ZONA BLANCA

ZONA BLANCA

Zona Blanca is Chef Chad White’s, Top Chef Star, Ceviche Bar. His idea revolved around “counter service, simplicity, low brow” and that’s exactly what he has achieved. He emphasizes sustainability and using local ingredients. Zona Blanca is passion driven. “It is about so much more than the dollars and cents” Chad says.

Enter through “Steel Barrel Taproom” and you’ll see Zona Blanca, tucked away in the back with brick walls and eclectic drawings of fish. The way that the building is set up doesn’t allow for Zona Blanca to have a hood which means no grease, no oven, no nothing. All they use is a small toaster oven to toast their Torta sandwiches. This really limited them when they were trying to figure out how to fill this space. The ceviche method is all about preservation. They soak the raw fish in lime juice which prevents bacteria growth and kills the parasites. Zona Blanca is fine dining food in a fast-casual environment.
Zona Blanca is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 am – 10 pm and Sunday 11 am – 8 pm. You must be 21 and older to eat inside, but anyone can call and order ceviche for take-out.
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Our Favorite was the Baja Ceviche.
This is a classic ceviche with fresh flavors, citrus ponzu, cilantro, and avocado. This ceviche has an Asian flair with soy sauce and sesame oil. Chef explained to us that these Asian ingredients were brought over to the Baja region with migration, so he tells this history through the cross pollination of ingredients in this ceviche.
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Next was the Jalisco. 
Jalisco is the state that Puerto Vallarta & Guadalajara reside. They cook with a lot of meat and dried beef. Chef wanted to incorporate this region and make a “surf & turf” ceviche dish. This incorporated smokey, salty, spicy, and sour in one and it knocked our socks off.
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Chorizo Torta
This is the sandwich on their menu, if you want to ease into the ceviche game, start with this. It is made on Tolera bread made by Petit Chat Bakery in Spokane. This bread is made with NO PRESERVATIVES so they have found that a lot of gluten intolerant people are actually not bothered by this bread. It is cheesy, toasted, and made creamy by the smeared avocado. Made with shaved, dried Spanish chorizo, pickled onions, tomato, chili, cilantro and cheese.
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Finally, the Yucatan.
This dish is inspired by the Yucatan peninsula where they use a lot of unique fruits in their cooking. The chef can’t find those fruits, locally sourced, that meet his requirements so he uses carrots to mimic the fruit and sweetness. This is one of their more spicy dishes and the sauce is so good I could eat it like a soup.
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Chef Chad made us his signature Dorilocos to snack on. This is a dish that everyone has to try at least once in your life.
The Dorilocos is inspired by Mexico City. In the culinary world there are 5 flavors: Smokey, salty, spicy, sour, and….. can you guess the fifth? Umami. This is what they call “the fifth taste bud”. It is that addictive flavor you taste in a really fine chocolate, caviar, etc. It is also found in MSG. Hence the Doritos. This dish is complete with gummy bears, friend Japanese peanuts, and…. don’t ask what the protein is until you have finished. It’s much more fun that way.

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Chef Chad Whites road to his culinary profession is an exciting one. He enlisted in the military right after 9/11. He was stationed in San Diego and that’s where is love for this food began. He has worked a lot in fine-dining including Hotel Coronado, Hilton Hotels, etc. He traveled to T iguana often and even opened up a Baja/seafood restaurant there, including various other restaurants. In 2009 he started a catering company that served at elite events like Sundance film festival, LA fashion week and the Kentucky Derby. As if this wasn’t enough credibility, he also competed on Top Chef. He has spoken at various culinary festivals throughout Mexico City. Y’all, this guy knows his stuff.

How to eat a ceviche tostada.

Step 1: Pick it up with your hands.

Step 2: Dive in, face first.

Tostada $8-10 (app)
Bowl $19-22 (entree)
They often sell out on Sunday nights, so get there early!

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@Limefishsalt
#butfirstceviche

Zona Blanca (154 S Madison St, Spokane, WA // 509.443.5427)

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