Smile Politely

Zyggyz provides vegetarian delights until late at night

I was excited to hear about a new Indian fast food restaurant on campus, Zyggyz. My friend giggled as he told me about the bikini babe painted on the wall. He added that the food was pretty good, too.

I am always looking for a new vegetarian adventure on my lunch hour, so I headed to Zyggyz a few weeks back and tried the vegetarian sloppy joes. Asked if I wanted them spicy or not, I replied yes. After all, I am the one who asks for a variety of hot sauces when I dine at Radio Maria.

I took in the décor of the place as I waited for my feast. Sure enough, there was the bikini babe and her companion sipping cocktails against an electric glow beach backdrop. (A quick internet search suggests the beach babe is Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai).

Tacky beach scenes cover the other walls as well. More impressive are the thatched roof awnings above the register and the bamboo-lined walls. Less impressive are the backless wooden chairs, and the sound of CNN on the TV combined with Indian music from the kitchen.

The sloppy joes are of the “assemble-your-own” variety, slop served next to three buttery, toasted buns. The sloppy joes consisted of potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It didn’t take me long to regret ordering spicy. While I enjoyed my meal, my mouth was on fire. My friend said he had been asked how much spice he wanted on a scale of 1 to 10. I guess it depends on who takes your order, as to how much say you get in your spice.

With so many vegetarian options left to try, I decided to go back this week. I couldn’t decide between the paneer (cheese) Zyggy roll or the falafel salad. I thought falafel salad sounded more exciting than the other falafel options on the menu — falafel sandwich and platter. The falafel salad consisted on clumps of falafel nestled against finely chopped cucumber, tomato, red onion, and sporadic pieces of iceberg lettuce. The whole salad was coated in a sweet sauce, and accompanied by two pieces of naan. The salad was excellent. The spice picked up heat the more I ate, so I wrapped some of the salad in the naan to cut the spice. The naan was nothing extraordinary, but it complemented the salad. I enjoyed the salad so much I decided I would try the paneer Zyggy roll the next day.

Today was paneer Zyggy roll day. I thought about trying the potato Zyggy roll or the vegetarian combo platter, which featured chickpeas, paneer, and rice. Hummus and Indian-spiced fries sounded good, too.

Zyggyz is right across from where I work, so all of these vegetarian options will surely be tried at some point. The paneer Zyggy roll was pieces of cheese cooked in a spicy (this time I specified “medium spicy”) masala sauce, along with cooked red onion, red pepper, and green pepper, stuffed inside a paratha, which reminded me of a cross between naan and a tortilla. I appreciated the way the Zyggy roll incorporated the burrito concept into Indian food.

While I will most likely continue to enjoy Zyggyz as an exciting new lunch option, it is exciting that students have a new place to nosh, post-bar crawl. It’s open until 2:30 in the morning Monday through Thursday, until a whopping 4:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and Sunday until midnight. With most meals on the menu between five and six dollars, Zyggyz is a reasonably-priced option for late night eats. The outdoor seating will probably make for good campus people-watching, too.

In addition to the many vegetarian/vegan choices, of course there are chicken, beef, and lamb options, too, in both combo platters and Zyggy rolls, and there are cheese fries (always an excellent addition to any menu).

Zyggyz is located on 410 E. Green Street, next to another one of my favorites, Empire Chinese.

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