Friday, August 19

I Love Zao Asian Cafe


There's a lot to love about Zao Asian Café. With five locations across the Wasatch Front, this local chain offers healthy and tasty food at a lightning pace. And the best part - they have plenty of vegan options to satisfy your hunger pangs and your taste buds!



The Bowl with Brown Rice & Tofu
There are five meal options: salad, rice (or noodle!) bowl, tacos and a Bahn Mi sandwich. Asian fusion food is always welcome in my mouth - I love the flavors and when they are served in a taco or a salad it makes me very happy. The vegan protein is a Thai-spiced organic tofu which is a fantastic addition to any of the meal options. You can also opt for Vegetarian, which includes seasoned and seared veggies including delicious crunchy green beans and corn.

Your food comes together so quickly! Even when they run out of tofu, it only takes 5 minutes to make some more. Another great thing about Zao is that it's inexpensive. I can get take-out for my husband and myself for around $17. Not too bad considering the amount of food they serve. I can easily get two meals out of the bowls and the Bahn Mi.

The first thing I fell in love with at Zao was the bowl. It comes with your choice of white or brown rice or rice noodles topped with veggies, carrot daikon, ginger scallion, cilantro and crunchy peanuts and crispy shallots. Chose your dressing from the following:

- SWEET SOY: Teriyaki with a hint of garlic and ginger.
- FRESH GREEN CURRY: Coconut milk, freshly ground herbs, exotic spices.
- CHILI LEMONGRASS: Tangy, sweet with lemongrass and chili spice.

Salad with Tofu and a Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

My current favorite option at Zao is the tacos. It's the perfect amount of filling and you have the option to shake things up a bit - I like to get two tofu tacos and one vegetarian taco. The tacos come with romaine mix, chili-lime aioli, Korean red sauce, carrot daikon, ginger scallion, cilantro. If you're vegan just omit the aioli - they're plenty flavorful without it.


Makin' tacos!

The only bad thing about the tacos is trying to get a picture of them!
The Bahn Mi is really big, almost too big. A toasted French baguette is topped with tofu, chili-lime aioli, house hoisin, cucumber, carrot daikon, ginger scallion, jalapeño and cilantro. Again, if you're vegan, skip the aioli.

It's BIG

and kinda messy
Although it's not similar to other vegan Bahn Mi in town - the fillings are more plentiful and the baguette isn't as crispy, it's still pretty good.

Soda is another thing Zao gets right. My favorite is the cream soda but I'm all about the Mexican Coke too. I've been tempted to come in JUST for soda.

Worthwhile sodas made from organic cane sugar!

 


Besides the food and drinks, the atmosphere and customer service are excellent. The cool, minimalistic décor is easy on the eyes. Although I get my food to go, I wouldn't mind hanging out here. The service is always spot on - friendly, quick and competent.

To recap I love Zao because: 1. It's local 2. Vegan options galore 3. The food is good! 4. It's super fast. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. I didn't receive a free meal to write about Zao Asian Cafe,  I just really like eating here and I think you will too.

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