Zoës Kitchen

Zoës Kitchen serves Greekish Mediterranean food, but Americanized for consumers with less exotic and open-minded palates. The first question men will ask is, “Is it girly?” with a furled brow and deep grunting tone, and the answer is, “Yes, but…”

A man can eat at Zoës without his manhood being called into question. The kabobs, for example, have large chunks of steak, chicken, shrimp, or even salmon between pepper, onions, and tomatoes. If you add grilled chicken to the Greek salad, you get a decent serving, and the caramelized onions fill out the flavor of the salad so you don’t feel like you’re eating grass like some lame herbivore who is about to be some carnivore’s dinner. (No offense to my vegetarian friends. More power to you.)

There is one glaring omission from the menu and kitchen, and that is the beautiful, glistening, rotating spit of beef and lamb which is common for Mediterranean places. This omission alone would probably make Ron Swanson walk out disappointed, but then he’d miss out on the rest of the menu. Zoës is more Greek than Turkish (which would be my favored fare), but more American than either of those.

I do like beef and lamb gyros, but I can get them at a couple other restaurants in Auburn, even in walking distance from Zoës. I usually go for the Greek salad with chicken added, and Lauren likes their chicken salad and their hummus.

The atmosphere is colorful and trendy, if you are into that sort of thing. The most Greek parts of the environment are the letters on the shirts of Zoës’ customers, though. I’ve never been for dinner, but at lunch time, a lot of Auburn sorority members make the short trek from campus to graze on Zoës’ admittedly great salads and daintily dip their pita into Zoës’ admittedly great hummus.

There is outdoor seating, with a great view for people-watchers like myself. It’s on the high-traffic (for both pedestrians and vehicles) part of Magnolia, where you can find regular (like clockwork) police traffic stops, small packs of foreign students, absent-minded professors not looking where they are walking, and all other sorts of fun, college-town subjects for people-watching.

So give Zoës Kitchen a try if you are in the mood for Mediterranean flavor served in a trendy, somewhat feminine package. A hungry carnivore will survive the trip, but it probably won’t become their go-to hunting grounds.

Zoës Kitchen website

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