Zeeland Street Market

Home to the all-too-elusive plate lunch, piping hot daily specials and Southern classics and even more elusive vegetarian or healthy lunch options, Zeeland Street Market is a lot of things to a lot of people. Sitting at the edge of the Garden District, Hundred Oaks and the sundry vintage neighborhoods saddling LSU and the University Lakes to the north, this family-owned breakfast and lunch joint is a long-standing fresh food tradition.

Zeeland Street Market

The Ambiance: Casual

Kid-friendly: Yes

Lunch: Yes

2031 Perkins Rd. • 387-4546

Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

No reservations • To-go orders • All credit cards

zeelandstreet.webs.com

But it is one that is not standing still. Plans are underway to transform part of the restaurant into an art gallery and hang-out space with couches, free wi-fi and a wall lined with new work by local artists and photographers.

Daily lunch specials rotate on and off the menu, but Zeeland Street’s breakfast biscuit sandwiches, chuck burgers, pot roast po-boys, hashbrowns—with all the trimmings—salads and more are welcome regulars. Turn the page to see how our secret diners fared at Zeeland Street Market.

Soul Foodie

Great lunch plates take me home.

I’d recommend:

Pecan-Smoked Brisket ($9.99). A succulent, smoky portion of tender brisket comes nestled among three sides you choose from a soul food kitchen-full of options and topped with a sweet cornbread muffin. The beef is fall-apart tender, like your grandma used to make, yet as impossibly tangy and wood-infused as the slabs your grandpa cooked on the grill.

Homemade desserts when available ($2). Ms. Stephanie’s daughter bakes an amazing, rich and simple chocolate cake from scratch. At two bucks a slice, it’s as deeply satisfying as any dessert in town.

Not my taste:

Going against my instincts. For sides, I chose butter beans and black-eyed peas, which were a little mushy. The mustard greens, although tender, were bitter for personal taste. Tantalizing bites of my companions’ sweet potato soufflé and cornbread dressing made me wish I’d chosen differently.

The bottom line:

From the easy atmosphere to the genuine warmth of the staff, Zeeland Street Market is a Baton Rouge gem, a place to savor the best home cooking and hospitality this city has to offer.

The Cajun Connoisseur

I love down-home cookin’ and adventurous eats.

I’d recommend:

St. Rose Club ($7.99). This monster chicken breast served on an onion roll and piled with greens, avocado, bacon and Swiss cheese is like a club sandwich on steroids. The bacon was super-crisp and the herb-marinated chicken was extra-juicy—and just like any good club, I had to open up wide to fit it into my mouth.

Breakfast before work. The sheer amount of scrumptious food available on any given morning makes breaking your fast a true pleasure. Biscuit sandwiches piled with egg, cheese and sausage, omelettes of every description and just about anything you can think of to do with the humble hashbrown—just get there early to beat the crowds.

Not my taste:

The avocado slices. It’s hard to think of a critique for a place that’s clearly been doing things right for so long, but a little extra care with presentation wouldn’t hurt. The avocado on my sandwich looked brown and oxidized, though it tasted just fine.

The bottom line:

Neighborhood restaurants like this thrive for one major reason—they make really, really good food and everyone knows it. Walk in here on any given day and chances are you won’t see anyone not really enjoying their food—there’s no greater recommendation than that.

The Neighborhoodie

I love neighborhood favorites, even if it’s not my neighborhood.

I’d recommend:

Banana Pecan Pancakes ($5.99). Fat round slices of fresh banana and chunks of crushed pecans fill this stack of three pancakes that are thick but not overly heavy. Skip the butter on these and just go with syrup. Delicious.

Homemade Biscuit Sandwich with sausage, egg and cheese ($2.99). These buttermilk biscuits are pillow soft and ought to be mentioned in the same breath as their more lauded brethren from Louie’s and Frank’s. Healthy helpings of scrambled egg, cheddar and a sausage patty make this a compact but super-satisfying breakfast.

Cornbread dressing (complimentary side). A little spicy, like jambalaya, this dressing tastes so Creole it should be a crime not to enjoy it.

Okra (complimentary side). Not a big okra fan, but Zeeland’s smoky stewed side dish was cooked perfectly and has me reconsidering allegiances.

Not my taste:

Chicken Asparagus ($8.99). This Cajun-seasoned chicken breast wrapped like a fist around a stalk of asparagus and red bell pepper was fine, but I absolutely love asparagus and would have appreciated more of it. With so many other savory dishes on the menu, I don’t think this is Zeeland’s best.

The bottom line:

Zeeland Street is, like Cheers, a place where everybody is likely to know your name. It’s relaxed and steeped with tantalizing and comforting smells wafting from the kitchen. This is good food without the fuss.

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