Steppin’ Out – ZacJack Bistro

logo-zac2-300x90“If you aren’t willing to grind your own meat, bake your own buns and use the freshest ingredients, you shouldn’t be serving burgers.”
Chef John Evans

I have eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner, wine paring dinners and more at ZacJack Bistro and never had a bad meal. In fact, I have never had less than a great meal.

John and Lynette Evans opened ZacJack Bistro, which is located at 1275 Coach Lane in Cameron Park, nearly two years ago to fill in the need for a restaurant that serves what they call “Everyday Gourmet Cuisine,” and are doing a great job at it.

I dropped in earlier this week to talk with Chef John and ordered one of their signature burgers, something I had never tried before. All of them are made with freshly ground American Kobe beef and served on a freshly baked bun. My choices were a French burger, a Bleu burger and a mushroom burger, along with their new El Dorado Burger.

I decided on the El Dorado Burger which is a half-pound of beef that is grilled and served on a freshly baked bun with garlic aioli, strips of cherry wood smoked bacon, melted Cheddar cheese, smoky Chipotle barbecue sauce and crispy fried onion rings. Along with it were served freshly cut, crispy fries.

It was cooked to my liking (go as rare and you can to get the great flavor of the beef) and delicious. Chef John has a great palate and can put together some interesting combinations of flavors.

The Chipotle barbeque sauce came on the side and what I didn’t put on my burger I used as a dip for the crispy, skin-on fries (Yum!). They also have house made catsup for dipping.

I wish I had more room to describe the food, because of the list of ingredients in each dish. But, to give you a basic rundown, in addition to the speciality burgers, the lunch menu includes small plates, like shrimp macaroni and cheese, a stuffed artichoke and a cheeseboard. Then there are the soups and salads (the two day, slow-cooked French onion soup is wonderful and also available in a half soup – half salad combination).

The Croques (French classic sandwiches) include short rib, mushroom ragout, shrimp remoulade and even a smoked salmon BLT. And, you can get a half sandwich and salad or soup if you wish.

They also have several kinds of fresh made pizza, all cooked in their brick oven, and they can substitute a gluten-free crust if you wish at no extra charge. And, on Monday through Friday there is a varying Golden Special at lunch for $6.99.

The dinner menu includes the burgers, soups, salads and pizzas, along with a large list of appetizers, including a wild mushroom croissant, an olive plate and escargot.

The plates, or entrees, include a filet mignon, traditional Al Cordon Bleu Chicken, Coconut shrimp, a grilled boneless double pork chop (one of my favorites), crispy sauteed salmon, trout almondine, boneless beef short rib (another favorite of mine), Calamari A La Luby Doo and a vegetable Wellington.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday they also serve brunch, starting at 8 a.m. That menu includes bockwurst and eggs, ham steak and eggs, bacon and eggs, salmon or trout and eggs and Mountain Joe’s biscuits and gravy, along with a three egg omelet.

In addition to those, they also serve banana-boysenberry pancakes, cinnamon swirl French toast, coconut-macadamia nut French Toast and a special Buenos Dias Burrito.

The dessert menu includes their famous Gateau Saint Honore, macaroons and ice cream, Belgian chocolate cake, carrot cake, Marquis du Chocolate (a dense, fudge-like, flourless chocolate cake) and a delicious lemon tart.

To accompany your meal are the normal coffee, tea and soda, along with quite a list of wines from El Dorado County and the world, by the glass or bottle, and domestic and imported beer.

Speaking of wine, on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m., ZacJack Bistro will be holding a dk Cellars wine dinner, followed on May 2, by an Auriga Cellars wine dinner, on June 6, by a Nello Olivo wine dinner and on July 11, by a Boeger wine dinner.

These are all local wineries and Chef John is a master at pairing wine and food. You should try and make it to at least one of them.

Tuesday is Ladies Night with live music and specials, Thursday no corkage on the wine you bring, and coming up in May, “3 B’s” on Wednesdays and Rock and Lobster, a six ounce lobster tail cooked your way and rock music on Friday.

ZacJack Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Thursday from 11 until 8:30; on Friday and Saturday for brunch, lunch and dinner from 8 until 9:30 and on Sunday for brunch, lunch and dinner from 8 until 8. Closed on Monday. For more information call 530-676-2969.

In order to served the best food with the freshest ingredients, the menus are seasonal and do change periodically, so I recommend if you have something special in mind, call first.

A lot of people have asked me what happened to Zachary Jacques Restaurant on Pleasant Valley Road east of Diamond Springs. It is now a fantastic store called ZJ’s Speciality Food Market, with lots of unique food items, beer, wine and more. It is open every day but Monday and in the process of expanding to meet the needs and desires of the community. For more information call 530-626-8045.

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