Along with other bloggers and media folks, I recently had a fun and delicious invitation to visit the new Zaxby’s in Hartselle and sample many of their great menu items. Who could possibly say no to that? The occasion fell on our first official day back as Hartselle residents. What a great way to celebrate! The restaurant has only been open a couple of weeks, so everything is shiny and new, and the atmosphere is exciting for Hartselle folks as well as for all of the employees.
Zaxby’s was launched in 1990 by Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in Statesboro, GA, right outside Athens, GA. Those men obviously had some great recipes and marketing strategies, because now, 27 years later, there are 700 Zaxby’s locations scattered across 17 states. 86 of those are in Alabama with another scheduled to open soon in Huntsville.
Zaxby’s restaurants are family friendly and are strongly committed to giving back to the communities where they are located. In Hartselle, they are planning fundraiser nights, kids’ nights and a focus on the sports which are so important in this town.
During my visit, I saw (and tasted) 5 good reasons in particular to try Zaxby’s and to return for visits again and again. Zaxby’s uses the slogan “indescribably good,” so I’ll use it, too.
- SALADS. Well, they call them Zalads, but you get the idea. Steve and I have ordered the House Grilled Zalads for years and always love them. They are filled with lots of fresh veggies and hot, tender strips of chicken. I learned last week that Zalads are the most popular menu items in our area, so that means we’re not the only ones who have discovered them. In addition to The House, The Cobb, The Caesar and The Blue are also available, plus seasonal creations often placed on the menu in the spring and summer.
- SAUCES. My goodness! Zaxby’s has a vast array of sauces, some for tossing and some for dipping. There are enough choices to please even the finickiest eaters (a.k.a.grandchildren). Listen to the names of some of the tossing sauces: “Wimpy,” “Nuclear,” “Tongue Torch,” “Insane.” But, of course, you can also find normal ones, such as Sweet and Spicy, Barbecue and Teriyaki. My new favorite is a dip called Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip. Oh my! With all of the chicken pieces mixed in, it is fabulous with their Tater Chips, and I’m sure it would go great with all kinds of raw veggies. Check out these appetizers. Don’t they just scream “Game Day?”
- SUPER WAYS TO FIX CHICKEN. Zaxby’s has an array of sandwiches, wings and chicken fingers. Their boneless wings positively DRIP with flavor. Yummo!!
- SHAKES. We were treated to samples of all their premium shakes — Chocolate Cookie, Banana Pudding and Birthday Cake. All 3 were creamy and special, but my new favorite is Banana Pudding. How nice that it also has the fewest calories! Well, it’s all relative when it comes to shakes, right?
5. SERVICE. Steve and I have been impressed during many visits to Zaxby’s with the attention the staff has given to our order and to our needs while inside their restaurant. They are very polite and go the extra mile to be sure you have what you need. After meeting members of the corporate staff, I understand more about the commitment they are making to the training of their employees. They want happy customers, and they know that their employees (and their chicken) are both key components in making that happen.
Zaxby’s describes itself as a high-end, fast-casual restaurant. I believe you’ll enjoy your food and the atmosphere. If you are a subscriber to my blog, you will have a chance to win a $25 gift card to Zaxby’s. On August 30th — just in time for the start of football season — I will randomly choose 2 winners from my list of subscribers. Good luck!!
P.S. There is one other tip I learned during my visit. You can go to the register at your nearest Zaxby’s and sign up with a code on your phone. Each store has their own specific code. You will get a free Nibbler just for signing up, then you will receive messages when your location runs special offers for free or discounted menu items. Sounds like a winner to me.