Where to Eat (and Work) in Atlanta on World Vegetarian Day
Disclaimer: I was compensated with a free meal at Zoes Kitchen in exchange for sharing their amazing vegetarian menu with you.
Hello Zoes Kitchen!!!
Y’all, I’m not even going to lie; I have a real serious love/hate affair with eating out. On one hand I love being out, not cooking, not cleaning, and chowing on awesome food. On the other hand I seriously hate going anywhere I have to dress up and feel “on” while I’m there. If I have to go out to eat I look for:
- Low-key & relaxed
- Super friendly
- Outdoor eating (not required but a huge bonus)
- Vegetarian menu
I love smallish cafes, restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall places where I can eat, hang with friends, and get work done.
Zoes impressed me.
Oddly enough, it’s tough to find good vegetarian food. I feel like I’m always stuck with the same quinoa salad or “veggie pizza.” It’s boring. The places with awesome menus are typically expensive locations where it’s frowned upon to be working while you eat.
It’s like no one understands me.
All I want to do is eat a casual meal with my laptop open so I can multi-task while I eat. Is that really asking too much? I have a lot to do each day, and I’m betting you do too. A few days ago my husband and I were both drowning in work. I had blog posts to write, a personal biography due for a hair stylist, copy for a business consulting website to finish, and training scripts to write. My husband had sponsored blog posts due and an affiliate marketing strategy to complete. We were starving but we needed to GSD (get-sh*t-done) while we ate.
First, can I just mention that Zoes Kitchen is 2.1 miles from my home and yet I’d never eaten there? What the what?! I know. They have an awesome vegetarian menu and you’d think we’ve have scoped it out before now. Somehow it didn’t hit our radar. That’s why I’m here today. This place needs to be on your radar. I grabbed my NOOK and my laptop and we headed up for lunch.
I don’t know y’all. It was a dreary rainy day when we went and I was really hoping to be able to sit outside. That idea was thrown straight out the window because it was u-g-l-y out there. I was pretty disappointed about eating inside. But, then we went inside. Holy bright and cheery! The colors are so bright, the staff is so friendly, and the food smelled so good I immediately thought, “Rain? What rain?” The assistant manager, Mitch, was waiting for us and was so accommodating.
He went over the menu and made a few recommendations.
us me on trying the spinach roll ups with white beans and the passion fruit tea but I conceded the spinach roll ups to my husband and ordered the veggie pizza with lemon pepper coleslaw instead. We also tossed on a side of roasted veggies (because, broccoli!). I knew we were going to share all of the food anyway so who cared who ordered what?
on the veggie pizza
That veggie pizza was the best veggie pizza I’ve had since moving to Atlanta. I tried to order it without mushrooms (I hate mushrooms) but no-can-do. The veggie topping is mixed before being added to the pie so it was all-or-nothing. I wanted to try it and I figured I’d just pick the ‘shrooms off but I also wanted to be brave so I ate the first piece, mushrooms and all! Y’all, I didn’t even notice the mushrooms. It was loaded with ‘shrooms, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, and feta cheese. It was damn tasty. I (reluctantly) shared it with my husband who agreed. Pizza? WIN!
on the marinated slaw
Made with feta, scallions and a lemon vinaigrette (no mayo) I knew I was going to like it, and I did. Was it anything special? No. Was it good? Yes. We polished it off just like we did the rest of the food but it wasn’t anything spectacular. It was just a good solid side dish. You can’t go wrong, but it won’t impress you either.
on the roasted veggies
So, call me odd but I love broccoli. I mean, like, L.O.V.E. broccoli. I’d eat it at every meal, without exception, if my husband could handle it. I ate the broccoli from the roasted veggies, he ate the carrots and other stuff. Roasted veggies are pretty much a Fall staple so it’s not a surprise when I say I loved them and I’ll be eating them again. A lot. After all, this Zoe’s location is only 1.4 miles from my office. WIN.
on the spinach roll ups and braised white beans
Ok, we fought over these. I mean, it was a straight up, ol’ west, sunrise quick-draw standoff over the last one of these. That’s saying a lot because, again, mushrooms. (What’s with the mushrooms veggie people?!?) These bad boys were stuffed full of mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, and spinach. They are also served with a side of spicy salsa (which I loved but was too spicy for my husband). This was THE DISH of our lunch. This was the item that we each took a bite of and then just stared at each other with this, “Omg, did you just taste that? That could be the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. Holy crap! That’s SO good.” Then we each eyed the plate, realized there were only two left, and realized we’d be fighting over it. Enter that ol’ west standoff I mentioned a moment ago. This is my new favorite thing this side of Atlanta. So, the beans. They are braised white beans with rosemary. They are chock full o’ protein and good for you. What more can be said? They are white beans. You can’t really ruin them and it’s hard to make them impressive. They were good.
Let’s talk about dessert!
No, let’s not talk about dessert. I was wayyy too full after eating all of that other stuff to even try to eat a dessert. I did have my eye on this super amazing fudgy brownie by the front counter but I couldn’t do it. I was too full. I had to resist. It was hard, but I did it. Next time (and there will be a next time) I may buy it. Or, I may buy it to-go. Either way, I’m eating one of them.
In the end…
The food was incredibly delicious. The people were super nice. The restaurant was very clean. We were extremely happy. I didn’t get any work done (I was way too busy noshing on the chow) but I did at least brainstorm a lot of great stuff that I’ll be bringing to the blog soon. The food must have powered a major brainstorming session. There are 18 locations in Georgia and all but like 5 of them are in (or around) Atlanta so who wants to meet me at Zoes Kitchen for lunch?