Zaks in Poringland is just outside the City of Norwich but is part of the group of Zak’s restaurants that are in and around the City. This one is probably the largest one and is home to Classic American style food in a friendly atmosphere, this review is at the time of the Covid restrictions being ended so depending on movements guidelines it could change.
What is Zaks?
For Boo and I, we have visited a few Zaks restaurants over the years but had never been to this one, so we were keen to try this one. With all the changes in Covid, and the good reputation on their food etc, especially their burgers, it was a good choice to visit and check out what’s there and what’s suitable for kids as well. The restaurant is fairly easy to find as it’s on the main road in Poringland and Framlingham Earl, it does have a sizeable car park and its restaurant footprint is fairly big, especially with the very big tables etc.
The theme is all American so you will expect to find many of the classics and American style food, upon arrival Allergies etc were all checked and asked alongside the menu which makes a good start. However based on what I’ve said it’s worth checking the website for the latest menu because if you are not a fan of this style of food, then, in reality, there are many options, that’s isn’t a negative but you should be fully aware.
Starters are an option
The food is very big, we opted for no starters or sharers however there is an excellent selection, Cheesy Nacho’s are very good as I’ve seen them before, there’s also Cheesy Churros which is unusual and I would be keen to try in the future being a fan.
Loaded Skin is always a good choice though Ribs would be a lovely different starter. The Nachos are big so these would be good sharer, along with the Wings, that I have had before and is actually one of my go too in American restaurants.
Some Zaks Mains
Boo had a Burger, however, she would also recommend the Club sandwich which is one of her favourites, and of all the restaurants other Zaks locations have been her favourite. A big chunk of bread with excellent filling like chicken, bacon etc..makes is a good meal, however today she tried a burger. Their Burger selection is very good, with 19 different options and if you’re a burger person this is the place to visit, my favourite is the Surf and Turf, Prawns in an Atlantic style sauce on the burger.
You can double stack if you want for a little extra but these are big, Boo had a C&B because normally Cheese and Bacon is her favourite burger anywhere, and this was no different, a wider 6oz burger fills the larger bun, for me this option is much better, a meant but a thick burger is hard to eat alongside those extras. She chooses Fries with hers but there are more potatoes choices.
Now texas Combo is my favourite, anywhere… American places do the chicken and ribs style dinner, but for me, this is the number 1, I have eaten different things at Zaks but in reality, I would always choose these if I’m stuck or I haven’t had it for a while. The smokey BBQ sauce covers a Fatboy rib, which is basically a country short rub style with one bone and plenty of meat, however, you can choose a half rack of ribs if that is your favourite.
The chicken is fried, much like a KFC style chicken piece, I had two pieces but if your not a fan of bones maybe give this a miss. With my meal I had curlies, I actually like their fries and you get a good amount normally, but today I went for curlies just because it can make a nice change, these were not overcooked which sometimes is the problem of Curlies.
There are plenty of other options and again check the menu, The burgers you can really go wrong with and having 19 options you will find something. As for the grill, the stakes are fine but it’s never been a go too for me, I’ve seen the Fajitas and they are very nice. if you like that American style hot dogs then I would also recommend these, they are big and come with different toppings.
Heads up a bit of honesty, the desserts for us have always been a little bit of a letdown, that’s harsh you could say but when you compare it to the main food there not in the same league, and in a way there still not there. However, this is the best selection I’ve seen the restaurant franchise have, if you like Tall sundaes or Shakes then actually these are great, Boo does and she chose a Buried Treasure which is a little bit of a take on an Eaton mess with a little bit extra.
But one thing that really impressed her was that ice cream was filled to the top, normally Cream makes a cheeky big part of restaurants desert, and in sundae form places use things like Merienge pieces to again fill the jar, but not here, it was a good mix and seemed full.
There are several shakes if you wish, including Adult based ones, I’ve had a shake in the past and there good, if you like shakes. But again both of these have a good choice which is ideal to show that variation. there are some Sharable deserts like waffles with a choice of toppings, likewise, American style pancakes are also an option.
There are a couple of other options so it’s worth checking the menu at the time, for deserts though just done expect a huge option, there’s enough if you want but you might be full from the big plate you have had.
For me, I have a problem with Dairy and Yeast, and often causes an issue when visiting restaurants, don’t get me wrong I love cake and different ice cream, and often feel bad afterwards. But what I liked here was the option for a Chocolate obsession desert, which featured and Gluten and Vegan free Brownie along with dairy-free ice cream, I’m sure the fudge cake warm with ice cream would be lovely for someone like me this was a great option.
The brownie was good, and if you used to that gluten freestyle food then you know the difference, however, the ice cream was very nice actually no difference in flavour or texture, it was very nice.
For kids, they had a smaller menu, and even though there are options I wouldn’t say this is the best place for young kids, however, for those kids that like American style food, (not just Mcdonald’s) then this is a good choice. The price is high, kids meal you would expect around £5, but you could argue you get a little more for them, they have a meal deal type thing and some options on the menu for them. But again it’s more of the same from the main menu so you really need to understand if your child is this type of food, Burgers, Hot dogs, Sundaes, Shakes, Ribs, Mac n cheese are all good American style choices.
Overall it’s an American restaurant, let’s get that out of the way, like I said earlier you know what to expect so don’t be silly about it. Likewise, the price, it’s not a cheap place, however for the price you are getting good quality food but a lot of it, for example, my plate was stacked, and the smokey BBQ flavour filled the meal, it’s arguably the best Smokey BBQ flavour I’ve had. Boo’s burger meal was delightful but again big. You will be filled visiting this place, let alone starters,and or deserts, the deserts are fine and as I said earlier I’m probably harsh by criticising them but that’s because I compared it to the standard of the mains.
But there are some good choices in options, from burgers to grills, to shakes and Sundaes, it may be classic simple American food but the options and flavours raise it to another level, it has a good local reputation and you can see why. With the kid’s food m sure some people will argue with me, they look good, but for young kids? maybe not, especially when you factor in the price, you would almost be better to give a little off your stacked plate lol,
However, for your slightly older kids like this food then this is a real treat, Roo and Piglet love American style hot dogs, let alone burgers, but would I bring Tigger whos a plan Fussey eater? I’m not sure, he’s eaten at Zaks before and basically had a mountain of fries, loads…i cant state how many there was lol! But dont let this detract from the place. Its decor is nice, you feel welcomed, it can be busy, the food can be great and big portions, it’s a great place for a treat.