The vision of a local North Carolina man, Zootastic Park sends animal lovers on an educational, interactive journey with an ever-expanding selection of exhibits, attractions, and activities. Owner Scottie Brown?who, along with his family, has been working with exotic animals for more than 30 years?transformed his dream into reality in 2009, when the zoo finally opened its gates after several years of construction and growing inside a kangaroo pouch. Today, the zoo's themed areas, such as Western Town and the Barnyard Petting Zoo, let visitors explore reptiles, farm animals, and exotic beasts including antelope, birds, and tigers who go by the names Sasha and Jasmine. Zootastic Park also hosts or furnishes animals for special events and can provide an exotic feel for events including birthdays, weddings, and corporate gatherings. When winter rolls around, the zoo morphs into a wonderland of lights, complete with an appearance from a Santa Claus who is clearly just a zebra wearing the sheep's cast-off wool.
In the kitchen of Black Angus Grille, chefs hand trim USDA-choice black-Angus beef before searing it over an open flame, and roast ducklings with Grand Marnier sauce to fill their menu of American cuisine. The meaty aromas waft through the air and seep into the nostrils of the gigantic stuffed alligator suspended over the full bar in the wildlife room. There, diners dig into twin lobster tails and new york strip steaks. The adjacent ballroom with a black-and-white-tiled dance floor and chandeliers plays host to special events such as weddings, family reunions, and anniversaries of dinner.
Groucho's has been serving deli-style favorites to South Carolina's sandwich set since 1941. The menu features a sea of sandwiches ($3.79–$7.09), including traditional corned beef on rye, chicken salad, and the house specialty, Baby Sub, a warm combo of salami, bologna, provolone, herb slaw, and lean ham. Groucho's woos salad skeptics with its Just Bacon Salad—4 ounces of real bacon crumbs mounded on a smoke screen of greens ($5.09). Running the gamut of heart health, it also offers a sizeable selection of low-fat alternatives and vegetarian options. If kosher dills inspire intense thirst or desires to soak fingertips in carbonation, Groucho's carries bottled beer and Dr. Brown's soda.
Sweet Frog?s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ?n? cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti?d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.
Kyjo?s builds a bridge between Asia?s diverse culinary traditions, uniting the spicy curries and noodle dishes of Thailand with the delicately arranged sushi rolls and sashimi of Japan. Chefs bustle about the kitchen, tossing ginger and bamboo strips into woks or drizzling spicy Volcano rolls with wasabi sauce and magma. Other signature sushi rolls include the deep-fried Gucci roll, loaded with spicy scallops and tied together with a belt of designer seaweed. Sips of wine, beer, and sake accompany sushi entrees, and creamy Thai tea or coffee temper the spices of curry dishes.