Venue Review: Zoës Kitchen
The Charlotte Observer
The Zoës Kitchen at the corner of Metropolitan and Charlottetowne avenues has been open for less than a month, so it's of little surprise that there are a few kinks to work out. Regardless, I'd readily give Zoës another chance.
The dining room is hip and fresh and the steak roll-ups and limeade had admirable qualities. And wait until I tell you about the chocolate chip cookie that was the size of my fist. And lest I forget, Zoës was kind to my $25-for-two budget. We escaped with a $23.98 tab.
The Zoës franchise originates out of Birmingham, Ala. and was founded by Zoe and Marcus Cassimus in 1995. Stores are located in the Southeast and Southwest. The menu is Greek inspired - meaning there is plenty of pita bread, Greek salad and kabobs to be had.
A vibrant orange is the dining room's signature color. Try and get a table in the middle, where you can get a nice view of some of the uptown skyline.
Zoës is quick-casual, where orders are placed at a counter and the food is brought to the table. It's an ideal lunch spot, but could hold its own as a laid-back dinner destination.
The tomato bisque soup came to the table first. It didn't have the creaminess I expected from a bisque, but its chief problem was it was salty.
But the steak roll-ups get high marks. Thin-sliced tri-tips were joined by mushrooms and Swiss cheese and rolled in a tortilla which was grilled on the outside. A tangy, yogurt-based dressing accented by a bit of mustard served as a dipping sauce. For my side item, I selected the mayo-free chunky potato salad. The potatoes had a bit of a tang, thanks to an oil and vinegar dressing.
I needed something savory like the steak roll-ups to balance the pleasing sweetness of the limeade, which was made with cane sugar.
Some undercooked zucchini chunks helped bring the veggie pita pizza down. The pizza was also cold in spots.
Individually wrapped chocolate chip cookies sat in a basket at the front counter, and I felt no shame about plucking out the biggest. It was full of chocolate chunks and chips and the further I bit into it, the softer it got.
I wanted another one, but that would have pushed me over budget. But I have no doubt I will be visiting Zoës again to have a cookie and maybe a little limeade while I look at the uptown skyline.