If you've been cruising around the back side of Birkdale, between Qdoba and Dicks Sporting Goods, you're probably run across a new restaurant: Zoes Kitchen.
I'd been expecting it for a while, and when I stopped by two weeks ago it was finally open and my stomach was ready for business!
Zoe's seems to be another addition to the Fast Casual style eateries that have begun to pop up. You order your food at the counter, and then after about 5 minutes a server brings the meal to you. Forks and knives are actual metal, wine can be enjoyed, and the atmosphere is relaxed. And the price -- definitely not resembling a fast food restaurant.
The first thing I noticed when I entered Zoes were the large menus on the back wall -- there is no questioning where you need to place your order. The menus were a little overwhelming, and it took me a couple of glances to figure out that the stuff listed on the far left were family size meals meant for 4 people. Yeah, I almost tried to order one of those for myself!
Zoes food has a decidedly Mediterranean flare with pita, hummus, and feta appearing throughout the menu. However, they do have steak roll-ups and grilled cheese sandwiches too. So, you can pretty much find something for everyone.
The first time we went to Zoes, I ordered The Olympus. This sandwich has a mountain (get it?)of turkey with tomato, lettuce, onion and a feta parsley spread on foaccia bread. The spread was good, the veggies were fresh, and the turkey delicious. The only bad part of this sandwich was that it was quite dry and the spread did nothing to moisten it.
The second time, I ordered the Greek Chicken Pita, and substituted a side item with hummus and pita. Again the veggies were great. The grilled chicken delicious, and the caramelized onions were a great and flavorful addition. But again, this sandwich was dry.
Fortunately, I found a GREAT way to fix it -- I put a couple splashes of their salad dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, and spices) onto the sandwich, and viola! Instant yumminess!
It should also be noted, that the hummus and pita rocked! And the limeade was delicious.
All in all, a great addition to the Birkdale area. The food is filling, yet light. The perfect addition to summer dining options in the area. As for the interior atmosphere, I really can't remember it as we ate outside and only ventured indoors to place the order. However, we found the patio area to be spartan but nice and relaxing.
My wife and I have enjoyed Zoes twice over the past two weeks, and we'll be going back again.
Kid Friendly: Yes. Lots of tykes abound. And there is a children's menu (includes the grilled cheese mentioned above).
Price: $$ (entree with drink will push you over $10)
16735 Cranlyn Road
Huntersville, NC 28078