Rain went from a sprinkle to a torrent during Feast with the Beasts at the Houston Zoo, but the more than 4,000 people in attendance didn’t seem to care. After donating money to get gourmet Houston food while surrounded by exotic animals after dark, who would?
Friday was the eight occurence for the annual fundraiser, a chance for sponsors to show off their food and drinks.
It was also a chance for the zoo to showcase some of their 6,000 animals, which cost about $950,000 a year to keep fed.
Scattered among the Houston restaurants were beer and wine tables. Not to pull any punches, the wine was better than the beer. I’ve never been one for the cheap light brews.
The food, which came from 65 different restaurants, was nothing less than excellent. Near the back, a place called Ra sushi (with a pair of crunchy delicious squares per plate) stood next to Lola Savannah Fine Coffees and Teas, who handed out golden packets of their product along with cups of black hot jet fuel. Boudreaux’s Cajun Kitchen found a spot near the entrance and got swamped early on.
As for animals, some people stuck around the lion exhibit, where the smell of gourmet fried foods mixed with wet fur and animal droppings (not an altogether unpleasant combination). Others went straight to the reptile house to see Blanco (the nearly white alligator) chewing down on a rather unlucky chicken.
The event also had a live performance by Smash Mouth. The crowd started off with a few confused slightly inebriated older attendees (most had no idea who Smash Mouth was) but two or three songs into the performance everything got sorted out. The crowd filtered into a group who remembered the 90′s, they started singing along, and the rain picked back up, which did nothing to stop the audience from jumping and swaying.
For a complete list of the restaurants: http://www.houstonzoo.org/feast/
Zoo’s next fundraiser is “gift of grub” http://www.houstonzoo.org/portfolio/gift-of-grub/