opened on May 23 of this year, although some customers still call the eatery by its original name from more than 15 years ago -- the East Lawn Dairy Bar.
Although the business has gone through a few name changes over the years, the heart is still the same; the new owner, Mike Zanette, kept the entire menu of the restaurant’s last incarnation, Choida’s Grill & Chill, but he’s made a few improvements that locals are eating up.
“We have a new Asian salad… with crunchy noodles and Mandarin oranges,” Zanette explained. “It’s a big hit right now.”
Also among the additions are fried Oreos, priced at two for $1.29. Zanette got the idea from carnivals and fairs, and according to him, they’re gaining popularity fast.
Cheesesteaks have always been a big seller at the small grill, ever since it was Joe’s Steak Shop in the 90s; however, Zanette upgraded the type of beef that was previously used and created a new sauce. He says cheesesteaks are easily the most in-demand choice on the menu.
The grill is Zanette’s first entrepreneurial effort, although he has always wanted to strike out on his own. Zanette learned to make ice cream at the now-defunct Hartman's Family Restuarant in Belfast.
“I needed something I could count on,” Zanette said. “I always told myself I’d own an ice cream place someday.”
To beat the summer heat, there are 24 soft-serve ice cream flavors to choose from. The most preferred local flavor, adds Zanette, has been the homemade raspberry.
Zanette has created two dessert-menu additions for local football fans. He created a Blue Eagle sundae in honor of Nazareth Area School District. The sundae sits in a waffle cone -- to resemble a bird’s nest -- and is topped with a chocolate medallion in the shape of an eagle.
However, due to the number of grill employees that hail from nearby Pen Argyl, according to Zanette, he has also created a Green Knight sundae, which is topped with a chocolate knight.
“Come football season, we’ll do a rivalry, [and] keep score of what we sell more of,” he joked.
Nazareth-area residents have been delighted with the new operating hours, according to Zanette -- the restaurant is open every day of the week.
Zanette’s Nazareth Grill is located at 208 East Lawn Road. The grill is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The restaurant accepts all major credit cards and offers free wi-fi. Diners can take-out or eat-in at one of eight tables.
Author's (and Editor's) Note: We're both torn between ordering the Green Knight and the Blue Eagle. We hail from Pen Argyl -- go, Green Knights! -- but love Nazareth Patch. How ever will we choose!?