Mediocre food, mostly mock meats - disappointing
Posted on 08 / 22 / 2010
I'm surprised to see all the glowing reviews here, although I'm happy that others have enjoyed their food at Zizi's. :) As a vegan who lives in Charlotte, I'll give Zizi's props for being our only true vegan restaurant; however, there are too many downsides to warrant going back.
First, the location is terrible. Not only is the actual restaurant hard to find from the road, but it's located 6 miles north of the city, way out in Corporate Walmart Consumer Land. There's no public transit nearby, and it's a very unsafe area for cyclists and pedestrians. You *must* drive a car to get there.
Second, the menu is 90% mock meat; for us, that's a huge downside. My spouse (also vegan) and I eat a whole-foods-based diet and are frankly pretty grossed out by faux chicken, beef, steak, fish, ribs, and wings. Just look at the menu to see what I mean.
Another reviewer below describes Zizi's menu perfectly: "FRIED FLAVORFUL VEGAN FOOD. It comes in all the traditional forms that a Southern American is used to... replace[s] my old stops at WingZone, Bojangles, or Showmars."
For us, strike three was the actual food. Not fans of mock meat, we compromised and ordered the Philly cheese steak (which, sadly, was dry and flavorless), the avocado sub (served on soggy, cold, anemic, refined white bread), and a walnut brownie (which was surprisingly moist and excellent). So on top of the horrible venue and "meat"-laden menu, the food wasn't even good. Maybe we hit Zizi's on an off night; what a disappointment.
Another minor annoyance was that the spacey girl who took our order, upon hearing we're vegan, told us *at length* about how she still eats dairy. Talk about inappropriate!
Some people dislike that Zizi's is take-out only. We don't mind that, so no points docked there.
But look, I get it: If I were visiting CLT from out of town, I would be ecstatic that Zizi's exists. In that scenario, I'd probably have a rental car and would be unfamiliar with CLT's good ethnic restaurants; so, naturally, Zizi's would be the perfect solution. However, I do live in CLT and know that there are sooo many amazing vegan options at other restaurants (Lang Van, Woodlands, Ru San's, Meskerem) that absolutely blow Zizi's out of the water.
So although Zizi's is 100% vegan, given its downsides, I can't give it more than two stars. If they'd get a better location (closer to the city and public transit) and add more whole-foods-based items to the menu, we'd go back. But for now it's a no-go.
100% vegan menu
Horrible location, really out of the way, Mostly mock meats, not whole-foods-based, Mediocre food