A taste of home opens near campus

Once students get to college, they suddenly become limited to the University cafeteria or inexpensive dishes they prepare at their off-campus apartment.

It is not often they get to enjoy meals prepared by an experienced, gourmet chef. But just when students thought they had to say goodbye to mama’s amazing pancakes or grandma’s mouthwatering collard greens, D & Z’s Café stepped up to the plate and literally put something on it.

“If you’re homesick, D & Z’s will provide you with your mom’s bacon, egg and sausage sandwich with delicious cheese and hot fries,” said Derrick Walker, chief executive officer of D & Z’s, who can speak from proven experience.

Beyond obtaining a culinary degree from what is now Keiser University, Walker has worked at the Killearn Country Club as a souse chef, Southland Golf Club as an executive chef and Holiday Hotel and Suites as an executive chef.

Established in February, D & Z’s Café, which stands for Derrick and Zora, (Walker’s wife) took two months to build and has strived ever since to be the place where students feel at home.

Carey Goins, 22, a fifth-year business administration student from Chicago, said he left with a good first impression when he decided to dine at D& Z’s.

“They provide services that you cannot get at a regular establishment or chain restaurant,” Goins said.

D & Z’s is located on Adams Street across from the Foote-Hilyer building, for students who are craving a meal that is affordable and close to campus.

Omari Clark, a junior mechanical engineering student, spoke of the restaurant’s convenience.

“It’s close to campus, and the food is simply good,” Clark said.

Clark said his favorite dish is the cajun shrimp with chicken alfredo.

Specializing in breakfast and lunch, D & Z’ s offers the real deal with a selection of eggs, cheese grits, bacon and sausage combo meals and create-it-yourself omelets.

Goins is a fan of the submarine sandwiches the café serves. He said when you go to conventional submarine places you get the same “bootleg sub,” but at D & Z’s the overall quality is a product of the effort put forth. They offer a variety of foods that range from steak and eggs to buffalo wings.

This black-owned establishment is one of many in the area that services FAMU students.

Black businesses are increasingly on the rise in the Tallahassee community in general. In fact, D & Z’s sits between two very prominent black-owned businesses — Clippers barbershop and Ujamma embroidery shop. Walker said this was the prime reason he decided to strategically place his business in its particular location.

“I simply wanted to provide another venue that offered a variety of foods for the Tallahassee community and FAMU students in particular.”

The café remains open throughout the entire day to accommodate the schedule of many students and faculty.

The hours of operation are 7a.m. to 4p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, 7a.m. to 7p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 9a.m. to 7p.m. on Saturdays.

Walker challenges students to come to D & Z’s, where he said he knows they will taste the true essence of perfection.

While grandma’s Sunday dinner may be rated a 10, Goins said D&Z’s is definitely a close nine. D & Z’ s also offers Wi-Fi wireless Internet access for its patrons and a peaceful location to enjoy the day.

“It’s all about good prices, good food and good people,” Walker said.