13 September 2008

KwikPicks: Lunch at Zelo, Minneapolis

There’s nothing like an outdoor lunch on the Nicollet Mall.

Food: 4

Service: 3

Ambiance: 3.5

Value: 4

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in Minnesota, and Labor Day this year was a brilliant, gorgeous, warm day, just right for al fresco dining. After a morning of shopping downtown, we picked Zelo for lunch and staked a strategically-placed table near the corner of Nicollet and 9th with the restaurant awning providing enough shade to keep us comfortable. The people-watching was great. Limos kept pulling up on Nicollet, disgorging unidentifiable VIPs to what appeared to be a special event at McCormick & Schmick’s across the street. Clueless out-of-towners drove blithely down the Mall, unaware that it’s for taxis, buses, and limos only. (The only downside to outdoor dining on the Mall is the bus traffic – noisy and smelly.) The menu at Zelo is creative and the food is nicely prepared. We kept it simple and each had a soup and a salad and a glass of wine. The only complaint was our server. She was slow and inattentive. Another server working the sidewalk tables kept noticing that we were waiting and offered to help us. As soon as she did, the person assigned to our table suddenly appeared. We gave a reasonable tip to our server. We wished we would have been served by the other person; she would have earned a more generous tip.

Recommendation: If the opportunity arises, definitely eat here.

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