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May 25, 2009 04:00 AM

Zina's Cafe in Ambler - need to give this place another shout out!

My husband and I had lunch at Zina's Cafe yesterday and it was so good (again) - I really cannot say enough good things about this place. I know I've recommended this place in the past but I really just needed to highlight this place again. It is a complete hole in the wall - no atmosphere to speak of. It is off the beaten path, located on a quiet stretch of Butler Ave, across from an old dodge dealership, you could easily drive right by it. It is family run, mom is in the kitchen making all the food from scratch and her daughters are in the front of the house waiting tables - they are all so sweet and go out of their way for the customers. In fact, when we were there the owner have a big arrangement of flowers to one of the regular customers (must have been a special occasion). It is dirt cheap - nearly impossible for a couple to spend more than $20 (we never broke the $20 mark and we eat ALOT!). And the selling point is the food. The menu is small - just your typical breakfast and lunch options. But everything is homemade - giant handcut french fries, french toast with homemade bread, homemade crepes stuffed with Nutella. Even something simple as a BLT is just so darn good, tastes exactly like my mom made when I was growing up (not the greasy diner version with bacon that you can tell was sitting ouy all day). My husband is in love with their chicken parm sandwich and gets it all the time - fresh chicken (not breaded) with sauce and cheese on a roll that has to be around 18 inches long (and its only around $6). They even have a really good beverage selection including organicd iced teas and Boylan's soda (my favorite!). I just love this place so much!

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  1. do they have an online menu? I tried looking them up but didn't find a website. :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      No, nothing online. It is just a dinky little family run place so a website may be too high tech for them :)

      They have a breakfast and lunch menu. It is all pretty standard - omelettes, pancakes, french toast eggs, sandwiches, etc. Their crepes are pretty unexpected (and yummy!)

      1. re: AmblerGirl

        I googled their location this weekend - we just need to get out of our weekend breakfast rut! :)

    2. I live in Flourtown and work in Springhouse so every day I'm through Ambler at least twice a day. I tried Zina's a couple of weeks ago for breakfast and today dropped in for lunch with a few co-workers. I don't have the rave factor that you do but it's decent food and I'll go back. It's a decent diner-like spot with basic food that has a neighborhood feel with good prices.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Den

        My husband and I went to Zina's Cafe for breakfast this morning because of AmblerGirl's recommendation. I forgot the name of the last restaurant in that location but it was so bad we swore to never go back again. I'm really glad we gave Zina's a try because it was very good. We both had breakfast sandwiches which were served on well toasted kaiser rolls with excellent crusty home fries. We shared an order of crepes and because I couldn't decide between the strawberry and Nutella fillings they made me an order with one of each. They were both delicious; I couldn't say which I liked better. Thanks for a good recommendation, we'll have to try it for lunch next time.

        Has anyone tried the Sweet Bytes cafe on Main St. in Ambler? I got a gift certificate from Recycle Bank but I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet. They seem to have a very extensive breakfast menu and I am looking for recommendations.

        1. re: Red Head

          Zina prides herself on her fresh ingredients. I think she gets her eggs fresh from the farm. Yeah no atmosphere but I guess that's part of the charm. Anyone been there for dinner?

          1. re: TeamPhilly

            Yes, I arranged a neighborhood dinner there about a year ago. They do not have regular dinner hours but they will open the restaurant if you call ahead. Zina was so nice and accomodating, worked with me ahead of time to plan a menu. She made amazing homemade bread, salad with homemade dressing, I think our main dishes were moussaka or stuffed peppers and a third choice that I forget, Dessert (I forget what it was), sodas, coffee. We bought a ton of wine. I think it was less than $10/pp. Service, of course, was great. It was a nice fun time.

            1. re: AmblerGirl

              I stopped by there (they were closed, but I was in the neighborhood, so I went to peek in and see their hours and have a look) last week. It looks so inviting, we've got to go there. I love homey, hole-in-the-wall places. I'm a little confused about dinners. It says they do them on Fridays and Saturdays if you call the same day before 10 (I think). Are you saying that they don't always have anyone who wants dinner? In any case, I look forward to trying it very soon (dinner).

              1. re: watercress

                I think you do need to call ahead for dinner. I could be wrong but I think they are only open for dinner if they know they have customers coming in. Of course, if they are already there and you pop in, they would welcome you. This could have changed though, its been a bit since I've had dinner there.

      2. I would like to take my boyfriend here but not familar with Ambler. Could you give me a clearer picture of where it is located since it is small?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Imeeyore24

          It is on Butler Avenue, across the street from the former Knopf car dealership location, about a block away from the new CVS. Hope that helps! You do have to keep your eyes open for it!