A taste test: Exploring Zaxby’s Zensation salad

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – At Pittsboro’s Northwood Landing, Zaxby’s is looking to make its mark with a delectable array of offerings. Among these food options, co-managers Molly and Scott Holloman assured me that the Zensation salad stands out as a refreshing and flavorful choice. I had a chance last week to sit down with the two and try out the salad, while they shared their insights on this signature dish and the unique experience their restaurant offers.

Watch our Zaxby’s Zensation Salad and egg roll taste test on YouTube

When it comes to fast-casual dining, finding a balance between taste, quality, and convenience is key. Zaxby’s, a popular chain known for its chicken and diverse menu, has been making waves with its Zensation salad. During my taste sampling of the salad and egg roll combination, Molly and Scott, the co-managers of the franchise in Pittsboro, provided an inside look at what makes their Zensation salad a must-try for food enthusiasts.

The Zensation Salad
At the core of the Zaxby’s experience lies the Zensation salad. You can opt to have the salad with either fried or grilled chicken. I opted for the grilled version. Featuring tender grilled chicken topped with a honey sesame glaze, this salad strikes a nice balance between sweet and savory. Molly emphasized the importance of the glaze, which adds a distinctive flavor profile to the dish. Complemented by crispy wonton strips and a citrus vinaigrette dressing, every bite offers an array of flavors that are delightful to taste.

Zaxby’s Zensation Salad with egg roll (source: Zaxby’s website)

The Art of Dressing a Salad
One unique aspect of the Zaxby’s dining experience is the art of dressing a salad. Molly demonstrated the restaurant’s preferred method to this novice, which involves shaking the salad with the dressing within the container to ensure even distribution of flavors. This somewhat meticulous approach ensures that each forkful delivers a harmonious blend of ingredients.

Limited-Time Offer: The Egg Roll Delight
In addition to the Zensation salad, this Zaxby’s has introduced a limited-time offering: the egg roll. Bursting with flavors reminiscent of a traditional spring roll but with a Zaxby’s twist, this treat has quickly become a fan favorite. Packed with cabbage, carrots, and a hint of spice, the egg roll perfectly complements the freshness of the salad. Molly shared anecdotes of devouring multiple egg rolls in one sitting.

Molly even brought out some sweet and spicy sauce for me to try with my egg roll. The sauce has a nice balance of sweetness and heat. For most folks it has just enough spice to add some interest without overwhelming the palate.

Embracing Innovation: Navigating the Digital Landscape
In a digital age, Zaxby’s remains at the forefront of innovation, leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience. Molly and Scott talked about the Zaxby’s app, a gateway to exclusive deals and personalized recommendations. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, the Zaxby’s in Pittsboro can ensure that customer’s preferences are catered to.

Community Engagement and Future Plans
Beyond the culinary delights, Molly and Scott are deeply invested in fostering community engagement. With plans for spirit nights and booster club partnerships in the pipeline, they aim to create a welcoming space for locals and visitors alike.

As active members of the Pittsboro community, they emphasize the importance of feedback and encourage patrons to share their experiences through online reviews and surveys. As Molly aptly puts it, “We’re just really excited to be here and part of the Pittsboro community.”

The Importance of Customer Feedback
For Molly and Scott, customer feedback is invaluable. They emphasize the significance of online reviews and surveys in shaping the restaurant’s offerings and ensuring a positive dining experience for all patrons. By actively soliciting feedback and implementing suggestions, they hope to demonstrate their commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Zaxby’s offers 8 dressings for Zalads:

  1. Lite Vinaigrette (35 Calories)
  2. Lite Ranch (90 Calories)
  3. Blue Cheese (180 Calories)
  4. Mediterranean (140 Calories)
  5. 1000 Island (230 Calories)
  6. Honey Mustard (150 Calories)
  7. Ranch (160 Calories)
  8. Caesar (90 Calories)


Sampling the Zaxby’s Zensation salad summary

  • Discussed favorite foods: egg roll (140 cal), grilled sensation (grilled chicken with honey sesame glaze), and chocolate chip cookie.
  • Food presentation: salad dressing (Citrus vinaigrette).
  • Zaxby’s tip: Shake salad for even mixing.
  • Secret menu? No, but limited-time offers like egg rolls.
  • Husband joins, emphasizes family-run dynamic.
  • Plan for community involvement after 90 days.
  • App promotion for discounts.
  • Encourage feedback via Google reviews or surveys.
  • Employee recognition: celebration notices.
  • Service model: counter-to-table for guest experience.
  • Customer service: Regular check-ins to ensure satisfaction
  • Popular items: Salads and Wings and Things U Meal
  • Wing sauces: Various options including mild, spicy, and sweet
  • Egg rolls: Available with sweet and spicy sauce, can be ordered separately
  • Kids menu: Options like grilled cheese and chicken fingers
  • Spiciness level: Options for both adults and kids, with milder choices available
  • Community integration: Excitement about being part of the Pittsboro community
  • Opening date: Official opening on Monday, March 25th, with anticipation and gratitude towards the community.