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Zelko Bistro in the Historic Heights

Zelko Bistro, located at 705 E. 11th Street in the Heights
Zelko Bistro, located at 705 E. 11th Street in the Heights
Megan Daic

Located in the heart of the Historic Heights district, Zelko Bistro embodies the true essence of the Heights. Having opened this past April 2010, Zelko has quickly become one of the hottest hot-spots in Houston.  Not only was Zelko Bistro the focal point of the Heights' White Linen Night that took place last week - an event that brings in more than 20,000 interested event-goers who so eagerly support the local businesses and artists in the Heights - but it consistently delivers excellent service and divine meals to a jam-packed & restaurant filled clientele. 

Alongside the fresh, southern-style cooking, Zelko boasts a highly knowledgeable and energetic waitstaff.  If you are eager to experience the perfect date night with amazing service, wine and food, then I would suggest asking for Laura.  She has this uncanny ability to describe both food and wine as if it were an art that the rest of society has yet to tap into.  It is truly food-enlightening!

Jeb Stuart, Zelko's co-owner and previous chef of Shade,  makes it a point to mention that although Zelko's food is unbelievably satisfying, they also boast a wide selection of fine wines, both white and red. So even if you aren't in the mood for the best dining experience of your life (for some strange reason!), you are encouraged to satiate your mid-evening craving with some of their delctable wines.

Jamie Zelko, the bistro's Executive Chef and Owner, can regularly be found keeping an eye out on the restaurant, while also hamming-it-up with the customers. 

She [Jamie] is one of the funniest, most energetic and driven individuals that I have ever met.  After speaking with her about her three-compartment BBQ grill that Zelko purchased for the White Linen Night in the Heights event, it became apparent that this tiny firecracker of a woman is ready to attack and overtake the restaurant industry at all costs - even if she has to tackle BBQ and beer to do so!" - Kathy Daic, a Zelko customer visiting from out of town.

The bistro's menu may only include a total of nine entrees, in addition to various salads, soups and appetizers, but this menu truly packs a big, hearty punch.  After having tried the Homeless Joe meatloaf  about two weeks ago, I couldn't resist returning to try almost everything else on the menu as well.  Here are this single gal's top picks:

Homeless Joe - Meatloaf (cooked in a can in order to maintain all of its delicious juices) with yukon gold mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and sweet tomato catsup.  This meatloaf will leave you craving for more for weeks!

Captin's Fried Chicken - Farm chicken breast, yukon mash, green beans, and shallot jam.  What makes this item so unique is its breading which consists of some Captain Crunch cereal.  What a treat!

Corned Beef & Cabbage - Cured brisket, apple sauce, seasonal cabbage, root vegetables and fried brussels.  This corned beef is both savory and hearty.  It literally melts in your mouth!

Chopped Bleu - Romaine mix, bacon, red onions, apples & pecans.  If you are a bleu cheese lover, then you will become enamored with this rich, fresh ensalata.

Since Zelko does not take reservations, keep in mind that this small, bungalow style home/bistro only seats up to around 50 patrons, so you are encouraged to show up a little early in order to guarantee your seating. 

All in all, if you are searching for a perfect first date night location, or to host an anniversary dinner, birthday celebration, or even a second or third date venue, then  Zelko is definitely the place for you!  Donned with both a romantic and homey ambiance, this bistro definitely has something to offer everyone!

Make sure to look out for Zelko's unofficial mascot, Bacon the kitten!  She is adorable, and she loves bacon!

If you enjoyed this article, check these out!

"The good, the bad, & the best:  A review of Houston date locales"

"The Daily Review Cafe"


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