I was visiting Charlotte a few weekends ago and Mario took me out to Zink American Kitchen downtown. Food, not bad. Service, lacking. We went in and were quickly seated in the main dining room. Oddly, you only get a drink menu when you sit down and no food menu, so we couldn’t even see what they had to offer in the 15 minutes we were sitting there without even a glance from a waiter. A group of 5 was seated next to us not long after we arrived, and were brought water and menus within 5 minutes. After that, we decided it was time for us to leave.
I guess at the same time we decided our wait was unacceptable, the manager did too, because he caught us about halfway to the door, apologized profusely, and offered us a free appetizer for being ignored. Apparently the person normally assigned to our table was helping with a large party in another room and none of the other waiters in the area noticed. Mmhmm. Whatever, we were hungry. I ordered us the Streetside Tacos (beef shortribs, mango, red onion slaw, chipotle crema) as our on-the-house app:
I only thought the tacos were ok, and a little messy. The shortribs weren’t seasoned well enough for me, so the whole thing came out tasting bland. I did like the addition of mango to add a little sweet kick to the savory tacos.
For entrees, Mario ordered the Eden Farms Pork Chop (mac ‘n’ cheese, swiss chard, peach salsa), and I got the Chef’s menu, which included 3 courses: “Strawberries” (a salad: feta cheese, arugula, pistachios), a bacon-wrapped filet (“steak fries” caramelized blue cheese, shallot demi), and an ice-cream sandwich dessert (peanut butter ice cream). A lot of stuff, and a lot of yummy:
Mario’s pork chop was HUGE and really moist and well seasoned. The mac-n-cheese was made with shell noodles (a little strange to me) and a blend of cheeses Mario didn’t care for. My strawberry salad was pretty tasty, the strawberries were really juicy to say they’re out of season and I liked the contrast with the feta cheese. My bacon-wrapped filet, which I ordered medium-well (I just can’t eat bloody meat!) was fantastic. I have accepted the fact that eating medium-well beef often means that I end up with a slightly tough cut of meat, but this filet was still super tender at my requested temp. I’m also a sucker for blue cheese and bacon on anything, so that didn’t hurt at all. The steak fries were a disappointment; they were basically just huge seasoned potato wedges, but they seemed overcooked for my taste. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the ice cream sandwich, but it was gigantic. Two chocolate cookies with a generous helping of peanut butter ice cream in between, covered with chocolate sauce. Mario and I definitely didn’t have room to finish it.
Zink was a so-so dining experience, but the bad service left a cloud over our whole meal. However, the food was good, and I understand it can be a happening after-work spot (there is a large bar area). I’d be willing to give it another try, but one slip-up would make it my last.