Monday, July 7, 2008


5406 Balcones Drive
Meal: Chicken Gorgonzola Focaccia Pizza (1/2 price of $5.00)

Two words for Chez-Zee. DON'T GO.

Now I try my best to avoid ruling out a place based on one visit, but this restaurant has received 3 visits too many, and that's based on 3 times I can recall going. I visited this restaurant on 4th of July with a few friends for their special happy hour event advertised on their website. Naturally, when I arrived Friday I was taken aback when the hostess had no clue about their special event. This could have been excusable except for the presence of a 4th of July Happy Hour poster hanging directly on the door across from the hostess stand.

Once seated, we discovered that the waitress was also unaware of the specials despite the small table signs put up on each table and special menu printed for the day. I asked the waitress to suggest something vegetarian, and she highly recommended the Chicken Gorgonzola Focaccia Pizza, obviously without the chicken. I am not a fan of jalapenos so I asked if could taste this in the cheese sauce described on the menu. I was promptly told by the waitress that most of the customer base was old so that most of the food was bland. Shocking, I know! I was positive the meal would only go downhill from here. The pizza could not have been more of a disappointment. The cheese sauce despite supposedly containing gorgonzola, a strong-tasting blue cheese, was indeed bland and in dire need of seasoning. It was laden with shredded mozzarella and tasted like a bad frozen pizza. I much prefer the traditional Italian thin crust, and this was thick and unpleasant. As this is referred to as a "Chez-Zee Signature" on the menu, one can only imagine what the rest of the selection is like.

My friend, having missed protein at our breakfast earlier at La Madeleine, ordered the Chicken Beignets: Marsala wine-marinated chicken breast strips, breaded and fried. He described the dish in a text message later: "Failure. The technique was great. Light, crisp batter and moist chicken. However, it tasted like nadadelicious. The flavors were tired and unrefined. Seemed like they used pre-packaged processed ingredients and oafish seasonings that were baffingly bland."

Another friend tried the "Southern" Maryland Crabcakes, which she found to be "decent" and "probably better than Cheesecake Factory." She particularly liked the tomatoey sauce served on the side to be good. However, she was not impressed with the advertisment for 1/2 price appetizers, which turned out to only be at a reduced price listed on their specially printed menu.

To finish things off, crème brûlée was ordered. I'm generally quite fond of this dessert, but definitely not when it is served completely blackened! The sugar was far too burnt and the custard beneath appeared to be missing vanilla. The poor quality dessert was the last straw and left me feeling embarrassed for bringing my friends to the restaurant, especially since I had raved about the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake I had tried there previously.
All in all, Chez-Zee is one restaurant to which I will never return. If I'm ever hungry again in the area, I'd be willing to drive to H-E-B to pick up yoghurt and a Clif bar instead of going there.

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