Zime brings zest to Public Square

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First Posted: 8/12/2014

Let’s see. With shaved coconut on top and a cookie base on the bottom, what else made up the seven layers of the Seven Layer Bar?

“Toasted almonds,” Marijo Elias said. “And … walnuts?”

“Chocolate chips,” Elizabeth Rice said, joining in the fun of dissecting a delectable dessert.

The Seven Layer Bar was just one of many foods Elias, Rice and other employees and friends of King’s College sampled late Monday afternoon during the soft opening of Zime, a bistro run by the Sodexo food service in the new King’s on the Square building, which is also home to classrooms, laboratories, student housing and educational and art exhibits.

Zime (it rhymes with lime) will be open seven days a week and the public is welcome in the restaurant, where hungry downtown workers and shoppers as well as students will find all sorts of salads, sandwiches, smoothies and snacks served with a nod toward sustainability and stewardship. The coffee is fair-trade and the eggs are cage free, Sodexo general manager Mary Wood said, and 1 percent of the profits goes to local charities. “That’s part of the brand, what Zime is all about,” she said.

On Monday afternoon, everyone seemed to have high praise for the food and the ambience, which includes a gated courtyard if diners prefer to eat outdoors.

“I just tried the macaroni salad. It has a little bacon in it and it’s really good,” said King’s associate registrar Elaine Klukoske. “The smoothie is outstanding.”

“It’s a nice atmosphere, a break from campus, yet you still feel connected,” said Elias, who is assistant director of financial aid. “It would be nice to come to the Farmers Market (held on Public Square on Thursdays during the growing season) and then come here afterward.”

“I love the artisan breads,” said Donna Cerzo, director of financial aid, who had enjoyed a sample-size “spicy Italian” baguette as well as a grilled vegetable baguette.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t,” she regretfully told server Joe Boris as he offered a tray laden with “triple-threat” sandwiches of turkey, roast beef and cole slaw on rye.

Still, Cerzo had saved some room for dessert. “I’ll do anything for research,” she said with a grin as she selected one of those seven-layer bars.

While that particular pastry was very popular, there were other baked goods to munch, including several types of biscotti, cookies and crumb bars.

“The raspberry’s better than the lemon,” the Rev. Charles Kociolek said with the air of a connoisseur.

“Everything looks very good,” said Rose Marie Panzitta of Wilkes-Barre as she perused a sandwich platter. Her son, John Panzitta, King’s class of 1984, runs Panzitta Enterprises, the firm in charge of the renovations that transformed the former Ramada Hotel into King’s on the Square.

“The place is beautiful,” Klukoske said. “King’s has really added something nice to the town.”