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Zim Zari [Massapequa Park]

Zim Zari, Massapequa Park?

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    1. is this the best Nassau's got to offer?

      (other than All American, of course;-)

      29 Replies
      1. re: Gastronomos

        OTOH, I've found Zim Zari to be disappointing at best, as per followups after that initial visit.

        If all you've found is mediocrity in Nassau, you haven't been trying.

        1. re: Scott_R

          ZimZari is disappointing. And it's the best I've found in Nassau along with All American.

          What do you suggest? The only things I'm not really into today are Asian and turkish. All other cuisines are game.

          1. re: Gastronomos

            I really don't know what to say. There have already been a lot of suggestions made here on Chow on that subject (in your own thread "Great places on Long Island?"), along with notes in Newday's FeedMe, etc.

            And if you feel that ZimZari and All American represent the best... I don't know where to go with that. All American has unexceptional burgers. Better than Five Guys I suppose, but I don't see the appeal other than nostalgia. Good fries, so long as you eat them immediately (they somehow get soggy quickly). As for ZimZari... I had the ZimZari Wrap on my second visit, and it was utterly without taste except for the mango salsa (which, unfortunately, was tucked away into a small corner of the wrap).

            1. re: Scott_R

              Scott_R, Is Shake Shack better than Five Guys in your opinion?

              1. re: Scott_R

                Scott_R, since I like your posts and replies, I'll add, in my post "Great places on Long Island?", I asked for some recs, asked for less Asian recs and no matter how much I focused on the non Asian recs, they kept coming back with more Asian recs. So I ignored the rest of the post and replies.

                In my Post about some simple Greek style in Nassau and W. Suffolk, I asked for No Asian and No turkish. First reply was to ditch Greek and go for turkish. WTF?!?!???? I gave a dissertation to the reply and kept my real feelings and comments to myself.

                If you are not looking for a burger place and I suggest All American. You may be wondering why I come back with, "well, you can have a knish! or a hot dog! or a shake!"
                I can take it, and I can give it.

                I don't read Newsday.

                Do you have a better than mediocre place in Nassau for a simple lunch? I lunch alone sometimes and that's what I am looking for. Something that won't break the bank for a simple lunch for one. Zim Zari fits that bill nicely, so does All American. Dinner with the spouse kinda place... I am not looking for. Dinner with kids? I ask only when not in Nassau. Daily easy lunch spot with chowhound worthy food. Not a big deal, just no Asian, and no turkish. Thanks :-)

                1. re: Gastronomos

                  Where - generally speaking - are you located in Nassau, Gastronomus?

                  1. re: Dyna

                    between RVC and Amityville
                    and, btw, Gastronomos is Greek, not latin ;-)

                    1. re: Gastronomos

                      Forgive the misspelling. Have you eaten at Chat Noir in RVC? How about Artie's South Shore Fish & Grill in Island Park? Not rock bottom cheap, but certainly not break-the-bank expensive. Vittorio's in Amityville has a very nice lunch menu. And you could take a ride to Little Mexico in Westbury for some pretty authentic tacos de lengua. Or to Biscuits & Barbeque in Mineola for a po' boy or muffaletta. If these recs don't suit you, let me know and I'll try to come up with some more.

                      1. re: Dyna

                        Thanks. Little Mexico left me wondering why so bland with tacos de lengua and sopes de lengua. Not bad, just bland. Chile Relleno was good.
                        I forgot what the others ordered at the table that I tasted...

                        I do gotta get me over to Biscuits & Barbeque. It seems like the one suggestion that fits the bill besides South Shore Fish.

                        Thanks! as long as it's not Asian, turkish, a steak house, or wont "break-the-bank", I'm open for suggestions.

                        BTW, just curious, what do you consider a "not break-the-bank expensive" lunch for one on the run?

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          More important, what do you consider a "not-break-the-bank" expensive lunch for one on the run? The more clarity you can provide, in dollars and cents, the more apt the suggestions will be.

                          1. re: Dyna

                            if I say $10 for me alone "on the run", would that be reasonable? or is $20 more the norm for anything outside of a slice of pizza or Zim Zari and All American?

                            1. re: Gastronomos

                              You have to factor in a tip, if it's a place with table service, so chances are, you won't be getting out for much under $15 or so. There are alternatives, like pupusas at one of the El Salvadoran places in Freeport. And there's also Colombian or Peruvian chicken, which can be amazingly cheap. Try Sabor Colombia in Levittown.

                              1. re: Dyna

                                ok. so lets go with $15 if it isn't a quick slice of pizza. it's not about the money, it's about getting a plate of food.

                                Sabor Colombia on Division Ave. I'll give it a try. Do you know if it is like Pollos El Paisa in Westbury?

                                Biscuits and Barbeque seems to have most items under $16 before tax and tip... I will have to give it a try...

                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                  Sabor very similar to Pollos El Paisa. Another thought: if you can stand the wait, Shake Shack has a fine burger that's a real bargain, like $5. Forget the fries, though.

                                  1. re: Dyna

                                    I was just at shake shack the other day with the kids. I've been there before, this was a first for the kids.
                                    I ordered them burgers and one fries and one cheese fries to share. They ate a few fries, but not all and they tried the cheese fries and didn't touch them again. Those ended up in the trash, LOL.
                                    I don't dislike the place, it's a Five Guys kinda place for me and my heart is still where I grew up in All American Massapequa.
                                    FWIW, Thomas' across the street makes burgers:-) and pork chops:-)

                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                      So, there you are....Thomas's, which is another very good choice! And then, there's Bobby's Burger Palace at Roosevelt Field....both burgers and fries are quite worthy.

                                      1. re: Dyna

                                        so for under $15 for a quick lunch for one on the run it's pizza or burgers?
                                        I'm sure there's more. what papusas place(s) in Freeport do you recommend?

                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                          Why do you say that for under $15 it's just pizza or burgers? There's chicken - clearly, you know about Pollos El Paisa. And now, Sabor a Colombia.

                                          As for pupusas in Freeport, I haven't eaten in any within a reliable enough span of time to make a recommendation.But I'd love to know, if you do try one or two, what you think of them. After all, the eater most rewarded is the one who ventures into a new place without trepidation.

                                          So, Gastronomos, go forth and bring back something useful to report from your own experience. I look forward to hearing all about what you find!

                                          1. re: Dyna

                                            thanks. there's a reason I'm on this site. Back over ten years ago Jim Leff ventured into Freeport thinking that it would make sense that one would find what one would expect to find and he left empty handed asking for anyone on this site to give advice on Freeport. No dice. There's some poor poster that recently posted a query on Freeport. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906519
                                            It's embarrassing.

                                            BUT! driving through I keep looking for signs of chow that might prove promising.
                                            Oh, right, I'm on this site for a reason again after 6 years of only rare and occasional peeks and posts because I Chowhounded the old fashioned way through Nassau. No advice, just walking into way too many Nassau joints that left me very .... bitter. That bitter taste continues here with some, not you Dyna, that haven't a clue what a chowhound is. But that's neither here nor there. I looked over the menu at Sabroso (suggested by jpf1980) and see that the lunch is $6.95. I have enough client and coworker lunches at the $$$diner$$$ and at other crap food places to last me a few lifetimes. On my own dime, on my own time I'm looking for something other than that. Your recs are exactly what I am looking for. THANKS!! :-)

                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                              got another one for you. Once again, I am putting this on here with no experience of actually eating at this place,(i do want to try it, but haven't had a chance yet) but it isn't asian or italian, and they have the right prices for you.


                2. re: Scott_R

                  i know your not a 5 guys person Scott, but come on, All American burgers taste like Mcdonalds. I really don't see the difference. I almost wonder in a blind taste test with all ingredients and physical attributes being equal could someone even tell the difference.

                  1. re: jpf1980

                    jpf1980, do you know of a chowhound worthy spot in Nassau that one can have lunch at on a whim?

                    1. re: Gastronomos

                      haven't had it for lunch but i like Sabroso in East Meadow for Dominican quite a bit. Lots of their entrees are not very expensive. The owners are super friendly.This is not a waiter service restaurant.

                      Kitchen Kabaret in Roslyn makes some great sandwiches. I've also heard great things about their stuffed garlic knots in their pizza section but haven't had that yet.

                      I like Souper Fry in Merrick quite a bit but haven't been there in a while.

                      i agree with the biscuits & bbq suggestion

                      i've had some very good things at Little Mexico, i suggest u try other things on the menu.

                      Press 195 has some some really good hits, but also some misses.

                      Fh rileys in huntington village is very good.

                      by the way, did u ever make it to Its Greek to Me?

                      i'm sure i can come up with more, but i always struggle under pressure with coming up with lists.

                      1. re: jpf1980

                        no need to be under pressure or struggle. it's not easy chowhounding and all, but it ain't a stress thing either. And Thank you!

                        I did make it to It's Greek to Me in Syosset. It's nice. I had the lamb souvlaki lunch. It was quick and easy for what I was looking for. Juicy. Under seasoned and cooked on the flat top diner style, but better than many other places. I'll have to give this place and another menu item another try.

                        I've been to Souper Fry. A Long time ago. I remember a VERY strange experience. It was VERY odd as I ordered a burger or something and it was like the owners were acting in a Twilight Zone episode or something. I thought maybe I'd see Allen Funt jump out at me and say "SMILE"! Such a weird experience I haven't returned.

                        FH Riley's in Huntington will have to be put on my list as I've been driving up that way a lot recently.

                        Sabroso looks like my kinda place... :-)

                        Nice. Thanks for the suggestions. Happy Chowhounding!

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          just thought of this place. I haven't been here yet, but it might fit into what you are looking for. Not your avg. nassau county type of place. http://salumibarli.com/

                        2. re: jpf1980

                          jpf1980, Sabroso in East Meadow!

                          Cannot Thank you enough!

                          Very tasty! Very inexpensive!

                          Sorry in advance for those that may not like it, but it fits the bill for tasty, flavorful, and inexpensive.

                          Nassau County List:
                          (in no particular order) (prices subject to change)

                          Zim Zari
                          All American
                          CJ's Coffee Shop
                          Thomas' Ham & Eggery
                          Hummus World
                          La Bottega Garden City South (Merrick - meh)
                          Pizza: #1 Gino's - Elmont;
                          for a quick slice Victor's - Melville

                      2. re: jpf1980

                        All American's burgers were marginally better before they changed their meat supplier, but I don't recall ever being a fan of their burgers. The only reason I'd take AA over McDonalds is that I prefer indies over chains.

                        But that's probably academic. I haven't been to McDonalds in about 25 years, and to AA maybe twice in the past fifteen. Five Guys I've been to twice total, and both experiences have caused me to stick them into the McD's category--i.e, I probably won't be going back for the next quarter century. Possibly some of the worst burgers I've had... no, that would be the turkey burger at Energy Kitchen.

                        Even though it's an indie I don't see a reason to go to All American. As best as I can tell, the knishes are basically frozen mass-market generics, and the hot dogs... is it telling that they don't (to my recollection) advertise what brand they use?

                        Always used to like their fries, though.

                        1. re: Scott_R

                          and their fries are not as good as they once were...

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            Another All American fan here. For about twenty years, since Molly O'Neill wrote about it in Newsday. I spend most of the summer in Lido Beach and make regular trips to All American. The Double Double is far superior to a McDonalds burger which I eat a few times a year. It is not however in the same class as Shake Shack. Close to Five Guys, for me. The french fries when hot are the equal to any fries anywhere, yes I wrote that. With a shake strategically positioned on the hood of the car to facilitate melting, that combo is nothing less then delicious.

                3. Mondays - $5 Burritos & $5 Margaritas.......

                  1. $2 taco Tuesdays
                    Steak, Shrimp, Tuna, pulled pork, fish, etc...$2

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Scott_R

                        LOL! No. I think you have to be a very attractive young girl to get a wait job there... at least that's what it looks like ;-)

                    1. Girls night out at Zim Zari! Love it!

                      1. I just don't get it.

                        I'm normally not available Tuesdays, but today I was and I went back to Zim Zari for the third visit and Taco Tuesdays.

                        Attached is a photo of my two to-go tacos, tuna (on left) and chicken.

                        That's how it looked after the short walk out to my car. How sloppy; they look thrown together. Despite appearances, that slice of avocado isn't a garnish, it's supposed to be a part of the tuna taco. What's that bit of sour cream doing at the lower-right? Guess they missed when they tossed it onto the chicken.

                        Looks: not that tacos have to be delicately presented, but this is borderline fail.

                        Then there's the taste/texture. How is it that the flour shells are already soggy just several minutes after they're served? I had to use the fork because they were falling apart.

                        The chicken taco had virtually no taste whatsoever; the chicken itself was dry and... hey, wasn’t there supposed to be a cheddar-jack blend? Guess they forgot it.

                        The tuna somehow also managed to be nearly tasteless, though not as bad as the chicken. The tuna was cooked nearly well-done (one piece had some pink inside); the only significant flavor was from the bits of mango. Was there a citrus soy sauce? If I hadn't looked back at the menu I wouldn't have realized. I had to look back over the menu because I couldn't have said what was on the tacos based on taste (because of the lack thereof).

                        Taste: fail.

                        Overpriced at $2 (well, $3 for the tuna).

                        Three strikes and they're out.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Scott_R

                          An ideal and constructive post. Thanks and hope we see more of this kind of information from CH'ers.

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            Just thought of something else: how did they manage to make the tuna both overcooked *and* yet not sear it? I guess the heat was too low--it cooked through without getting a nice crust. They also didn't seem to have seasoned the tuna in any way before cooking.

                          2. Personally, I go there because it's on one of the few sit down restaurants in the area that have a fun, attractive atmosphere but are extremely affordable and you don't have to wait long to be seated, if at all. The food is "good enough" for a fun night out with friends or a stop over after the beach, in my opinion. It has enough diverse options that if you go with a group of people, everyone can find something that appeals to them. You won't find this place on "diners drive-ins and dives" because the food is missing that "wow this is so great" factor. So it's not bad, but it's not great. Choose it for the atmosphere and price.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: kellaz

                              "Spirits run high and tabs low at ZimZari California Coastal Grill"

                              "The West Coast fish taco and the "Wa-ha-ka" tuna taco have fish that's sadly overcooked."

                              "Bottom line
                              The costliest dish on ZimZari's well-executed menu rings in at $12.95. The servers are friendly, the sangria fruity.
                              Who wouldn't want to ride this wave?"



                              1. re: kellaz

                                $5 Burritos on Mondays. Sun Burned Steak Burrito, chock full of tender beef with some spinach and a little cheese and a bit of rice. $5. (regular price $8.25)
                                Yeah, it NEEDS seasoning. Yeah, I add the whole thing of salsa they bring with those chips and the better part of a bottle of hot sauce. Yeah. $5.
                                The house Margaritas for $5 are a deal as well.
                                But the $5 Burritos, full of steak, or chicken or fish - $5.
                                If I gotta spend $8.25 for a better Burrito, I'd like to know where.

                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                  What's the point if you have to drown it in sauces to make it palatable?