It is always fun to go to a zoo, look at all kinds of bears, lions, birds, snakes… Bronx has a pretty large zoo, very close to the Bronx Botanical Garden, which is another great place to visit, especially during the holidays. However, these types of recreational or family activity spots don’t always have a great food option. They don’t really offer variety of dishes, or fancy food at good price. Visiting these kind of large spaced exhibit will require you to walk a lot, and spend almost the entire day, if not at least half day. And you know what happens, when you are walking around constantly, and half the day is gone… you get hungry!
That is what happened to us at the Bronx Zoo. So, we looked up on the map of the zoo to see where we could grab a bite to eat. The first spot we saw was a Terrace Cafe, right by Children’s Zoo. Needless to say, there were lots of kids, family, and kids menu, and we saw burgers and chicken tenders. So, we decided to walk over to the Dancing Crane Cafe. It sounded nice, and, and sounded like where we could have a nice meal.
We saw a large ordering counter right outside next to the cafe, and there were seating all around there. Lots of tables and chairs. And a peacock or two, roaming around. Yes, peacocks.
Their menu seemed like the same one from the Terrace Cafe, burgers and chicken tenders. So, we walked over to the Dancing Crane Cafe, and went inside. There was a long counters where you order and pick up your food, and next area is the large open room with lots of tables and chairs. The menu here at Dancing Crane Cafe? The same as everywhere else!!! Even though they have different names at each cafe/eatery area, it seems like they all offer the same items. Mainly, burgers and chicken tenders with fries.
You first go to the long counters, get in line (if there is one), and order your food. It seemed like the staff working at the counters were local kids, young, but they were doing pretty good job, trying there best to be efficient. The female manager was nice, being on top of things. The whole ordering and picking up the food was not fast, it took longer than it should, but that was because they ran out of the cheese whiz looking thing, and they had to wash the nozzle thoroughly and change out with a new bag of cheese whiz. I appreciate the fact that they do keep things clean behind the counter, all the staff were wearing hear nets, gloves, and didn’t see trash/food crumbles. Kitchen is behind the counter, and there was only 1 window where the food can come out from the kitchen to the counter, so it could get a bit crowded when lots of people come ordering food at the same time. After you get your food, you go to the cash register behind you, and you pay there. You could also pick up some juice and what not from the refrigerator by the cashiers.
After you get your seat somewhere either in the inside or outside table, you can go to the condiment table and get your napkins, condiments, and plastic-wears. There are also ice cream ordering counter by the indoor eating section. If you want some dessert, you can get ice cream and shakes there. If you want a light dessert, they also have cookies and cupcakes, nearby the ordering counter. I assume their baked goods change according to the season, this day, it was Halloween themed items since it was closed to Halloween.
So, what did we have? Chicken tenders and special fries. That’s right, “special” fries… We couldn’t let ourselves to just have regular chicken tenders and regular fries, we came to Dancing Crane Cafe, we got to have something to dance about. We ordered Chicken Strips, Fries, & Drinks combo ($12.49). Then, upgraded our fries to their “loaded fries” for extra $2.49 each. First one, with Bacon Ranch loaded fries, which came with crumble bacon, cheese whiz, and ranch dressing. It was pretty good. I didn’t know this also came with cheese, (I thought it was just bacon and ranch dressing), so it was a nice surprise. It was just ordinary fries, with nice, gooey, bad-for-you topping. So you know it was tasty. The chicken strips were pretty big, and came with 3 large strips. Again, just a normal, ordinary chicken strips.
The second one, we chose Buffalo loaded fries, which came with buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing. Since the dressing is not as thick as cheese whiz, it seemed less amount than the bacon ranch one. The taste? It was so spicy! They don’t mess around with the buffalo sauce. If you want just a “little” spicy, then you might not want to order this. It is for the serious spicy, hot sauce lover.
The indoor eating area was filled with family and kids, and even more so, filled with food and trash on the floor, chairs, and tables… Not very well kept, the outside seemed much cleaner.
If you are a member, you get 10% off, so we got about $3 off from the total. But, after tax, it came out to be almost $30 altogether. I don’t think this meal is worth $15 each, but that is what you need to pay when you are at special place like zoo or museum or botanical garden. If you were not in a mood to get chicken tenders, burger, pizza, or hot dog, and the only healthy option they had here was veggie panini, you might want to plan ahead and bring your own food. Or, be adventurous at the Zoo and try one of their offering!
Dancing Crane Cafe @ Bronx Zoo – 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460