Zoës Kitchen has 105 locations in 15 states and is growing. A fast food concept, Zoës Kitchen offers fresh salads, sandwiches and entrees such as pita pizzas and kabobs. There are no greasy burgers, no fries or onion rings- Zoës has sides such as roasted veggies, rice pilaf and fresh fruit.
We skipped the Tomato Bisque Soup and the Hummus and Chips appetizers and went straight for the sandwiches. A signature item of the South, I opted for the Pimento Cheese sandwich– and was offered to have it grilled at no additional charge. On rye bread, the cheese was spicy and gooey. The only thing I didn’t like was the shredded lettuce, at least not on the grilled version.
Chad had the albacore tuna sandwich on 7-grain bread. It was decent though it had more shredded lettuce and tomato than tuna.
We went healthy with our sides- I ordered the braised white beans with rosemary. They were good but not impressive. A little too mushy for my taste.
Chad had the rice pilaf- a nice change from fried onion rings or fries that are normally found at a fast food place. And it wasn’t really fast food- nothing as sitting under a heat lamp waiting to be ordered- everything was made fresh.
One thing not normally found in a counter service concept was the Hibiscus Green Tea. A tastier alternative to the soda fountain.
It’s nice to find an alternative to the cluttering of greasy fast food joints found everywhere. We hope Zoës Kitchen expands into the Orlando market soon as we hear the egg salad sandwich and the salmon kabobs calling our names for the next visit.
The downtown Columbia restaurant is located on Main Street just down the street from the State Capital building. This location closes at 3pm, however, most of the other Zoës Kitchen outlets are open later so be sure to check your local store’s hours.