Tour to Costco/Trader Joe’s & Target and finding a little Gem in Lake Zurich – “Zin GastroPub”

My friend and I went out for a morning ride to Costco/Target/Trader Joe’s today.  It’s kind of an event for us, as we are about a 40-minute drive from these major stores.  So geared with my list of ‘must haves’ – we left on our journey.  I was on a mission to pick up some very specific items at Trader Joe’s:

  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/sage and butter – I have heard rave review about this gnocchi
  • ‘Everything but the Bagel’ Sesame Seasoning blend – I really want this sprinkled on top of a toasted piece of grainy wheat bread, slight schmear of cream cheese and avocado slices.  I can already taste it!
  • Avocado oil – I had read that this has a high heat point of 500 degrees.  Perfect for my sauteing recipes in the Instant Pot.

After our shopping trip, we needed some lunch.  Since we live in a relatively small town – we like to try something new and unexpected.  As we traveled down Rt. 12 through Lake Zurich – I remembered my friend mentioning that her son’s friend’s family had opened a small wine pub.  I knew the location, so we decided to give it a try.  We pulled up to Zin GastroPub and as we entered, were greeted by the owner and introduced ourselves.  It’s a small, narrow space nested in a strip mall.  The space is warm and inviting – brick walls and trendy Edison bulb fixtures.  The owner explained the specials and menu items.  We could choose between lunch/dinner specials, lunch/dinner regular menu, cocktail or small plate offerings.

I ordered the soup/salad combo, which allowed me to choose Baked Onion soup and Beet/Goat cheese salad.  My friend ordered the Chicken Caesar wrap, and due to her food allergies was able to replace the caesar dressing with their homemade orange basil vinaigrette dressing.  The Baked Onion soup was the best I have ever tasted!  I had to ask our waitress for a 2nd spoon so that my friend could also experience this delicious bowl of goodness.  The broth – so perfect, the onions  – incredible and the bread/cheese ratio – spot on!  Zin – you guys hit this one out of the ballpark!

I asked the owner what their most ordered dishes were – he explained that the Lobster Mac was the best seller and the Meatloaf or Tuna were their best selling specials.  They pride themselves with being a farm-to-table, locally sourced venue – with meat coming from a local farm just minutes away.  I definitely want to stop back for a beef or bison burger, which they are also know for.

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