Zelko’s Bistro

Cozy, casual, comfort food.  That pretty much sums up this recent addition to the growing Heights area dining scene.  Located in a small house, with an open kitchen in the back, this new Houston restaurant has been hopping since it opened.  The chef, Jamie Zelko, has graced a number of our local kitchens, including, most recently, Lancaster Grill.  The opening of her own place was much anticipated.

We stopped by on a recent Saturday evening and found a wait at 6:30.  No reservations are taken.  There’s a small bar area and a porch for waiting.  Parking is also quite abundant which is most appreciated.  And no valet parking.  Yippee.  Prices are quite reasonable.  No wines above the $40 range, and entrees in the mid-teens.  Service was friendly and prompt.   We love the growing popularity of leaving a bottle of water on the table.

As seems popular nowadays, the menu is an eclectic mix of favorites — spaghetti with meat sauce, meat loaf, fried chicken, short ribs, cheeseburger, shrimp ‘n grits, corned beef and cabbage.   Even deep fried pickles, which we tried and found to be quite delicious with homemade ranch dressing.  We also dined on the spaghetti with meat sauce which was satisfying but not exceptional.  We are suckers for soft shell crab and an off the menu special enticed us — one good sized, corn meal crusted deep fried crab, served on an asian style slaw, with honey mustard dipping sauce.  Like so many versions, too much breading without alot of flavor.  (The best soft shell crabs in town are at Pico’s Mex Mex.)

Did we enjoy our dinner?  Yes, particularly the comfortable, casual vibe.   Will we race back for the food?  Probably not.

705 E. 11th Street

One thought on “Zelko’s Bistro

  1. Paul Scott

    We have tried Zelko’s twice. The food was adequate, but certainly not memorable. I really wanted to like the place but won’t be returning. The busboy was the only competent member of the wait staff. This restaurant has so few tables and so many wait staff one would think they would provide excellent service. One would think wrong.

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