The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Zada Jane’s

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on September 27, 2009

My father has talked about going to the Smokey Mountains and panning for gold for as long as I can remember.  To be honest, I don’t know if those two things are event consistent with one another… like going to Napa and enjoying the tropical weather, when Napa doesn’t have any tropical weather.  Either way, he’s talked about it my entire life.  Now that he’s retired in Virginia, he planned a vacation that took my parents down the Blue Ridge Parkway, into North Carolina, where they will ultimately get to Cherokee, NC.  Since they were going to be “in the neighborhood,” they asked if they could come by and buy us dinner for the Wife’s birthday.

We suggested they pick a restaurant from the blog, but that didn’t seem to happen.  They asked us to pick out somewhere.  We had been talking about going to Zada Jane’s for months, and figured this was probably a good opportunity.   They stopped by the house and followed us up to Plaza Midwood to the restaurant.  Parking was not as easy as one might have hoped, but the external ambiance strengthened our resolve enough to get us inside.  We weren’t disappointed.



It was a Thursday evening, and aside from a patron that looked shockingly like my cousin Susan, the restaurant was largely devoid of patrons.  I was pretty surprised, actually.  The waitress came took our drink order; half price bottles of wine!  The Wife, being ever cognizant of a good deal, ordered a bottle of organic chardonnay (for herself?).  Ever heard the observation, “A woman will pay half price for something she doesn’t need, while a man will pay twice the price for something he does?”



I ordered an Samuel Smith’s organic lager.  I’m not sure what makes something from out of the country “organic.”  I know there are rules/laws about what makes something “organic,” but I would like to know exactly how they impact imported products.  I’m a little skeptical that they take beer bound for the U.S., and simply place the “organic” labels on them.  Either way, the beer was good.



We started out with the three dip appetizer.  Pimento cheese, black bean hummus, and fire-roasted pepper hummus (I think).  The pimento cheese was excellent, and the others were “fine.”


The menu was wide and varied.  I ordered shrimp and grits, with essence of lobster.  I don’t know what essence of lobster is, and it sounds like it might be naughty, but I figured you could only screw up shrimp and grits so much, and there was potential for huge flavor payoff.  The Wife ordered the wild mushroom ravioli.  I was hoping she would, because that was my first runner up, and I knew her order would ensure I would at least get a taste of the wild mushroom dish.




The food was good.  Not spectacular, but good.  I liked the shrimp and grits.  I’m still not sure what essence of lobster is, but the grits certainly didn’t suffer from it.  The wild mushroom ravioli was good, but the slightest bit dry.   The fact that the food was not extraordinary was more than compensated for by the funky, crunchy, organic ambiance are really what made the experience.

Zada Jane’s clearly has a chef that can put together some great plates with a wide variety of ingredients, and the atmosphere puts it in a class all its own.

Zada Jane's Corner Cafe on Urbanspoon


2 Responses to “Zada Jane’s”

  1. Ryan said

    Zada Janes is in Plaza Midwood, not Noda.

    • Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers said

      Thanks for the correction! Living in south Charlotte, that whole area I’m so unfamiliar with!

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