief break from the chaos and a moment to relax among comforting company, while indulging in some palate pleasing food. Well, last week, we found just that place.
Zen Asian Bistro and Sushi, the name says it all, is where you can find that perfect combination of calmness for the soul and high levels of gratification for your taste buds.
Gaby: Are we squeezing in some dinner time tonight?
Trisha: For sure, I mean, “A girl's gotta eat” lol
Gaby: Perfect! I've got some votes for Zen going on over here. Thoughts?
Trisha: I'm sure we could both use a nice dose of some Zen right now. 6:30?
Gaby: See ya there!
Immediately upon our arrival, we received a warm greeting and were handed menus for six. That's just a little foreshadowing on how much food was actually ordered (wink). No need to thank us for all the research we pride ourselves on doing for you, but, “You're welcome!” (Lol)
Our deliciously satisfying smorgasbord started with Crab Puffs, Hot and Sour soup cups and Sashimi ceviche. From there, we moved on to a Galaxy Roll (Pepper tuna, avocado, cucumber rolled inside, fresh salmon, tuna, white fish and baked eel outside, topped with Wasabi mayo, spicy mayo, masago and green onion), Moo Goo Gai Pan, Sesame Seed Chicken, a bowl of Ramen Noodle (Tonkotsu Ramen, creamy pork broth, with Ramen noodles, braised pork, soft boiled egg, corn, bean sprout and scallion), and Pad Thai (authentic Thai-style stir fried rice noodles with egg, bean sprout, scallion garnished with crushed peanuts and cilantro).
Crab puffs, fried pork dumplings and a few Japanese beers quickly appeared on our table. As we ranted about the day, with each bite and each sip, our rants silenced and we enjoyed the peaceful, zen music. You could say that our spirits were rearranged to fit a Feng shui balance. We were finally at rest and enjoyed each other’s company in peace...probably because we were starving! (Lol)
We were all so pleased with our orders that we wanted to share the exotic flavors with the rest of our FRamily. “Here! Taste! This is amazing,” we would tell one another as we shoved a fork or chopsticks into one another’s faces. Well, there must of been one exceptionally good dish because we didn’t hear a peep at all from a certain person throughout the entire evening. We guess that Moo Goo Gai Pan got THE stamp of approval from our sidekick! (wink)
From our calculations, Zen has probably been open for at least a good 2 years. While there weren’t many people when we got in, there was a steady flow of hungry fellows that would walk through the doors. And just like us, they too respected the ambiance and “feel good” vibes of Zen. While it may not be so much of a “hidden gem”, because it is directly off the expressway, it is a place that has not been discovered by many. Thankfully, there is a steady, loyal fan base to keep their doors open.
Zen Asian Bistro and Sushiis located at 4129 W Expressway 83 #20, McAllen, TX 78501. Their hours of operations are Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. For more information you can reach them (956) 627-3275 and visit their website at www.zenasianbistrobar.com. Also, make sure to follow them on Facebook.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors-South Texas and Watts is a freelance writer specializing in the marketing of the service industry. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.