Pack a hat and some sunscreen because patio season is heating up in downtown Midland! King Street has a number of patios on the strip starting at the town dock with The Boathouse Eatery which has a tremendous view of the harbour. Moving south on King Street MegaMindful Living has some outdoor seating and is now open late. Dillon’s Wood Fired Pizza has a patio on the side at Dominion Avenue. Phil’s Pub & Eatery on Hugel also has a side patio and Maple Canadian Pub’s patio is next to Midland’s newest patio at Zanca Mexican Food.
Zanca is Midland’s newest restaurant, they started their soft opening last Wednesday, offering evening dine in, take out and patio service. Zanca means friend in Zihuatanejo, the region of Mexico that the owners are from, and where they draw inspiration for their authentic Mexican cuisine. The space is white-washed and open with high backed booths lining one wall. The opposite wall houses the open kitchen encased in white paneling. There are a few more tables at the front and the large garage door opens the restaurant to the patio on King Street. Above the booths the walls are lined with a collage of bright and colourful signage that give the space its personality highlighting the colours of Mexico. All in all it’s a friendly and inviting space.
The menu includes a great variety of appetizers, enchiladas, bowls, roll ups, tacos, burritos & chimichangas, quesadillas, alambres and desserts including a kid’s menu and, what I will be enjoying this evening, their vegan menu. They also include a cheat sheet for the menu in case you have no idea what an enchilada or chimichanga is. This helpful tool lets you know what is in every dish on the menu, which can be handy when trying something new. While enjoying the sun on the patio, there is no reason not to check out the drink menu and it certainly does not disappoint. Margaritas and sangria come in 3 sizes, they also have daiquiris, and mojitos. As well there’s a few I can’t wait to try including a bulldog, paloma, charro negro, although my personal favourite is the Cuba libre!
I was excited to see that the menu included a specific plant based vegan section and that included a number of options including tacos, a quesadilla, burrito & chimichanga and two bowls. They include a choice of filling options including refried beans, fajita vegetables and or adobo Beyond Meat. I wanted to try everything on the menu, but for this first visit I opted for the tacos and a rice bowl.
The adobo Beyond Meat tacos were served on warm corn tortillas and topped with avocado sauce, pico de gallo salsa and shredded lettuce. They were fresh and delicious and came with a choice of two sides. I chose tortilla soup and Mexican rice. The tomato based soup was rich and delicious topped with crispy tortilla strips, it made a tasty topping for the rice.
Zanca serves all dishes mild in spice level and allows you to control the heat with one of their sauces. If you love it spicy, and want heat, then look no further than their habanero hot sauce. I suggest easing into this red gem and testing your palate before pouring it all over your meal. The jalapeno sauce was the one for me. I had it all over the tacos and even asked for more for my bowl.
The Mexican rice bowl was topped with refried beans, roasted corn, grilled fajatias vegetables, guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, crispy tortilla chips and avocado sauce. I mixed the contents of the bowl all together. All the flavours and textures of vegetables with the rice and the tortilla chips made for a taste explosion. I loved the avocado sauce and added a little of the habanero sauce for some extra kick.
I even indulged in some Buñuelos for dessert. These crispy flour tortillas rolled in cinnamon sugar served with a non-dairy caramel sauce were a treat!
Zanca is located at 290 King Street in Midland. Check their Facebook page for hours as they are still in their soft opening stage and will be offering extended hours soon.