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Zenith Tea Room

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How do you rate a restaurant in which you can’t even eat? This was my second attempt to eat at The Zenith in south side Pittsburgh, my first was a few years ago and at the time it was closed.

After my first try, I read reviews about The Zenith and people raved about the Sunday morning vegan buffet. I also read a lot of reviews saying the staff was rude and volatile. Opinions about the place were either hot or cold but a lone middle of the road review suggested going on a day other than Sunday. That way you could avoid waiting in a line that curved around the block, get seated with less than an hour wait and didn’t have to sit family style packed elbow to elbow with strangers.

In preparation to our second attempt to visit The Zenith, I started following them on their FaceBook page. I was glad to have checked because they were closed the week we were traveling to Pittsburgh. Then, needing to return the following week to pick up our repaired computer, it allowed for what looked to be a perfect day to visit. The Zenith was to re-open, back from their vacation and it wasn’t a buffet day.

When we walked up, there was no line at the door with the purple threshold and it was open! We walked in o the overwhelming experience of ceiling to floor stuff that reminded me of Harry Potter’s The Room of Hidden Objects! Antiques, vintage clothing and several creepy alcoves dedicated to Jesus/Elvis imagery were probably obscuring at least one vanishing cabinet and maybe the lost diadem of Ravenclaw.

We slowly walked back to what looked like it could be a dining area when, haunted mansion style, a woman burst out of a side room, “I hope you’re not here for lunch, we just got back!”

The Dining Room with no Diners.

“Oh, yes,” I replied in surprise, “I read you were on vacation. Welcome back! No, well, not lunch, maybe just some dessert.” It was a Tea Room after all and the folks reviewing the buffet bragged of so many different kinds of cakes to choose from that they could make a meal of the many desserts.

“We don’t really have desserts,” she informed me. Offering no hospitality, no suggestion of sweet tea, iced coffee or anything, we said that we would just look around and she disappeared back into the side room as quickly as she popped out. I took a few non-flash photos and we left.

If all The Zenith has to offer is shear volume of food one day a week, vegan or not I think I might have to pass. Like other vegetarian restaurants that have left me down, I like to give them 3 tries before deciding. Until then I can’t give a realreview but it’s not looking good.

About trueindigo

vegan, runner, blogger, mom, model, artist, tarot reader.

6 responses »

  1. Do make a trip out there if you are there on a sunday. I’ve been there 3? times, every single time was amazing, everyone was super friendly, the food was by far the BEST vegan buffet I’ve ever had. Even when you do have to wait, the wait is never that long.

  2. Hope you can get there someday! I love this place, especially the tofishy sandwich.

  3. I have to say that if customer service is this low a priority I can’t for the life of me see why ANYONE would go here! Good food can be made at home folks and you can eat it in your underpants without having to jump through hoops for unappreciative staff who could obviously care less for the future of their jobs!

    • Exactly the reason I share my less than pleasant experiences and why I haven’t been compelled to return. I am not the curmudgeon some people think I am, I just don’t like to hide my bad experiences for fear that others may suffer the same customer service that I have.

      Thanks for validating my reason to share the good and the bad.


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