Pasta Zola brings new quick-serve option to Eden Prairie

Pasta Zola: Who wouldn't want to follow that Vespa?
Pasta Zola: Who wouldn't want to follow that Vespa?

Pasta Zola, a new quick-serve eatery in Eden Prairie Center's second-level food court, wants guests to follow the lead of this gal on the scooter and "get saucy."

The pasta shop is the first restaurant venture for husband-and-wife team Mitch and Kris Thayer, and it offers a build-your-own alternative to the megachain Noodles & Co.

The Hot Dish touched base with Kris to find out more about Pasta Zola:

Kris says that she and Mitch, who jointly have experience in marketing, design, and branding, turned 50 and decided it was time to start their own business together. So Mitch quit his day job and is now putting in 100-hour weeks launching Pasta Zola.

The Thayers chose to serve pasta because of its nearly universal appeal, variety, relative healthfulness, and low price. They offer two sizes, regular for $5.25 and small for $4.25. "Having three kids, we don't always have time for a leisurely sit-down meal," Kris says. "But we always strive for a good meal, even if it has to be quick and reasonable."

Pasta Zola's customers pick one of four pasta shapes and six sauces, and then add toppings for an additional $1.99 (meatballs, chicken, veggies).

The pastas are cooked to order and served in Chinese-style takeout boxes. The Thayers went with short-cut, extruded noodles like penne and rigatoni because the shapes worked best in that serving container, as they hold the sauces well, do not become too soft, and are easily stabbed with a fork, Kris says. "Plus, the box becomes your take-away container if you have left-overs for tomorrow's lunch."

Pasta Zola
Eden Prairie Center #2320
8251 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie

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