Feast With The Beasts

Well, after waiting all year, you will be THRILLED to know that the time has actually come! (No mother, I'm not pregnant). I'm talking about Feast With The Beasts which is only the most AWESOME zoo event EVER!! (And you can tell I'm serious because of all the words in all CAPS and multiple exclamation points!!!) It's on August 18th this year, which gave me a momentary heart attack because that's also the same day as my rafting trip, but the Feast with the Beasts doesn't start until 7pm, and I should be back from rafting way before that.

Tony and I make Feast with the Beasts an annual tradition, and I GUARANTEE that it is worth the price of the tickets. You eat, and you eat, and you eat, and then you walk around until you've digested enough to eat some more. And at the end of the evening, when the zoo volunteers have to roll you to the exits in the wheelbarrows normally designated for moving elephant poop because you are too stuffed to move on your own, you will still think that this is one of the best times you have ever had. It's like trick or treating, only with restaurant food and adult beverages instead of candy and costumes. And if you really like the, say, chocolate cake booth, you can go back over and over and over again.

Zoo tickets are $60 in advance, or $70 the day of the event, with a $5 discount for Zoo members (like moi). You can buy tickets
online or by phone (865) 637-5331 ext. 300 or at ORNL FCU branches, area Pilot stores, or the zoo ticket office.

Just to give you a fresh perspective on how completely AWESOME last year's gorging, er tasting event was, I'm re-posting my write-up from 2006:

Well, Feast with the Beasts was a huge hit. I loved every second of it. It was a night of intense mastication. (If you think I've said something shocking, then you need to go hit Now.) The rest of you may snicker in my totally legit choice of words while feeling superiorly smug in your advanced vocabulary.

Anyway. The food was awesome, the drinks were awesome, the Beasts were awesome (especially when the elephants objected strongly to the karaoke music and started throwing trees around. Better than the gong show). We arrived at 7 with a battle plan. Focus on meats. Avoid the breads and pastas. Save alcoholic beverages until the second go around. Eat quickly to avoid lost space through rising blood sugar. Walk it off, walk it off. Be choosy. Hit the good stuff first before the fillers. Keep the second run for the favorites. I started off well, and probably made it through the first 20 food vendors without breaking stride. By the time we hit the Kids Cove, I made the tragic amateur's mistake of hitting several complex carbohydrates in a row. Brownie from Chili's, barbecue sandwich at Sonny's, Riblets from Applebee's, egg roll from some Chinese place, steak kabob from Riverside Tavern, mashed potatoes (Mashed Potatoes! For shame!) from Peerless, shrimp from Red Lobster. All so good. It was like trick-or-treating for really really good food. I was so stuffed I had trouble walking. We actually made two different meals out of it. The first gorging meal between 7 and 8, then a period of walking to digest, then a second, smaller run at about 9:30. More walking, and then a couple of hits on our favorite vendors before heading home. If you haven't gone and you're in the area, I highly recommend it. Tony and I are going to make it an annual tradition.