A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the wonderful world of food trucks and over the next few months we are going to sink our teeth into great food and stories behind the food trucks that call Greenville home.
Let’s get started with Zay’s Place, which has been in operation for two years. They are a full-service truck offering a wide range of American, soul, seafood, and Jamaican cuisine made fresh daily. They also offer home-cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
The breakfast menu features biscuits piled high with bacon, sausage or ham with cheese and egg, or waffles and French toast. Other items include a luscious ham and cheese sandwich and the jumbo lump crab cake platter with two eggs and one breakfast side. No, you did not read that wrong, they serve crab cakes for breakfast. Now that is something, I may wake up early for.
The lunch and dinner menu is a feast for the eyes and senses, from barbecue ribs, burgers, hotdogs, chicken and waffles, curry chicken, fish, shrimp, baked spaghetti, turkey barbecue, subs and big, beautiful salads like the strawberry pecan or apple walnut. There seems to be a food for any mood and many of the items have a Jamaican influence, from authentic beef, shrimp, or curry chicken Empanadas, and an oxtail plate.
For seafood, they have a sea full of choices including fresh succulent shrimp and grits, the famous Shrimp po’boy, crispy fried fish plates and crab cakes. Side dishes include macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, collards, cabbage, candied yams, peas and rice, green beans, and even on occasion the Mexican street corn on the cob. All dinner platters come with two sides and a corn muffin, and for lunch you can make your meal a combo by adding fries and a drink.
“Everything we do is from the heart,” Owner and operator Isaiah Turner said. “We offer the finest ingredients and flavors to keep you satisfied from sunrise to sundown. Our food truck has the saying to ‘Let your tastebuds rate us,’ and you will like it so much you’ll come back for more,” Turner said.
Before the food truck, Turner worked in law enforcement, mental health and retail, so first and foremost he knows people. He has been cooking since he was a young kid, so he was ready to bring his family foods and favorite dishes to the masses.
To start my food truck tour, I went straight for a crowd favorite, the homemade chicken salad served on a bed of lettuce with sliced tomatoes with crackers. This fragrant and creamy chicken salad had all the makings for a perfect Southern lunch with chunks of chicken mixed with chopped celery, egg, sweet pickle with light spices. Spread it on a butter cracker and pair it with their homemade strawberry lemonade and it’s like sitting at a picnic on Sunday with your best friends.
Next, I went big with the Chicken Philly sub. This massive, beautiful sub was savory, earthy, cheesy and warmed up my winter bones. Start with a hoagie roll that is filled with shaved and sauteed chicken, green peppers and onions with melted provolone cheese. In my opinion, anything with melted cheese is going to be good. The sandwich was hearty and filling and so big and wonderful I ate it with a fork. I paired it with homemade macaroni and cheese that had that crispy baked top and cheddar that hugged every noodle.
The last stop on my tour was the Shrimp po’boy sub. Take that same hoagie roll and stuff it with over a dozen fried shrimp, slather on some cool po’boy sauce, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Pair it with seasoned crinkle fries for a complete meal. There was nothing “po” about this rich and meaty sub! The shrimp had a lightly seasoned dredge, and the fries were crispy and tasty too. Shrimp and fries are the American version of fish ’n’ chips and did not disappoint.
And don’t forget to try some dessert like the honey bun cake, which was buttery, rich, sweet and melt-in-the-mouth good. Other desserts include cobblers, cakes and pies.
Hours of operation vary but most days Zays is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch, 5:30-9:30 p.m. for dinner, breakfast by appointment from 6:30-9:30 a.m. and occasional late-night service on Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. For the most up-to-date schedule of where they will be anchoring find them on Street Finder or on Instagram @zaysplace252. Contact them for your next catering event by calling 252-751-7728 and check out their website at www.zaysplace.com.