You can tell that Lexington is getting fancy when they are starting to get restaurant duplicates from downtown Columbia. Zoes Kitchen is the latest to migrate westward, and is now open in the former Cinnabon/Caravel/some sandwich shop location on 378, right down from Target. I was invited to come and check them out on their opening day, which was Halloween.

It was a cool, rainy night and when I arrived after work, it was already filled with customers, but not packed to the gills, a perfect balance. The menu is clearly marked with lots of items that are friendly for the most popular dietary restrictions- vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. I chose a vegetarian option of a veggie pita pizza that also came with a side Cesar salad, along with a colossal sweet tea to caffeinate me through Halloween.

It was on and off rainy, but I opted to sit outside under the covered part of the patio. Keith, the manager came by and let me and another couple sitting out there know that they were having a little issue with the outdoor lights, which flickered like once while I was there. However, he said that was the only problem that day, which I would call a success for any businesses’ first day!

My salad was crisp and fresh, a perfect anecdote for the inexcusable amount of Kit Kat bars I was to consume later in the evening while handing out candy to the kids on my mom’s neighborhood. The pita pizza was small, just a little larger than my hand spread out wide, so if you’re really hungry you might want to order an extra side. It was flavorful and fresh as well, though I should have read the ingredients more carefully and asked for no olives- there were a lot, and I am not a lover of them. But if you are, then you’ll definitely be excited by their enthusiasm for them!

I only tried a small sample of the menu that they offer, but this is exactly the type of place that I would take picky people, or a crowd that may have some dietary restrictions mixed in. This Zoes location is in the same strip as the Red Bowl, and where Jamestown Coffee used to be.

Zo√ęs Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal, but all opinions are my own.