Zoës Kitchen

By now you probably know that I don’t do reviews.  Not generally anyway.  I will tell you what we like, what you might want to avoid and when to proceed with caution when you are giving some thought to where you’d like to eat.  We have a review panel called the Eat Squad that gives you an idea of true dining experiences in our area.  I just kind of roam around shining a light on the people doing it right.

Signature Hummus dish (photo courtesy Zoës Kitchen)

Signature Hummus dish (photo courtesy Zoës Kitchen)

A few months ago as we neared a grand opening for the new Whole Foods store in Savannah, we also found out that there would be two other restaurants in the same shopping strip location on Victory Drive.  We learned we’d be getting a Chipotle, which I have heard is good, and then much later I was told Zoës Kitchen would be coming to town as well.  Truth be told, I had heard of Chipotle but never been to one.  I, however, had never heard of Zoës Kitchen.  I was intrigued.  I did some snooping around and learned a little bit more about this Mediterranean “Fast Casual” eatery.

Zoës Kitchen, it turns out, started in Birmingham, Alabama.  I’m sure that was exactly your first guess for the origin of a Mediterranean restaurant, wasn’t it?  There are now 90 stores nationwide, so someone must be doing something right.

I had an opportunity to chat with Jason Simpson,  one of the corporate managers ahead of the opening a few weeks ago.  He told me Zoës had been trying to come to Savannah for some time.  They just couldn’t find the right fit.  Opening next door to Whole Foods was purely a coincidence, the two events were not tied to each other.  “We are hoping to get moms in here for a healthy alternative.” he says. “We have a great kids menu and family meals that make it easy for a mom to just grab and go during a busy day.” Jason tells me.

Chicken Salad Sandwich (courtesy Zoës Kitchen)

Chicken Salad Sandwich (courtesy Zoës Kitchen)

The menu is about what you would expect from a Mediterranean restaurant.  “The hummus is very popular” Jason tells me.  “We also have it available in to go containers so you can grab some and take it to the park.”  Soups, pita sandwiches, and full entrees fill out the board, with a variety of sides to go along with.  Don’t expect anything fried.  This isn’t that kind of place.  I did enjoy the tomato soup, served with some pita wedges.  During a couple of visits we tried the egg salad sandwich, grilled steak sandwich, chicken soup and a few other items.

As you would expect, during the time we were there in the first two weeks, the lines were pretty healthy during the lunch hour with everyone in town wanting to try the latest thing.  I ran into a few friends along the way that told me they had been a few times already, they ate it and liked it.

The atmosphere is very nice.  Clean, bright and inviting.  Service I must say was impeccable, I was very fond of the fact that I was offered a to-go box for a meal I hadn’t finished by a young man just making the rounds making sure everything was in order.  That is something that has never happened to me at other “Fast Casual” eateries.

If you are in the neighborhood, give them a try.  There were some things on the menu I enjoyed more than others, but during a busy work day down the street at my new home at WSAV-TV, different options are always good.

Welcome to the neighborhood!!

Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.