Houston >Restaurants > Zelko Bistro
“First of all the food is fantastic!”
“Our waiter was very nice but it seemed that he was either very busy or very slow.”
“really enjoyed my meal and the prices were very reasonable for the quality!”
“Our waiter was very nice but it seemed that he was either very busy or very slow.”
Chef Jamie Zelko made a salmon-lover out of me with her Candied Smoked Salmon. The 1920s bungalow-turned-bistro serves mod-folksy dishes like Soup Can Meatloaf and Shrimp & Grits to many adoring fans in the Heights.
Weekender Guide to The Heights: There's something innately charming about homes that have been converted to host restaurant-goers like family. That cozy feel extends through the cuisine at Zelko, which specializes in American comfort food — right down to the dessert funnel cake
Fresh, healthy wholesome food in a homey Southern- comfort type atmosphere. Chef Jamie Zelko makes delicious shrimp n grits with agave soy is a must try.
Great food, forget all these negative comments and go see for yourself. Comfort food with twist. Reasonable prices, nice servings. Loved the St.Arnold's Root Beer Short Ribs!!!!!!
I went there for the first time a week ago and had a good experience. We got seated within a few minutes and didnt had to wait long. The place was a bit small, we got sat on a 2 seater table and we were literally sitting next to the next table besides us. The table was about 1 feet away from each other. I felt like i could not have a personal convo with my friend without the people besides us listening. I ordered the meatloaf that came with mash n spinach and the lemon icebox pie as well. The food was quite tasty and the service was okay i suppose. If the waitress was actually friendly and smiling that would improve the experience there. The arnold palmer i ordered was okay but nothing spectacular. The pricing is decent and I like that they use local fresh ingredients. I live pretty close to the area and would come back to try this place again.
Not all it's cracked up to be. I was looking forward to trying Zelko Bistro for quite some time. After all the hype I decided it just doesn't measure up. It is located in a cute, cozy house in the heights. The menu sounds fabulous (and is reasonably priced)...but the end result of quality and customer service simply fall short. I had the Captain's Chicken and my friend had the Lamb Tacos. The Chicken (which was supposedly marinated overnight) was lacking flavor. The lamb tacos were much better...though the ground meat was overly salty. We didn't even attempt dessert after the lackluster dinner. And for the customer service the lose points again. I purchased a Groupon type deal ($15 for $30 worth of food)...which expired on the 15th. I called and left a message prior to the 15th as I knew I wouldn't be able to use it in time to see if they were allowing extensions. I never heard back so I called again. Usually at the very least the vouchers are worth the amount paid (in this case $15). After a conversation with one of the staff members on the phone...who said "go ahead and come on in"...in a "I'm sure we can work something out" kind of tone...I got nothing. My server said the chef wouldn't even honor the amount I had paid. Even if they had...my opinion of the food would have been unchanged.
Expected More from Zelko's.
I was really excited about finally getting a chance to stop by for dinner. I was almost immediately turned off by the semi-pretentious crowd and the tiny space.
I ordered the St. Arnold's short ribs and was extremely disappointed. The ribs had little flavor, as if it had not penetrated throughout the meat. The sides of what seemed like mashed potatoes felt like I was eating pureed butter. To top everything off, the sauteed spinach side was heavily sprinkled with large salt granules that left my tongue feeling scorched. My date agreed. His meal was also a little interesting. He ordered the fish tacos, which ended up tasting like lettuce and fruit tacos. They had little of their special mayo sauce and a little too much fruit.
We decided not to punish our tastebuds any further and passed on dessert.
While we appreciated their going "local" on ingredients and such, we were disappointed and let down by all the hype. My date insists we simply ordered the wrong meals, so I might give it another shot, against my will.
Won't be going back. Went to Zelko based on the review in last year's Chronicle. I had the Reuben, a personal favorite, but a HUGE disappointment here, especialy since the Chronicle's review labeled it "a generous helping". It was anything but. Spouse had a chicken dish that I would have more accurately described as "quail"; it was that small. To say that our party of four was disappointed does not begin to describe adequately the feeling. Of all the restaurants we have tried based on someone's recommendation, this is the first that we all agreed was not worth coming back to.
Hidden in the Heights.
LOUD! This place is so loud. Its a small house in the Heights they have made into a restaurant. The noise booms in there. We had a party of 6 and I felt like we were yelling to each other.
There was no music, it was the people in there that made it loud.
They need to set the tone to QUIET.
They should set the tone to make it a great date spot. I would NOT go there for a date. I wouldn't be able to hear my date and he wouldn't be able to hear me.
Once it gets quiet I will come back.
If you can get seated u will still be disappointed.. It took 20 mins to get seated although the restaurant was 80% empty as the guard dog at the front desk didn't want to seat her customers and have them spend money until all people were present. After explaining about 7 times in total there were 4 people in total 2 of which were here and would like to buy wine and two that were coming in 30 mins her basic maths skilled escaped her and the manager had to get involved.They then "let" us sit outside (not allowed inside). The waiter was great however the meal (tuna salad) was also disappointing (2/10) - very little tuna which was over salted and salad drowned in the asian dressing. I would say give it a miss but that's if you can get seated in the first place.
loved our experience.
i was told about this little gem in the Heights by my co-worker, she raved about how quaint and yummy zelko bistro was.
when we arrived we were graciously greeted by the hostess, i asked her for her recommendations on the menu....she was thrilled and quickly said the fried pickles for apps...and fried chicken for entree.
our waiter was amazing as well! when the food arrived i didnt received what i had ordered but the chef and waiter both agreed i should keep this entree (the short ribs) while they quickly fired up the meatloaf i orig. ordered.....i was so impressed and so hungry that i gladly took them up on their offer! this is A+ customer service in my book, why should i go hungry waiting on a restaurants mistake! i was so happy, the food was amazing, the wine our waiter suggested was perfect and not the most expensive on the menu either!
i loved the whole experience, good food, folks and fun! and full bellies too!
Great food. We ordered the burger and the captains chicken. They were both awesome. The wait staff was sweet too! We will totally come back.
awesome comfort food.
Simple and very well executed. I had to comment in support after reading that distasteful review by that horror of a customer maethridge. My guess is that she's the kinda bitchy patron that makes a scene whenever the wait staff fails to genuflect when in her presence.
About ZB, I been there many times. They're like family. We've watched them grow and stumble and fall only to pick themselves up and do better the next time. All the stumbling has been with physical problems with the building or the lack of cooling power. What they haven't compromised from the get-go is the great food, cool people (staff and clientele), hip ambience, and an amazing well thought out wine list, maybe the best in Houston for the diversity and price coupled with empassioned knowledge of all things poured by Jeb. ZB could easily get away with charging 25%-50% more for what they do, but they don't and I applaud and defend their vision. Maethridge shouldn't eat out. Anywhere. No, she really shouldn't.
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