Local Noms: Zaxby’s

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A Big Zax Snak meal at Zaxby's includes chicken fingers, fries, Texas toast and a drink.

In a little less than a week, I’ll be leaving Columbia, Mo., my home for the past five years. A lot of things about this make me sad. Leaving behind a lot of people I love, leaving behind a school and town I love, moving on from college stuff to the *~*real world.*~*

But here’s the real sad part: I’m leaving just two weeks after discovering the wonderful thing that is Zaxby’s.

Zaxby’s opened two locations in Columbia in January — the Georgia-based chain’s first Missouri locations — but I didn’t make it to either until recently. I wasn’t interested, because I’ve never been a fan of Chick-fil-A and I assumed they were basically the same thing. But I figured I should give Zaxby’s a try before I moved out of Columbia, and I’m not sure if that was a good decision or a bad decision — I’m glad I got to try it, because it’s great, but now I have one more Columbia eatery to miss. Womp.

Anyway, in search of a quick dinner on my way to work the other week, I made a spontaneous stop at the Stadium & 63 location while driving back into town from Jefferson City. I ended up with a “Big Zax Snak Meal,” which, okay, do you see that thing pictured at the top of the post? Is that a snack? No. Chicken fingers, fries, Texas toast and a drink? That, friends, is a meal.

And a darn good one, too. The fries are fantastic, with some kind of seasoning that is great. The chicken tastes like real chicken. The Texas toast was a surprise for me (I opened my to-go box in the newsroom and said out loud, “Why is there bread?”) but it’s a nice touch.

A piece of chicken sits next to a packet of Zaxby's special sauce.

 

And the Zax Sauce! I like the sauce a lot. I was wary — I am typically not a sauce person — but I think it’s great. It’s a little spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. People who are used to spicy things would probably not even think it’s spicy. But it has a nice kick. Put it on your chicken! Put it on your fries! Nom nom nom. I enjoyed every part of my meal. Two thumbs up, Zaxby’s.

Also, on a non-food note, it’s worth mentioning that at both the Stadium & 63 location and at the Nifong & Providence location (I went there over the weekend on a fries-for-dinner run, sorry I’m not sorry), the service was great. At Stadium & 63, the guy working the drive-thru answered my many first-time-visitor menu questions with patience and kindness, like he really cared about helping me order something I would like. At Nifong & Providence, I ended up waiting a few minutes while they made the fries fresh, and several employees checked in with me, making sure that I had been helped and that I had everything I needed. Lots of smiling faces, lots of genuinely nice people. I wasn’t at either location for long, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. And I plan to do so at least once more — I want more of those fries! And I might take a few packs of Zax Sauce back up north with me, too 😉

So, in conclusion, don’t be a dummy like me and get yourself over to Zaxby’s ASAP. You won’t be sad that you did.

(PS, to clarify, I don’t actually think leaving Zaxby’s is the real sad part of my impending departure from Columbia. I have better priorities than that. But it is really tasty food.)

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