I think most of us can agree that, until recently, Memphis has been lacking on the purely plant-based restaurant front. We have a few havens like Imagine Vegan Cafe, Cosmic Coconut, and Juice Bar that we haunt, and I love all of them. However, I’m ridiculously excited to have a new hangout in East Memphis.
Zaka Bowl is owned by Ed Cabigao, of S.O.B., and his wife Brittany. The restaurant is fully vegan, and offers an array of grains, veggies, garnishes, and sauces to build your very own bowl.
Cabigao says that, after plenty of reading up, he decided to go from vegetarian to vegan in February 2014, and subsequently lost 40 pounds in six short months. Since then, he’s participated in 4 half-marathons.
Zaka is very casual and comfortable, and the employees are extremely helpful. The menu featured two pre-built bowls, for indecisive people like me, and a step-by-step building menu. I picked the pre-built Zaka Flocka Flame bowl, which boasted smoked portabella, mustard herb cauliflower, spicy roasted chickpeas, roasted peppers & onions, charred corn, and pickled jalapeno over garlic olive oil quinoa.
There are six delicious house-made sauces to choose from, and I went with the recommended Zaka Sauce and Sriracha BBQ.
This bowl is probably the best guilt-free thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s absolutely delicious, with tons of flavors, and just enough spiciness. The featured bowls are limited-time, so you have to try it before it’s rotated out. Although, I’m sure whatever new build replaces it will be equally scrumptious.
Washed it all down with a refreshing Spindrift Sparkling Lemonade.
I also got a bite of a bowl we made from scratch, topped with brussels, jalapenos, smoked portobella, pineapple pico, roasted tofu, and cinnamon chili sweet potatoes. This is something I’ll definitely have to build for myself sometime! The tofu is marinated in spices including ginger, garlic, and soy before it’s roasted, so it has a nice, rich flavor. And everyone knows I love some spicy sweet potatoes. Yum.
A fun fact about Zaka Bowl is that everything from bowls to utensils to cups can be recycled or composted, with collection bins right by the door on your way out. I love it!
Zaka also features house-made juices, and offers catering. Definitely keeping that in mind for a get-together.
You can check it out for yourself at 575 Erin Drive, next to Huey’s, between 11-9PM any day. Any questions? Give them a ring at 901-509-3105, or go through their website.