Zoës Kitchen at the Arboretum – New Austin Restaurant

zoes2Zoës Kitchen at the Arboretum – Family Friendly Dining

My family and I went to a pre-opening on Monday evening of the new Zoës Kitchen Arboretum location. I had coffee earlier in the day at the Starbucks on Great Hills and one of the restaurant purveyors was handing out “free preview” invitations and we decided to check it out.

Zoës Kitchen is a fast casual dining, catering and take home meal, Mediterranean inspired restaurant based out of Birmingham, Alabama founded in 1995.

This is their fifth location in Texas and  the first to open in Austin. The restaurant is located in the former location of the 2,700 square foot, Tommy Bahama retail store at the Arboretum.

There is some outdoor dining available as well as a good sized interior for sit down diners. The interior was very inviting with bright multi colored stripes on the walls and a modern decor. The restaurant is set up with an order up counter with number flagged stands that are placed on your table so that after you order, the wait staff can deliver the food.

We were a bit concerned about our kids (boys ages 6, 8, and 12) finding something on the menu that they liked because they are picky eaters. All three chose the Steak Rolls sans cheese, mushrooms and onions and they loved them. Several sides were available with the “roll ups” as they called them and they all got the fresh fruit which they devoured. With clean plates they proceeded to have Zoës famous chocolate cake for dessert which had a yummy almost fudge like icing on it.

My wife also had the Steak Rolls with swiss cheese, carmelized onions and mushrooms. Her feedback was, “good flavors, nothing over powering and the ingredients complimented each other very nicely. She liked the steak rolls as well as the salad (except for the red onions which were a bit strong for her liking). The steak also came with a dipping sauce that worked well with the steak.

I had the grilled chicken breast with a side of cooked white beans (almost like a soup) and grilled mixed vegetables. The chicken was excellent. I generally shy away from grilled chicken at restaurants because it seems like if you’ve had grilled chicken breast at one restaurant you’ve had it all. Not so here. I really enjoyed it and my kids taste tested mine and liked it as well. I tasted a bit of citrus in the marinade, it was very tender and had a nice grilled flavor to it. The beans were fabulous. Count me as a bit skeptical regarding white soup-like beans in a small bowl but they were tasty. As I mentioned it was almost like a soup and with the seasoning added had a nice, creamy, herb flavor to it. The grilled, mixed vegetables were also quite tasty. Brocolli, peppers, red onion and others were grilled al dente with a nice almost sweet flavor to them from the grilling.

The kids wanted to know when we were coming back so at the end of our meal, our family gave Zoës five thumbs up!

Other food on the menu includes items like Chicken Salad, Spinach Roll Ups, Greek Salad, and a Grilled Shrimp Salad. “We have made our reputation on made from stratch food using fresh ingredients that are prepared daily” according to Greg Dollarhyde, CEO of the company.

Zoës Kitchen

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