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The Houston Zoo Gets a New African Forest Café

Hungry zoo-goers now have a new, and decidedly better, option to satisfy their tummy rumblings. I recently got a sneak peak of the Twiga Terrace Restaurant that opened in the brand-new African Forest section of the zoo. The African Forest is a huge expansion that allows guests to take a journey through, you guessed it, an African Forest. The landscaping is magnificent, and the chimp and rare white rhino exhibits are innovative and modern.

If traipsing through the African Forest and gazing at these rare creatures makes you hungry, you are in for a treat at the Twiga Terrace restaurant. This place is not your usual zoo concession stand. It's an actual sit-down restaurant with counter service and a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The zoo says it has "a French Colonial feel, with soaring ceilings, arch top windows graced with Bermuda shutters, decorative brackets, and terra cotta tile roofing." It truly is a departure from the other zoo eateries.

I was there during a members-only breakfast event and sampled a delicious buffet complete with Belgian waffles, bacon, an array of pastries, and made-to-order omelets. Everything was decidedly better than I had anticipated. I spoke with one of the cooks about the regular menu and was told that the food will be casual upscale with counter service. There will be free-range chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, grilled three-cheese sandwiches, and char-grilled hot dogs, just to name a few items. The ingredients will all be fresh and high-quality. You can dine in the comfy, air-conditioned interior, or sit out on the terrace and gaze at the rhinos and giraffes. The Houston Zoo is definitely moving on up...

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