Tucked inconspicuously between a mobile phone store and the Wedge Table on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Zettas beckons you in quietly, its neon-pink beacon glowing gently in the window. A sign for beloved vegetarian-friendly restaurant Evergreen still hangs on the building: a good landmark, in the meantime, for locating it.
And oh, dear reader, you’ll want to locate it.
As a skeleton crew of three, partners Paige Alexander, Brian Hoffman, and Sophia Munch are newcomers to the restaurant scene. They’re warm, affable, and, much like their food, unpretentious. Together, they’re proving you don’t need too many people—or ingredients—to make comforting flatbread sandwiches worth seeking out.
Their space is small, mostly occupied by the kitchen, but the walls are lined with counters for standing and eating, with hooks smartly installed just below for jackets and bags. (At my height—a towering five feet—I was initially concerned, but it turned out to be the perfect set-up for shoveling sandwiches into my mouth like a pig at a trough. Anyone taller will be just fine.) There’s more neon inside, and a rack of books and long-out-of-date issues of Time and MAD magazine add a pinch of whimsy.
Upon entering, you’re greeted warmly and presented with suggestions and daily specials. There are five options (plus a BLT special) for now, a short menu that shines with house-made everything, except for the meat.
Food is assembled and grilled fresh—small pucks of soft dough are rolled before your eyes—and everything features their thick, creamy, made-daily ricotta. Each sammy is finished on the flat top, expertly grilled and folded before it’s cut into two triangles and wrapped in brown paper.
Fragrant and fresh off the grill, the flatbread itself has a lightly salted buttery-ness to it, with a flavor and texture somewhere between a thinner naan and a Mexican abuelita’s hand-rolled flour tortilla. Exquisite. Do yourself a favor and rip off a hot piece of that tender bread to sample as soon as it’s handed to you, then continue to enjoy the entirety of the flavors combined.
The Number Two ($5) features fresh, piney rosemary and comes drizzled with the perfect amount of sweet, mellow honey. At Hoffman’s suggestion, I added prosciutto ($3 extra, absolutely worth it), which provided a salty element that played very nicely with the fresh, velvety ricotta. The Number Five ($9) includes the prosciutto, refreshing tomato, peppery arugula, and nut-free pesto. I managed to take a few bites before I was told the whole establishment is nut-free—and I couldn’t tell, nor did I miss the nuts in the pesto.
On the special, mixed greens, fresh tomato, and crispy bacon keep it familiar, but the BLT ($9) is worth getting for its tomato jam alone. With fat chunks of caramelized onion, bits of garlic, and the lingering kiss of warming ginger throughout, this ain’t your mama’s BLT. I added house-made “medium” heat pickled fresno peppers ($1), which provided a zip of heat and a touch of sweetness to round out the updated classic.
Service here is relatively speedy, making for a lovely lunch, quick dinner... or anytime snack. (And don’t forget to wash down your meal with a Feral Beverage Co. kombucha; it’s made in the same building.)
Though the flatbreads travel short distances well, we recommend eating them fresh. Come summertime, there will be a small patio where you can enjoy your food outside while taking in the energy of Eat Street.
2424 Nicollet Ave. Suite B, Minneapolis
Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.