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Cafe Zeal adds pizzazz to simple fare

Oct. 10, 2012 @ 09:31 PM

ASHLAND -- Nestled in the middle of downtown Ashland is a shop called The Frame Up Gallery -- a sort of jack-of-all trades part art shop, part antique store, part picture framing business.

Owner Jo Etta Lynch even sells her own sculptures. Since 1995 the store has also been home of Cafe Zeal, a small coffee shop and tea room that sells sandwiches.

Lynch decided to open up Cafe Zeal after a vacation in southern France where she visited small local bistros and cafes.

"There weren't any of those types of places in this area back then," she said. "So we were the first to open our own."

Lynch's son, Ryan, is the manager of the cafe.

"My mom returned from the trip with a cornucopia of ideas for a menu," said Ryan Lynch. "What we wanted to do was a simple menu, but to do everything with a little pizzazz."

Cafe Zeal features a variety of gourmet coffees and teas. This includes traditional coffeehouse favorites such as espresso and cappuccino as well as house favorites like the "Van Gough," a hot chocolate drink with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cinnamon. Other specialty drinks include "Razz-mo-Tazz," cappuccino with chocolate and raspberry syrup and "Renoir," a double cappuccino with hazelnut beans and cinnamon syrup. The store also has an assortment of loose leaf teas in varieties such as Lavender Earl Grey, Chocolate Rose, Lemon Zest and Licorice Orange Spice.

"We have a mom-and-pop roaster from Oregon that supplies our coffees," Ryan Lynch said. "They make our coffee special for us. We get our teas from a variety of importers. People can also buy our loose leaf tea to take home."

The cafe features a small variety of sandwiches served on your choice of bread, including wheat berry, sourdough and pumpernickel. Among the sandwiches are roast turkey, pecan chicken salad, a vegetarian sandwich, and a turkey and apple sandwich.

"I would say our most popular item is probably the turkey and apple sandwich," Ryan Lynch said. "It's an interesting mix of flavors. It has turkey, granny smith apple slice, walnuts and craisins drizzled with honey on sourdough. It's a little outside of the box."

The cafe is also famous for having homemade desserts such as brownies, italian creme cake and cheesecake.

"My aunt Rosemary Barker makes our italian creme cake and aunt Cathy Barker makes the cheesecakes," he said. "For the fall we're having a pumpkin marble cheesecake. We are also having some soups for the fall season."

Cafe Zeal is located at 1436 Winchester Ave., in downtown Ashland. It is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It is closed Saturday through Monday. The cafe also features live music on the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. Cash, check and credit cards (Visa and Mastercard only) are accepted. For carry-out orders, special parties, and more information, call 606-324-8565. The cafe can be found online at www.discoverzeal.com and www.theframeupgallery.com.

If you go: Cafe Zeal

Food: Coffee, tea and sandwiches

Address: 1436 Winchester Ave., Ashland

Phone: 606-324-8565

Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, closed Saturday through Monday

Payments accepted: Cash, check, Visa or Mastercard

Websites: www.discoverzeal.com, www.theframeupgallery.com

More online: For more than 150 restaurant profiles and growing, visit the entertainment page at www.herald-dispatch.com.