Feb 112024

I was so happy when Kara texted me recently about making good on our mutual promise for a Zenith field day because I really needed something to look forward to. The first exposure to this pretty baby unicorn meatless treasure trove was in 2008 when Kara suggested going here and it has since brought me so many beautiful memories and household oddities.

I can’t believe it’s been THIS LONG since Kara and I were last at Zenith together! 2015!

At the very last minute yesterday, I found Henry lounging on the back porch, eyes glazed over as an effect of too many Instagram reels in a row, and I exclaimed, “Henry! I just had the BEST idea!” He slowly lowered his phone and looked at me, silent fear radiating from his pores. “What if you drive me to lunch!?”

He looked relieved, but then also annoyed because he had plans to just loaf around I’m sure.

I just really can’t deal with street parking anymore even though I knew it probably wouldn’t have been that bad given the time. It all worked out though because as we cruised past Zenith, I noticed a sign on the door that said CASH ONLY which was news to me, but then again, I haven’t eaten there since December 2019 according to This Old Blog. The pandemic really conditioned us to prefer take-out so that’s how we’ve been enjoying all of our Zenith meals ever since 2020. Anyway, Henry now had to drive farther down the street to GetGo in order to take money out. I told him I preferred small bills so He had to then try to get change by purchasing a cookie. He was SO STOKED to tell me that the cashier told him he could “just have the cookie” and he was like, “Oh, but I needed to break these bills” and she said, “That’s OK, you can still have the cookie.”

”Was it old?” I asked with absolutely no interest.

“No…she just liked me and wanted me to have a free cookie.”

“OK. Was she old?” I laughed in the style of a suburban Mean Girl, because I can’t imagine anyone else trying to hook Henry up because they thought he was cute or something.

“She was….Pittsburgh,” he said carefully.

Yep, that’s what I thought.

He kept trying to brag about it even still, maybe even make me jealous, but I had my tofishy blinders on so I really wouldn’t have cared if she offered to take him in the back, to be honest. Tofishy and Zenith bundt cake. Nothing else mattered.

Anyway, Henry dropped me off and probably called his mommy on the way home to tell her about his free cookie, while Kara and I were told to choose any table we wanted in the back room and of course accidentally chose the ONE TABLE that hadn’t been entirely cleaned off after the last diners. I didn’t even realize – I mean, OK there were some crumbs on my side, but I thought the pitcher of water and glasses were there for us. I came SO CLOSE several times to pouring myself a glass and was like WTF when the server came over and swiped the glasses and pitcher away from us – with an eye roll, according to Kara!

For the Zenith uninitiated, the tofishy sandwich is a fan favorite but only appears on the weekly menu a few times a year. They usually announce its arrival on Instagram with a ridiculous tofishy “commercial” – I was stoked when I saw that it was going to be available for our lunch date! It’s hands down my favorite Zenith menu item.

KARA GOT THE ZUCCHINI BOATS INSTEAD. At first, I thought, “Wow, that’s blasphemy” but then her boats arrived and I was like, “OK maybe I have regertz.” It looked realllly good! I failed to ask her if they were because we literally never shut up about life drama, our kids, KOREA. Of course, I realized as soon as we left that we never even got around to talking about books!!

Pretty sure the server was trying to speed us along, but Kara ignored the check that he was trying to put down and asked him what cakes were available that day. YESSSS. You can’t go to Zenith without finishing off with a slice of their famous vegan cakes. It’s part of the process. Sometimes I think about going there and JUST getting tea and cake. Why have I never done this!? A late afternoon tea & cake session sounds like heaven.

After lunch was “bathroom selfies and what can Kara try to get Erin to buy to make Henry frown” time, as per tradition. LUCKILY FOR HENRY, the “cash-only” policy made it so that I could not purchase anything without asking him to take out more cash for me, and we are only ONE WEEK out of the conservatorship, so I really didn’t want to go begging him for an allowance. UGH. I need to be better about carrying cash on me!

I’ve never seen this type of Christmas tree with bows and birds before!

Zenith is such a soothing vibe.

Kara urgently pointed out this dress for me to consider for the upcoming un-wedding and I have to admit, it sparked some joy in me but I don’t think I could stuff that in a suitcase! Maybe if our current plans don’t pan out and we end up doing a small ceremony here, I will have to inquire further, lol. Looks like Seamster Henry would just need to add some additional tulle to the bottom?!

I still love this bathroom so so so so much but I miss the OG blue.

We capped off the lunch date with Kara referencing hotdog costume sexcapades in regular indoor voice and not hushed tones, and I can only hope they heard this back in the kitchen because I imagine it gave them some pause, out of context and probably even WITH context!

Anyway, thank you, Kara for meeting me at our beloved Zenith for lunch – it’s always awesome catching up!

  2 Responses to “free cookies, tofishy, badly drawn Jesuses”

  1. I had the best time on Saturday! I can’t believe we have been going there since 2008!!
    I also had the best time clicking through the links and reading about past Zenith visits and so many great memories. The clown painting is still one of my most favorite stories ever.
    I had forgotten about Keith I wonder what he is up to these days… We should find him and pay him a visit.

    We’ve really have been friends for a long ass time! Thanks for putting up with my awkward self, and for making it so easy to just pick right up where we left off when we get together <3 <3

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