Remember those home-cooked breakfasts at Mom’s house.
Bacon was sizzling, pancakes were flipping and eggs were frying to
culminate in the best meal of the entire week. With the on-the-go
dining atmosphere in Ann Arbor, such a luxury is hard to find.
Thanks to the wonders of Café Zola, this kind of decadent
feast becomes a reality for many University students.
Café Zola, located at Washington and Main streets, offers
more than the campus standard of bagels or coffee-shop muffins. The
breakfast menu consists of everything from scrambled eggs to a wide
variety of crepes in equally enticing sweet and savory choices.
The bustling atmosphere in the restaurant may be a turn-off for
some. Zola has become quite a popular venue for Sunday morning
meals. Thus, there is often a waiting period of an hour or more,
which is unpleasant when one’s stomach is already grumbling
for some satisfaction. The small room quickly fills with the noise
of people’s banter, and seating seems rather limited. Yet,
this excruciating wait immediately feels worth it once one’s
party is called and led to a sunlit spot right off the main bay
window. As frazzled, but friendly servers run in and out of the
room dropping off orders and picking up checks, the customer learns
to ignore this distracting activity and instead focus on the
ornate, drool-inducing platters whizzing around the room or landing
on a nearby table.
Zola’s creations also add to its unique charm. The
restaurant incorporates some unusual ingredients into classic
morning favorites. Omelettes are mixed with vegetables such as
eggplant and covered with atypical cheeses. Savory dishes arrive
complete with perfectly cooked, flavorful redskin potatoes. Sweet
crêpes can be either simple or complex, depending on
one’s preferences. Some derive their fulfilling taste merely
from a combination of strawberries or powdered sugar. Others
combine a variety of flavors to produce a characteristic culinary
wonder. For example, one of their many sweet crêpes mixes
sliced bananas, nuts, Ghiradelli chocolate sauce and a layer of
drizzled raspberry syrup into one bundle of ultra-thin dough. The
Black Forest Waffle, a personal favorite, again coats Zola’s
light, fluffy dish with Ghiradelli chocolate and soft, juicy
Despite the complexity of many of these dishes, Zola’s
prices remain quite reasonable as well. Though a breakfast here
will set one back slightly more than a Denny’s buffet, the
quality is incomparable. Zola’s large portions and handmade
delicacies typically cost anywhere from $7 to $10, but the taste
ensures absolute customer satisfaction once the meal has ended.