Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Wanna Dip My [Fries] in It — The Nashville Zoo's Condiment Station Is a Guilty Pleasure

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 5:42 AM

Just go ahead and get two orders of fries.
  • Just go ahead and get two orders of fries.
As a general rule, I don’t buy lunch or dinner when I’m at any sort of non-food-oriented tourist attraction. Not only are the selections usually limited (and not particularly veg*n-friendly), but the food is usually priced far higher than the quality calls for.

But, recently, we found ourselves in need of some food while at the Nashville Zoo. To my great surprise, there were actually veg*n-friendly options. My husband ordered a black bean burger with fries, and I had nachos and my own order of fries that I shared with our daughter (I brought food for her to eat).

The food is good and the prices are reasonable, even for a non-tourist attraction. Selections include the standard mini pizzas and burgers, but also higher-end deli sandwiches and wraps. A kids' size portion of mac-and-cheese is available as a side item, too. And, good heavens, the staff there is fantastic. Certainly, all the zoo staff members are friendly and helpful, but the folks in the Zoofari Cafe are particularly nice and courteous.

The star of the show, people, is the condiment station. Look at that photo. Yes, you are looking at not only unlimited supplies of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, but sweet relish, ranch dressing, honey mustard dressing and barbecue sauce. That’s right, friends: unlimited ranch dressing. All you can eat without having to sheepishly ask for it. It’s like the Southern woman’s dream come true. It is “The New Ketchup,” after all. However I opted for just a small cup of mayonnaise for the kid and I to share so I might acquaint her with her Dutch ancestry. It was nice to do so without having to explain why I would like a cup of mayo to some incredulous ketchup-lover.

Which leads me to wonder: “What do condiment stations look like in other cities?” Do they have brown gravy poutine sauce in Montreal? Unlimited chile sauce in Albuquerque? A giant drum of Cheez Whiz in Philadelphia?

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