Earlier this year I noticed a bright colored addition to a nearby shopping center. I don’t usually drive by this particular spot, even though its close to my house, but it really stood out. I turned into the plaza just so I could see what was coming – Zoe’s Kitchen. I made a mental note and checked it out when I got home. According to their website, Zoe’s Kitchen is Mediterranean-inspired food, where grilling is the predominate method of cooking along with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, olive oil and lean proteins; all while keeping their guests’ dietary concerns in mind– with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Their menu is inspired by Zoë’s family recipes and her simple, fresh-from-the-garden sensibility. At Zoës, ingredients are delivered fresh through the back door daily. Their team hand-washes, cuts and prepares each item from scratch in their kitchen because as Zoë says, “if it wasn’t food 100 years ago, it’s not food today.” Nothing is fried and there are no microwaves! Isn’t that great?
Last month the Central Florida Lady Bloggers were given the opportunity to check out Zoe’s Kitchen and see what they have to offer. As one of the first locations in our area I was excited about this new quick service restaurant. At Zoe’s Kitchen you order your food at the counter and then they bring it to you. Its served on real plates and with real silverware – something that sets them apart from other quick service locations. On our visit we were treated to a “family style” meal so that we were able to try a little bit of everything. Even though this isn’t the “norm” at Zoe’s they do have Family Meals on their menu that you can order that feed from 2 – 6 people.
We started our meal with their Hummus Trio that included their house-made Basil Pesto, Red Pepper, and regular hummus served with sliced cucumbers and pita. All three were amazing, but the basil pesto was my favorite. It was so fresh and full of flavor. They sell their hummus in pre-packaged tubs that you can just grab and go, so I can see that happening a lot in the future.
Next up was their Greek Salad which was topped with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, olives, onions, and feta cheese. They make their own greek dressing that you can find on each of the tables. I love this because it gives you the ability to put as much or as little of the dressing on the salad as you’d like. The dressing was great so I definitely went a little heavy with my plate.
Zoe’s Kitchen offers a variety of fresh, house-made sides to go along with your meal. We were able to try their fruit salad, potato salad, braised white beans, rice pilaf, and pasta salad. I am the first to admit that I was VERY shocked that my favorite of the sides was the braised white beans with fresh rosemary. Even ladies who don’t usually liked beans were raving about these. They aren’t much to look at, but man oh man are they tasty.
As if we hadn’t tried enough delicious food, our host brought out the entrees! Zoe’s has plenty of options for your main course including some vegetarian options. Their spinach wraps, which you can order with chicken if you want, were a huge hit. I tried the chicken and salmon kabobs and they were both flavorful and perfectly seasoned.
Our experience at Zoe’s Kitchen was great and I’m so happy to have a new healthy quick service option nearby. Another great thing? You can order online! This means I can place my order online before I leave work and then pick my meal up on the way home.
*Disclosure: The Central Florida Lady Bloggers were treated to a complimentary family style meal. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.