Pasta Zola brings new quick-serve option to Eden Prairie

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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."

Thumbnail image for Pasta zola mitch.jpg
Pasta Zola via Facebook
Owner Mitch Thayer in action.
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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My Voice Nation Help

I just tried Pasta Zola in the Eden Prairie food court and loved it. My family purchased a Groupon for the new restaurant and we've already been back three times since! We especially love the chicken alfredo rigatoni pasta, the soft bread sticks and marina and the veggies are a healthy, delicious touch. The portion sizes are massive and we always end up eating our leftovers for breakfast! Thank you Mitch and Kris Thayer for bringing Pasta Zola to EP. Your staff is VERY friendly and customer service is wonderful. Keep up the good work!


I worked part-time at Eden Prairie Center for two years before Pasta Zola came along, and I always knew something was missing in the food court. Now I know–it was Pasta Zola. What a fantastic addition to the meal option lineup! The service is fast, the staff is friendly, and the food is spectacular and fresh. I love the customization and healthy options the menu provides. Also, it's great to be able to support a local business in the food court. Congrats, Kris and Mitch. You've brought a little bit of food happiness to Eden Prairie.

Da Perry
Da Perry

Three of my co-workers and I enjoyed our first of what I know will be many lunches at Pasta Zola's today. We loved the choices - everything we ordered was fresh, hot, and delicious. I enjoyed mac & cheese (cavatappi) with sauteed veggies. The veggies boosted the nutritional quota and they tasted great. The Eden Prairie Food Court is actually quite nice - much nicer than other mall courts I have seen. I think it is a great addition - it stands out as a singular bright spot amongst several chain offerings. Give Pasta Z's a try - and if you have kids - take them too. They'll love it.

Kris Thayer
Kris Thayer

Thanks Heidi! Love your "food happiness" description...can we steal it? :) Mitch & Kris, owners

Kris Thayer
Kris Thayer

Hey! Thanks for the great comments! Being the only locally-owned restaurant among national chains, we especially appreciate your support. If you plan on visiting Zola again, consider signing up via text or email for deals/coupons. You can find info on our website Hope to see you soon! Mitch & Kris, owners

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