Cool down this summer at ‘Zero Degrees’ Asian-Hispanic fusion with a mango twist

"Zero Degrees'" has fast wait times and a homemade feel make the restaurant original. Their signature drinks set this establishment apart from others.
Rating: B-
Photo Credit: Charli Gisi

Following its original opening in California five years ago, “Zero Degrees” has brought its Asian-Hispanic fusion food to town. After reading about their unique menu items, my brothers and I decided to give it a try.

I visited the restaurant on a Saturday afternoon and was surprised by the fast service. While the line looked long, customers’ orders were taken rather quickly. With hanging light fixtures and an all-wood interior, the design of the restaurant is modern and hipster-esque. There are wings painted on the wall, which offers a great photo opportunity, but there can be a long line to wait for a picture.

Despite the eye-catching appearance, the manager walked around spraying some sort of fragrance to mask an odor that lingered throughout the restaurant. The workers; however, kept the establishment clean and worked fast to make a pleasant dining experience.

The first item I ordered was the “Popcorn Chicken Box” ($12.95), which came with honey barbecue flavored popcorn chicken, french fries, celery and carrots. The chicken wasn’t as crispy as I had wished, but it was well seasoned and not too overpowering. Since the price covered an entire meal, I was expecting the chicken to taste more like fast food rather than its home-cooked flavor.

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My favorite item was the “Watermelon Slush” ($4.25/$5.25), which came with the popcorn chicken. Unlike other restaurants, the drink didn’t have an artificial taste; it tasted as if it was straight from a watermelon. The drink also had chunks of watermelon on top that added more texture in contrast to the smooth beverage. Mangos and Tajin can be added on top for a dollar more, though I opted not to.

Since my brothers and I wanted to venture away from the foods we normally eat, we decided to order Chicharones ($4.00). Since the menu font was small, I couldn’t read what the item was, but the name sounded interesting. I later discovered that it was fried pork rinds topped with Tajin and limes. The dish tasted like the pork rinds from a bag, which was boring and my least favorite part of the meal. I wish that the font was bigger so I was able to buy something I would’ve enjoyed, like Elotes, for $1 more.

The last item I ordered was the “Cookie Monster Shake” ($4.25), which is a milkshake mixed with Oreos. This drink tasted exactly like an Oreo McFlurry from McDonalds, but twice the price and smoother. I wouldn’t waste the few extra dollars for this drink when you could get it cheaper with the same taste.

In addition to fast service and a clean establishment, “Zero Degrees” offers fresh and homemade food for a positive experience. However, due to the overcrowded seating arrangement, the restaurant is not somewhere I would choose for a more intimate dining experience, nor would I go out of my way to return because of the drive. But if I was in the area, I would consider stopping by for a slush.