Over the Memorial Day weekend, we took a drive to the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro. It’s about 90 minutes from Raleigh, so there was no rush to get out the door at the crack of dawn (thank goodness!). First we took Miss Phoebe to the park for some run time with her buddies Rhythm, Blues, and Jersey. The sweet furry girl loves her park time. After the park we had a relaxing breakfast at home, some puttering around the house, and then hit the road!
On the tip of master brewer Jon Bonchak, we stopped at The Table in Asheboro for lunch before hitting the zoo. Ohmygosh this place was fantastic! It opened just this month (May 2013) and I’m guessing they’ll be around for as long as they like. From what I gleaned online, the owners bought the historic building two years ago which was built in 1925 and served as the office building for the Asheboro Hosiery Mill.
The owners have transformed the property into a bakery, espresso bar, eatery, and market. They feature Counter Culture coffee (the Bonchak connection). They bake their breads and sweets fresh, and are currently serving breakfast and lunch. Their menu is seasonal and will change according to what is fresh and available.
|Did I mention gorgeous artwork?|
I had a ham and Gruyere omelet that was sent to me from heaven! I’m terrible at deciphering what’s in a dish, but I can tell you this was a flavor combination that made my taste buds smile. It was served with a side of Table bread and a cup of fresh fruit. Ken had the BLT with an egg fried over-easy on top. He said it was fabulous too. I love good food!
The decor is precious. Described as a European eatery, more definitively I would say it’s sleek, minimalist farmhouse. The chandelier in the center of the dining room is stunning, but is only half of the room’s centerpiece. The other half is the long farmhouse-style table that sits beneath it. The two together are symphonic. The atmosphere is casual and charming. Charming! We will definitely be back at The Table sometime soon. It’s worth the 90 minute drive itself, and we also saw lots of antique and resale shops and a farmers market. Yep, we’ll be back.
|Chandelier of milk jars. And check out the ceiling!|
|Chandelier above the farm table|
After being sidetracked by food (hmm…a pattern perhaps?), we finally made our way to the zoo. If you live in North Carolina I do hope you’ve been to the zoo – we have a wonderful zoo! It’s just south of Asheboro on 1,500 acres in the Uwharrie Mountains. About 500 acres of that have been developed into one of the largest “natural habitat” zoos in the United States. This isn’t like the zoos I recall visiting when I was a kid where we looked at the gorillas and big cats pacing behind bars. This is wide open spaces with trees, ponds, real rocks, and happy animals!
I read up a bit and learned that a temporary zoo was opened in 1974 while the Zoo we know today was being built. The first permanent exhibit opened in 1979. Currently there are two distinct sections: Africa and North America. If you plan to see both in one day I recommend taking the tram from one exhibit to the other. It is a huge zoo! The estimated walk time from the Africa entrance to the North America entrance is 15 to 40 minutes. We had just enough time to see the Africa exhibit on Saturday which is home to zebras, ostriches, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses, baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees, and lions – oh my! (couldn’t resist)
Even though we were there in the afternoon and it was fairly warm, we saw lots of animals and they were pretty active. If it were safe and legal and not smelly to have a pet chimpanzee…well, we’d have a tire swing in the living room 🙂 Warning – lots of cute animal pics!