ZAZA Offers Seasonal Flavor, Year-Round Staples

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Since opening locations in both Conway and Little Rock, ZAZA Fine Salad and Wood Fire Pizza Co. has been serving southern-style Italian food to thousands of hungry guests. They have become a staple in the Little Rock and Conway cuisine market, and attract hundreds of visitors a day.

ZAZA’s industrial ambiance provides diners with a lovely space to eat in, whether they be with a large group or a small party. The polished floor shines bright, and quirky and interesting lettering adorns the menu board and posters on the walls.

Located in the quiet and cozy Hendrix Village, the space has some great views to enjoy while eating.

Upon visiting a ZAZA location, it’s not uncommon to see most of the tables lined with pizza platters — and for good reason.

The wide array of pizzas — while more of a flatbread-esque dish — can appease even the most picky eater, with toppings ranging from none to all. A common choice among my family when we visit the joint is the Green and White, a $13 pizza garnished with fontina goat cheese, mozzarella, caramelized onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil, roasted mushrooms and spinach.

It truly is a unique and wonderful flavor experience, and always garners a verbal exclamation upon first bite.

While ZAZA’s pizza may be the main selling point amongst hungry college students and families, their salads are my biggest drawing point. My typical menu choice is a ZAZA House salad (costing a whopping $11.25 for a full portion) with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and I couldn’t be more satisfied every time I order it. The salads are always at peak freshness, with ripe strawberries and blueberries embellishing the colorful bowl of greens. A sprinkle of goat cheese and candied pecans make up the rest of the toppings, with the flavors all combining in such a way that makes it difficult to not order it every time I’m there.

While pricey, I’m always satisfied by the salads at ZAZA. A full portion leaves one just that — full.

Gelato is another popular option at ZAZA, with new flavors being added almost daily. Admittedly, I tend to try and stay away from gelato (this tummy isn’t going to lose itself), but every now and then I’ll indulge in a little Italian ice creamy goodness. The flavors are always unique — a chocolate, coconut and whiskey flavor comes to mind — and never disappoint. For the lactose-sensitive diner, dairy-free sorbet is also offered.

For the month of October, however, ZAZA introduced a new selection of menu items for the fall season — including a delectable roasted pear salad and many new flavors of gelato.

The roasted pear salad was one of the most interesting and complex flavor journeys I have ever encountered. The somewhat overbearing sweetness of the pears was nicely balanced with the smoky richness of the Petit Jean bacon and honey dijon dressing.

And of course, no fall-themed menu would be complete without including at least one pumpkin spice option, which ZAZA did with acclaim in their gelato. The creamy texture of the gelato was perfectly met by the somewhat surprising spice of the pumpkin. This isn’t your Starbucks pumpkin spice for sure — the flavor was bold and rich, a wonderfully decadent addition to the menu.

ZAZA’s Conway location is located in the Hendrix Village at 1050 Ellis Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Theatre/journalism student. Avid iced coffee drinker. Proponent of the Oxford comma. Taylor enjoys writing and photography, and would someday like to report for a theatre news publication. He still cannot tap dance.

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