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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo still a great dining destination too 

click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, 633-9225, cmzoo.org

In 2019, USA Today readers dubbed Cheyenne Mountain Zoo the sixth-best zoo in North America. It’s a destination all its own, but executive chef Beau Green keeps impressing us with his team’s culinary offerings.

The family-centric Grizzly Grill mostly specializes in deli sandwiches, but for the summer, Green and co. offer a build-your-own Baja bowl station. We build a bowl with adobo-seasoned chicken, fajita veggies, black beans, grilled corn, mango habanero salsa and cotija cheese. The chicken’s juicy and richly seasoned, and that salsa manages to be fresh and fruity without sacrificing heat. They run $13 each, but the quality is there. Over at Rocky Mountain Barbecue Co., we try house-made pork rinds, prepared from a recipe Green says he got from a contact at Hormel Foods.

They’re microwaved in a paper bag, like popcorn, and while it’s an odd prep method, we’re happy with the crispy, smoky results, especially dipped in a spicy, fruity house hot sauce.

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