Pros and Cons of Zas

>Last night I went to dinner at Zas with a bunch of people for a friend’s birthday and I actually have a lot to say about Zas.

1) Pro: The Zas cups – They are huge and there are free refills and you can take them home to use because they aren’t like normal to-go cups. I have also heard you can use them to play something called “Zas pong” with them…apparently it is a form of beer pong but my intense because Zas cups are bigger than normal beer pong cups. I like getting a drink because of the free refills!

2) Pro: There are so many different options that everyone in a large group should be able to find something to eat (if they can’t…then send them home because there are a ton of options and they’re being whiny if they say they can’t find something to get).

3) Con: Because of #3 there are usually a lot of loud groups (usually of freshmen because they travel in packs) and it can be hard to find a spot to sit.

4) Pro: They now offer whole wheat noodles which is a great because I used to try and stay away from the pasta because I prefer to eat whole wheat.

5) Pro: Their make your own pasta is great. The price stays the same and all you have to do is choose your ingredients based on a point system (you get 4 points – veggies are usually 1 and meat is usually 2). If I get pasta I usually get whole wheat rotini with pesto sauce, broccoli, mushrooms and either chicken or artichokes and tomatoes.

6) Con: the people who go there to get mac and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs confuse me. Why pay $8 for something you can make at home for a quarter of the price? Get something like pesto (which is complicated to make and a little on the pricey side) or a unique panini!

7) Pro/Con: I don’t know how to label this one but it is about their desserts. I have always wanted to get one of their desserts (cheesecake, tiramisu) but they are on the pricey side so I never have.

8) Con: If you don’t get there right after they have cleaned tables and trash receptacles it can be pretty nasty…the bathroom is usually pretty decent though.

9) Pro: You get a full meal that isn’t a burger or tacos for less than $10 and usually really fast. The longest I have ever had to wait was 20 minutes because their toaster oven for the garlic bread you get with most orders was broken and they had to make the bread in a smaller backup toaster so it was taking a really long time…but trust me, their garlic bread is pretty good and worth the wait.

10) Con: I have never had a panini but their pastas and soups tend to be a little overly salty. And their salads are nothing special so don’t waste your time…go straight for the pasta or soup.

So it looks like the Pros come out on top with 6 of the 10 entries. I don’t crave Zas and it isn’t my first suggestion if I’m getting dinner with a friend but it is good for a larger group of people or friends who like different foods. I will probably go back sometime soon with another group of friends and maybe I’ll get a dessert then!

Have you been to Zas and agree or disagree with me? Have YOU ever had their dessert or is it too expensive for you too? Let me know!

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Semi-homemade

>I am a huge fan of semi-homemade (not the show…Sandra Lee freaks me out…but the mode of cooking!). I find the best spaghetti sauce is one where you take a jar of sauce and add a bunch of ingredients to it. Recently I did this and had a really great dinner!

I bought a low sodium, no sugar added jar of tomato basil store brand sauce. It was really cheap and didn’t really have a lot of flavor by itself. But when I added some garlic powder, hot sauce, a can of mushrooms and some ground beef (that was cooked with onions and garlic). The sauce turned out really well and took less than 30 minutes! If I had to make that sauce from scratch it would have taken a lot more time…I don’t even know how to make sauce from real scratch. The only thing I can think of would be to combine tomatoes and tomato paste but those both come out of cans! I think I’ll stick with semi-homemade!

I put the sauce on top of some tri-color cheese tortellini. It was really good! Then, I had leftovers and the last day I had sauce left but not tortellini. So I made a chicken breast and put the sauce on top…tasty!

Have any dishes you make semi-homemade because the from-scratch version would take absolutely way too long? Let me know!