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Welcome to the “Fresh Zone,” where the Cal-Mex fare lives up to the joint’s name. Everything here is made daily on the premises, from lard-free beans to guacamole to cilantro-spiked rice. Baja-style Mexican food includes the best fish tacos and shrimp burritos in Fort Lauderdale. Zona Fresca's portions are huge and prices ridiculously reasonable.
One of the primary objections to the existence of food critics is that no two critics operate alike. Some review anonymously; others do not. Some accept freebies; others do not. Some visit a restaurant numerous times; others do not. When the... More »
Welcome to the "Fresh Zone," where the Cal-Mex fare lives up to the joint's name. Everything here is made daily on the premises, from lard-free beans to guacamole to cilantro-spiked rice. Baja-style Mexican food includes the best fish tacos and shrimp burritos in Fort Lauderdale. Portions are huge and prices ridiculously reasonable. More »
Over the years, Zona Fresca has won a plethora of New Times Best Of awards, from Best Fish Sandwich (in that case, a fish taco) to Best Place to Eat Everyday. Yet, we've not once given it the Best Mexican Restaurant accolades it deserves. Seriously... for a quick-service joint where you eat off styrofoam plates with plastic utensils, Zona literally owns any local sitdown, goopy-bean-and-cheese-style Mex joint. Everything served is imminently fresh -- including daily-made salsas, grilled... More »
Just how good is Zona Fresca's daily-made habanero salsa? Good enough that, despite the possibility of bodily harm -- evidenced by the plumes of scorching heat trailing from your mouth down to the pit of your belly -- you'll want to consume way more of it than you or any other human rightly should. The salsa -- constructed of grill-charred tomatoes, onions, and peppers, complemented by a generous portion of cilantro and those frighteningly piquant habaneros -- tastes of... More »
Seriously, it'll drive your friends and co-workers crazy, but you really can go to Zona Fresca every day and never tire of this independent eatery's fresh Cali-Mex fare: fish tacos on Monday, steak burrito on Tuesday, char-broiled chili rellenos on Wednesday, quesadillas stuffed with cheese and cut-from-the-cob corn on Thursday, ceviche on Friday, nachos on Saturday, and a Baja chicken caesar salad on Sunday. After 17 straight days interchanging the burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with... More »
Somehow, the folks who own Zona Fresca, a clean, bright little taqueria serving Cal-Mex style burritos, chiles relleños, and quesadillas, have managed to achieve a feat that has stumped many a local superchef: How to turn out a delicious piece of fish, consistently, honestly, and cheaply. For their fish taco, a fresh white filet is dipped in beer batter, deep fried in canola oil, then wrapped in a double corn tortilla stuffed with marinated cabbage and sour cream dressing. You pay... More »
OK, for one thing, it's counter service, so you don't have to worry about annoying a server. Two: Yes, there is a high chair -- maybe even two -- on the premises. So what if they're not quite the same height as the bar-style tables? Three: The utensils are plastic. The plates are paper. The floor is tile. Throw those tortilla chips. Really, no one will notice till they step on them. And finally, the cooked-to-order Mexican food here is actually healthful, prepared without added lard or other... More »
Just how good is Zona Fresca's daily-made habanero salsa? Good enough that, despite the possibility of bodily harm — evidenced by the plumes of scorching heat trailing from your mouth down to the pit of your belly — you'll want to consume way more of it than you or any other human rightly should. The salsa — constructed of grill-charred tomatoes, onions, and peppers, complemented by a generous portion of cilantro and those frighteningly piquant habaneros — tastes of summer, a mélange of sweet, savory, and spicy with just the right balance of acidity. It has an uncanny knack for making you return to the always-free salsa bar for cup after cup of the stuff, to slather on your monster burritos or scoop up with salty tortilla chips. It also slowly burns as you eat it, building a five-alarm fire in your insides that continues to smolder throughout the day. Yes, you could wimp out and eat Zona's fabulous mild salsa instead, which tastes just as vibrant but foregoes the heat. But it's precisely that head-clearing warmth that launches you into a state of salsa-induced euphoria — a trip which might induce some pain, but from which you will most assuredly gain.
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