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Zapata Mexcian Cuisine (Norcross)

I’ve been to this place twice before back when they were still located on Peachtree Parkway. This new location in the heart of downtown Norcross is more upscale in ambiance and is filled with office people.

Zapata (Norcross)

First up, the requisite chips and dip. The salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and cilantro and had good consistency. It was a little on the bland side but the saltiness of the chips complemented well. While I totally disagree with Foodie Buddha’s assessment, I absolutely loved the chips they use: totopos! These are thicker chips made by grinding corn kernels with water. The resulting dough is then cut and oven baked. I love totopos — the crunch, the corny taste. In Atlanta, you can find El Milagro (a local company) Totopos in the Mexican aisle at the BHFM. These totopos (and Jack’s Special Salsa) are staples in my house.

Zapata (Norcross)

Zapata is well known for their Sopa Azteca. I’ve really enjoyed it the couple of times I’ve had it. On this visit, however, the flavor was just off. The broth tasted more like canned tomato sauce more than fresh tomatoes which overpowered the chicken broth.

Zapata (Norcross)

The Crema de Chile Poblano was really good. It was creamy and rich. Like its American cousin, the milk and cream cheese flavors were distinctly there but they made it a Mexican version by including a very pronounced chile poblano taste. Beware, this is a very filling soup.

Zapata (Norcross)

The Enchiladas de Mole was quite a disappointment. For a non-dessert eater like me, sweet food is a turn-off. This dish was overly sweet that it was uneatable. Worse, the chicken filling was also as sweet. The only saving grace was the rice which wasn’t Mexican rice but more like steamed sticky Jasmine rice which went really well with the refried beans.

Zapata (Norcross)

The Crepas Cholula was a better choice. Two soft crepes were filled with absolutely delicious picadillo. The picadillo tasted like it was cooked for hours, simmering in a blend of Mexican spices. The mild chipotle cream sauce wasn’t all that bad. I liked that it had a good bit of chipotle taste and was whisked enough to render a frothy consistency. But there was just so much of it that it killed the taste of the picadillo. I’ll get this again but I’ll make sure to have the sauce on the side.

Zapata (Norcross)

Trying to chase the goodness of the picadillo (ok, fine, I was still hungry), an order of Picadillo Quesadilla was made. This was a total let down as the picadillo was squashed by the greasy, bland cheese it was mixed with. To add insult to injury, they used overripe avocados on the side of guacamole.

This place isn’t off my list yet. I’ve had enjoyable meals here in the past. It has lots of potential and they may have just had an off day on this visit. In fact, I can’t wait to eat their Picadillo Burrito: a lunch special on Thursdays.

Insider tip:
Prices average $7 for lunch.
Street parking available including a private lot a few feet away.

15 Jones St NW
Norcross, GA 30071
(770) 248-0052

Zapata on Urbanspoon

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Oct 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Yay! I’m glad you reviewed Zapata. This place is absolutely one of my favorite restaurants. It’s authentic, but not taqueria food, and it’s miles above sit-down tex mex places like Fronterra. There’s nothing like in Atlanta.

    P.S. The margaritas de tamarindo are phenomenal and they’re cheap. The outdoor patio is a great place to enjoy them in the summer.

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