Every August my life is nuts, getting ready for football season. The week before the first home game, I don’t go anywhere other than my house and the office. There’s just so much going on and so many last-minute things to finish that escaping town is almost impossible. However, this year I had to go to OKC to meet with a couple of donors. They were all close to each other, and I was able to schedule them in succession, so I was able to get in and get out. My last stop was dropping off tickets to Tina, who is not only one of my favorite suiteholders, we have also become friends.
We were meeting over lunch, and she recommended Zoe’s Kitchen. I had never been there before, but had seen it numerous times. She said it was fresh, really good, and they serve wine. That’s all I needed to hear.
Zoe’s Kitchen is a chain restaurant, with locations in 17 states. It’s a fast-casual concept, and a Mediterranean inspired menu. You order at the counter, take a seat, and they bring the food to you. I love the bold, bright Mediterranean colors throughout the restaurant. There’s an open kitchen behind the order counter, and the manager was back in the kitchen as well. I always like to see management working right along with the staff. The best managers are those who will jump in and help, regardless of how menial the task, to get things done. Staff who see their managers do that will usually be more loyal, more hard working, and more respectful.
The down side of the fast-casual concept is that if you don’t know what you want, you feel like you’re holding up other people while you make your decisions. I will admit, I do get annoyed at Chipotle when people stand there forever, deciding what they want on their burrito. I mean seriously, there are like 5 options. Pick something. Zoe’s Kitchen is much different, because there are a wide variety of appetizers, salads, entrees, and sandwiches. So taking the time to really look over the menu is a smart thing.
Even though this was a stewardship lunch, we did have one glass of wine. I only did it because Tina did, and I didn’t want her to feel lonely.
I can’t remember the brand, but it was delicious. Very smooth.
Tina recommended that we start with the hummus trio. I’m always up for recommendations, and I love hummus.
Tina’s favorite is the red pepper. It was good, but my clear favorite was the basil pesto. I couldn’t stop eating the basil, especially since it had a big dollop of pesto in the middle. The classic was my least favorite, because of the 2 olives plopped in the middle. I love olive oil, but I am not a fan of plain olives. I did like that they included several things to dip with, including flatbread, pita bread, cucumber, tomato, and bell pepper.
Tina got the Greek chicken pita sandwich with a side Greek salad. I didn’t try any, but she said it was one of her favorite things on the menu. It looked really delicious, and I have to admit I was tempted to ask for a bite. I often do that, but held back this time.
I was scheduled to donate platelets that afternoon, so I needed one last punch of iron. Tina recommended the steak kabobs, so I went with those
Wow, the kabobs were amazing, with such a great depth of flavor. I’m not sure what they marinate them in, but I need that recipe. The only thing I’d say is the pieces of steak are so big you need a knife to cut them up. The roasted veggies were really good, and had a lot of flavor as well. The grilled potatoes were okay, but nothing made them stand out to me. Just your basic grilled potatoes. This was a substantial plate of food, so not eating much of the potatoes wasn’t necessarily a bad thing either. They also have chicken, shrimp, veggie, or salmon kabobs. Tina said the salmon ones are awesome.
Zoe’s Kitchen is a restaurant that would really do well in Stillwater. There’s already one in Norman, so it makes sense that Stillwater should be on the list.
Will I go back to Zoe’s Kitchen? No question. The food was really good, and I really like that it’s freshly made to order. Besides, there’s a lot of other dishes I would like to try.