Zoe’s Kitchen :: I Am Not Ready to Let Go
Dear Zoe’s Kitchen,
I remember our first date. It was a work meeting. At the time I, a 23 year old adult, literally only ate what can be described as a 5 year old’s food: hamburgers, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. I was nervous, but I took a chance on you and I am so glad I did. I ordered the hummus, chicken kabobs with roasted vegetables and potato salad. Oh. My. Lanta. I was hooked. Looking at the menu while writing this, I think I have tried almost every item on the menu, except the pimento cheese sandwich (for no reason honestly, just realized I never tried it while reflecting on your offerings). The food was always so consistent and delicious. Put simply, I loved you.
When I heard the news that Zoe’s was closing (or, in many cases, rebranding as Cava, which is NOT the same but also good), I simply did not believe it. Zoe’s has been a staple in my life for over a decade. If I did not know what to cook, I would order the family meals. And I know there are Zoe’s copycat recipes galore (in fact, I linked them below), but the whole point is that we don’t always want to cook! The family meals are also the absolute best thing to bring to a family in need whether after a surgery or welcoming a new baby. It was SO easy to order online, pick your time and voila. Healthy dinner was done! They were such a quick, low cost option to feed my family of four. If we had work meetings for more than 5 people, the Zoe’s catering options were my go to. Why do you have to go?
It’s simply not easy to find affordable, healthful and flavorful food that is prepared relatively quickly. To be honest, many times the Zoe’s line is faster than “fast food,” which is very rarely fast these days anyway. It was the easiest place to meet a friend for lunch, to pick up dinner on a crazy night or to grab food “to go.”
And can we discuss the Zoe’s chicken salad? No words.
I am not going to lie, Zoe’s. I am not ready to move on. I am not ready for CAVA. How can I ever find a restaurant that meets your qualities, expectations and love of flavor? Even though I am not ready to move on, I know I must. I will always treasure our times together. The times you saved family dinner. The times you made work meetings fun. The times you saved me, a mom, a worker and a happy hour friend.
I will cherish the memories you helped me make. Until we meet again, I will hold on tightly to your duplicated recipes and try to read the directions after my tears have smeared the words away.
A Grateful Mom and Boss
For those of you with attachment issues, like I myself have, see the below Zoe’s copycat recipes.
- Zoe’s Copycat Greek Dressing: Greek Dressing
- Zoe’s Power Plate: Protein Power Plate
- Zoe’s Chicken Salad: Chicken Salad
- Zoe’s Greek Chicken Bowls: Greek Chicken Bowl
- Zoe’s Pasta Salad: Pasta Salad
- Zoe’s White Beans: White Beans
- Zoe’s Cauliflower Rice: Cauliflower Rice
- Zoe’s Chicken Rollups: Chicken Roll Ups