Frutta Frutta…. Read All About It!!!

“Stay Fresh, Think Healthy, Eat Frutta” is the motto from Frutta Bowls, a business started just 2 years ago in Freehold, NJ. Frutta Bowls founder, Brooke Gagliano had focused on healthy living, sports, and wellness during her college years and after a trip to the West Coast, her dream was formed. Her family even left their corporate jobs to pursue her dream full time and now the concept is Nationwide! I am sooooo happy I came across a Charlotte location that is conveniently close to me AND my second home, Target, lol! So, after meandering through Target and making unnecessary purchases, I always stop by Frutta Bowls across the street to get my acai on.


“The Frutta Bowls dream started as a local idea with two locations. It has since grown into a nationwide concept, continuing to positively affect many lives along the way. Frutta Bowls sets itself apart by our commitment to providing healthy, delicious food, but also by our involvement in the communities surrounding each location.”


The franchise owners, Nick and Linda Lancetti, are so passionate and so energetic, they truly strive to highlight what Frutta is all about. Not only pushing the delicious and healthy products they serve, but also educating and getting involved with the local community, such as local food bloggers and influencers in Charlotte. Frutta Bowls is much much more than just yummy acai. They have smoothies, toasts, pitaya bowls, kale bowls, oatmeal bowls, seasonal bowls, protein bites, kombucha, you name it! Also, if anyone is gluten free or dairy free, they have plenty of options you can choose from to meet your dietary needs.


The great thing about Frutta Bowls is basically any bowl you choose can be customizable to your liking. They all start with picking your base, what fruit you like, and then the best part.. adding almond butter, peanut butter, or nutella! YUMMMMM!!! You can’t go wrong with any of the bowls to be completely honest. I have tried the entire menu and the pitaya bowls are my favorite.

The Caveman Bowl


S’mores Bowl


Oatmeal Bowl


Berries n Cream Toast


Overall, if you haven’t experienced Frutta Bowls, add it to your list! It’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it’s a must try when you are in Midtown by Metropolitan.



Media Trip to The Heart of North Carolina

The Heart of North Carolina has small town vibes with lots of history and stories to tell. But don’t get it twisted…. just because these are small towns, these towns do NOT lack in the food industry and they have great restaurants (especially for foodies and writers) cool shops, places to explore, and more pottery to see than you can ever imagine! I really enjoyed my time here and wanted to share some highlights along the way on this media tour.

When we all arrived, first we got settled into our hotel rooms and before we knew it, we were on our way to our first stop, Thomas Pottery in Seagrove, NC. We were greeted with a beautiful pottery shop, the pottery studio, and nestled on a gorgeous property owned by Bobbie Thomas, a potter, sculptor, and a lover of nature. She specializes in functional and decorative stoneware such as platters, vases, and animals.

                               Bobbie giving us the 411 on making pottery

Being hot and humid as ever, we got the pleasure of trying out some of the finest teas from all over the globe from the owner, Mary Murkin, of Carriage Tea House. She sources her teas from all over the world so she can share with others. It was such a cool treat to try a variety of flavors and enjoying them out of Thomas Pottery pitchers. You can purchase tea on their website at

📍 Thomas Pottery    1295 S NC Hwy 705

Seagrove, NC 27341


You know a city is growing when you find out about an awesome brewery in Asheboro called Four Saints Brewery. A brewery founded by Joel McClosky and Andrew Deming. I loved their slogan as we entered their space, “Great beer for great people”. This brewery was created to pay homage to the patron saints of beer, Saint Wenceslaus, Saint Nicholas, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Luke. For me, this brewery I was so intrigued by due to this was all started because of Kickstarter, the largest successful brewery kickstarter campaign ever. Once was a Buick dealership turned brewery in 2015, this was the first brewery in Randolph County. They are a self distributing 7 barrel brew house and their beer is awesome! We sampled beer flights and took a tour back of house. If you are ever in Asheboro, this spot is a must on your list of places to go!

📍 Four Saints Brewery    218 S Fayetteville St

Asheboro, NC 27203


Just a few blocks down from Four Saints Brewery is an awesome restaurant called “Bia’s Gourmet Hardware” run by Chef and owner, Bia. This culinary enthusiast has over 20 years in the culinary industry.  She got her experience in NYC, then moved to Asheboro in 2010 and opened the restaurant in 2013. She works closely with local farmers and purveyors across the Carolinas. She has developed all of the recipes and locally sources all her ingredients. You can definitely tell the love that goes into the food. The cuisine is amazing from the cocktails to apps to dessert trays, this place is fantastic!   

📍 Bia’s Gourmet Hardware   103 Worth St

Asheboro, NC 27203



My favorite spot on this media tour hands down is our morning breakfast stop in downtown Asheboro called “The Table Farmhouse Bakery”. I cannot even tell y’all how floored I was just walking up to the bakery. Best way to describe this space is rustic farmhouse chic. From the gorgeous chandelier that is the focal point of the space to the natural light beaming into the restaurant, it is beyond gorgeous but yet so cozy. This bakery was inspired by the owner, Dustie Gregon, her childhood memories growing up in Sophia, NC. She grew up on eating fresh vegetables from the garden and seeing the way her parents guests were welcomed in their home and found a love for embracing the community. The pastries are out of this world and what sold me, was their iced lattes with homemade syrups. I opted for an iced latte with oat milk and homemade honey cinnamon syrup. Wow…. the best I’ve had and coming from a coffee snob, this took the cake!

Not only is this a bakery, but they have a menu as well offering items from granola with fresh fruit to grit bowls that are so so delicious! This bakery opened in 2013 and this is definitely a community favorite! Add this to your list as you are missing out if you don’t stop by here!

📍139 S. Church Street    Asheboro, NC 27203


With full bellies and a happy heart, we ventured to Owens Pottery and what a treat this was to meet Potter Boyd Owens. He operates the oldest pottery shop in the state of NC and he is the son of the infamous Seagrove Pottery, M.L. Owens. They are famous for the Owens red glaze. Basically for all my fashionistas, it’s like the equivalent to the Christian Louboutin red soles. Everybody can spot the Owens red glaze!

📍 3728 Busbee Rd     Seagrove, NC 27341



At Seagrove Stoneware making our own pottery with my blogger friend Rachel, QueenCityChic.


On this trip, it is amazing to hear all the stories being told and seeing all the different artists and their style of pottery making. King’s Pottery specializes in traditional and functional pottery such as vases and tableware but best known for their folk art face jugs.

Folk art face jug that Terry made for us. These types of jugs have been featured on Antiques Roadshow as folk art appraisers.

📍4905 Reeder Road     Asheboro, NC 27205


Two words…. Reverie Place…. Richard Petty Family Estate that is the personal home and farm of Richard “The King” Petty and the late Lynda Owens Petty. This gorgeous estate is located in Randleman, NC  

This estate also is a destination for weddings or any kind of event. Getting a tour of the entire property by Richard Petty’s daughters, this space is the perfect location to get married or throw a huge event. You can find more details on their website

📍Reverie Place    514 Providence Church Road

Randleman, NC 27317


Last spot on this media tour was none other than The North Carolina Zoo! As you can imagine I felt like a lil kid in a candy store! Probably haven’t been to a zoo since circa 1989, LOL. You can prob figure out my age by that statement 🤣🤣🤣. This zoo is situated near the Uwharrie Mountains and it is the world’s largest zoo. You can get up close to elephants, rhinos, and arctic polar bears! They even have Safari tours of a 40 acre habitat that you can experience on a Zoofari Vehicle.

Inside the Zoo I would never in a million years think that the zoo would have high quality food and restaurants. But I was wrong. The picture above is from Iron Hen Cafe. A yummy bowl of grits topped with bacon, green onions, and goat cheese! Breakfast at Iron Hen Cafe is run by chef Mark Hensley. The cafe is known for their hand crafted sandwiches, salads, grits, and pancakes! Needless to say, I was pretty impressed by what he offered us that morning!

📍North Carolina Zoo   4401 Zoo Parkway

Asheboro, NC 27205

Such a great way to end the tour of Asheboro, Seagrove, and Randleman North Carolina. If you want a quick weekend to get out of the city, I highly recommend exploring into Asheboro and other surrounding counties.



The Sweet Seoul


The Table is Set: A Four-City Tour Served with a Coke

Cooking with “Seoul”! See what I did there?!? A lot of y’all may know me from reviewing restaurants, dining out, covering events, but fun fact…. when I’m not stuffing my pie hole at a new restaurant or attending a media event, I’m probably cooking a delicious meal at home. So, when I had the opportunity to partner up with a non profit called Soul Food Sessions and Coca Cola Consolidated to recreate a recipe, how could I say no!!!


Well, a Charlotte based movement called “Soul Food Sessions” is a chef series that is taking their mission in the culinary industry to increase diversity on the road. And they are partnering with Coca Cola Consolidated and beginning in Charlotte, as their first stop on this four city dinner series. This non profit started in Charlotte as a single dinner and with growing interest, it has now grown into a multiple city tour. Next stops will be in Washington, Baltimore, and then Charleston later this year. Soul Food Sessions is committed to increasing opportunities nationally for minority chefs throughout the food industry, giving more culinary opportunities for African-American chefs. I got really excited that I was getting to partner up on this campaign because I recently met one of the co founders while I was on a culinary media tour, Chef Greg Collier, owner and chef of The Yolk Cafe. We spoke briefly about this mission and how they want to use this non profit to raise money and mentor minority culinary students. Soul Food Sessions is leading the conversation of achieving equal opportunity in the culinary world and y’all just wait…. they are leaving their mark in the Queen City and growing nationally as we speak. Soul Food Sessions and their partner Coca Cola Consolidated will grant at least $10,000 in scholarships to culinary students in 2018.


I got to recreate, Seared Scallops with Purple Carrot Chutney. This recipe was created by Chef Greg Williams, the man behind one of my favorite food trucks, What The Fries CLT. This featured chef is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University who has spent over 15 years creating meals for people and making their tummies super happy! And he just added myself to that list of people! This dish is fantastical! You can view the full recipe here



Seared Scallops with Purple Carrot Chutney


(I followed the whole recipe as stated, but I added bacon, lol! I mean why the hell not?!?)

If you have an hour of time and want to cook for a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, whomever, I highly recommend this dish. It is delicious and even tastier pairing it with the Coca Cola Zero Sugar Coke!!! The Coca Cola Zero Sugar brings out the richness of the scallops making the ginger and garlic flavors in the chutney really pronounced. And if you don’t cook or have that feeling like you would burn your kitchen down trying, then head to the link below where your seat is waiting. Claim your seat at the table by signing Soul Food Sessions pledge and find out how you can start making a difference today and help contribute to this awesome movement. Click here to purchase tickets.

The event will be held:

Location: Free Range Brewing

Date: Tuesday, June 19th

How to purchase tickets: Soul Food Sessions Charlotte Pop-Up Dinner



Disclosure: This is a #sponsored post and all opinions are my own. Sponsored post by The Table is Set Tour


Wraps, Flatbreads, Salads, Oh My!!!

HEALTHY…FRESH…NUTRITIOUS…YUMMY…LOCAL…. These are just a few words that come into mind when thinking about Crunch Bistro, a Charlotte based local owned restaurant started by the Nussbaum family. Crunch Bistro offers hand crafted made to order salads, quinoa bowls, wraps, acai bowls, flatbreads and homemade soups! This establishment began at a kiosk (believe it or not) in Southpark Mall in 2011. After having a huge demand and growing popularity for their products, Crunch Bistro opened its first restaurant off of Rea Road and opened its second location in Uptown, Charlotte in 2017. Their menu includes over 40 fresh, NEVER FROZEN, ingredients allowing you to stay true to your nutritional goals but also leaving you with the feeling of being fulfilled. And from personal experience, you will definitely leave with your tummy satisfied. They focus on offering chef inspired meals at a super affordable price that won’t break the bank! Aaaaaaand did you know that a majority of the menu options are under 500 calories??? That’s really rare these days when you dine in or get take out from fast casual restaurants.

This is the inside of the Uptown, Charlotte location where the decor is modern, colorful, and cozy. Sticking with Crunch Bistro’s logo and color scheme, and having the large windows and patio area, all make the dining experience super enjoyable every time. At both locations they have a beautiful wooden focus wall that is rustic yet brings the outside in, just like the design on all the chairs mimicking tree branches.

Crunch Bistro boasts over 40 fresh ingredients ranging from veggies to bacon to fresh herbs prepared daily. All of these veggies are incorporated into their wraps, salads, flatbreads, and other items on their menu.

Baked Salmon Quinoa Bowl

BBQ Santa Fe Salad

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Cornucopia Acai Bowl 

Chicken Salad Wrap

One of the reasons why I love Crunch Bistro so much is that there is something for everyone here. I love how fresh the ingredients are, how friendly the staff is, and how passionate Crunch Bistro is about executing great healthy meal options to satisfy all your nutritional goals. I mean even if you aren’t trying to watch your diet, these options are fantastic anyways! Oh and believe it or not……they have some of the best banana pudding I have tried in Charlotte. Who would’ve known that this local bistro would have such a thing. It’s made fresh daily every morning and absolutely delicious! Being from Alabama I know good “nanner puddin”! LOL!!!

Banana Pudding

Not only can you dine in, carry out, or order online, Crunch Bistro offers catering for any size group big or small! I had the pleasure of watching the Crunch Bistro team prep and cater for a large (500 person order) the other day, and OMG, they had it down to a T! Super organized and well planned! I was getting so hungry just watching them box up wraps on wraps on wraps! HAHAHA #hangry You can learn more about their catering options on their website

4 outta 500 wraps for a catering order!

Need ideas for a gift? Crunch Bistro offers gift cards as well at both locations. Trust me, your friend or family member will thank you later! 🙂

If you haven’t checked out Crunch Bistro, you definitely should go and get YO WRAP ON!!! Especially on Wednesdays as they offer $6 Wrap Wednesday specials! Whatever area you are in, you can expect the same fresh made to order menu items and great customer service! GO TRY IT Y’ALL!!!


Piper Glen

6414 Rea Road      Charlotte, NC 28277       704.362.0077      Hours 10am-8pm and Saturdays 10am-9pm


401 N. Tryon Street      Charlotte, NC 28202      980.498.5774    Hours 7am-5pm closed Saturday and Sunday



The Sweet Seoul


Roadie to The Olde English District

When I think of awesome restaurants, fun things to see and do….. I definitely do not think about venturing out to The Olde English District of South Carolina. Let’s be real, when I moved to Charlotte almost 2 years ago, I moved to be close to EVERYTHING!!! I mean, I’m a city girl who loves to have restaurants and attractions at an arm’s reach. Oh and shopping….. lots of shopping!!! Well, that mindset changed after I had the opportunity to go on a 2 day culinary road trip and an overnight trip to South Carolina, just a short 30 minute drive from Queen City. I was joined by a few of the city’s best food writers and bloggers and I got to experience an amazing food filled trip with lots of historic stops on the way! Places I would’ve never known existed if it weren’t for the amazing tour guides and people that accommodated us with open arms. Let’s get started shall we?!?!

Early morning on day 1, all of us met at The Flipside Cafe in Ft. Mill, SC for a fantastic breakfast, meeting the amazing Chef/Owner Amy Fortes, and learning about locally sourced ingredients of southern dishes on the menu and what some of Amy’s favorites are. Amy has an extensive background in the culinary world and just meeting her I truly sensed the strong passion she has for cooking. She loves cooking breakfast and that is her favorite aspect of what she does. When asked what the most popular dish is on the menu, it is the Shrimp and Grits, and now I see why. Flipside Cafe utilizes at least 5 producers from different local farms.  I had dined here once before and already tagged them as having the best damn sweet tea in the Carolinas! But I had never tried their breakfast/brunch. Some of my favorites were the warm scratch made pretzels and Amy’s White Cheddar Pimento Cheese, Carolina Grits, Potatos Bravas, and The Fort Mill Biscuit Bake. ALL were insanely delicious and must tries on the menu.

With full bellies and on to a little scenic drive, our next stop was Windy Hill Orchard, a family owned and operated apple orchard and hard cider producer, started by a couple, Fritz and Catherine Gusmer in the late 1980’s. They are open every fall from Mid August-December 5 days a week and in the Spring open on the weekends. “Picking Season” starts mid September and finishes up early to mid October. Their orchard offers every apple from my personal favorite, Pink Lady apples to Gala apples to the not so pretty Russet Golden apples. They sit on about 10 acres of land and this was the first cidery in South Carolina. Cider is a great option because it is gluten free and all ciders are 6% alcohol. Not only do they offer 6 different hard ciders, they have these amazing hot apple cider doughnuts and boy are they addicting.

Well folks, I grew up on bbq all my life but OMG…. talk about a hidden gem in the town of Buffalo, SC. I present to you my top pick for bbq in the Carolinas…. MIDWAY BBQ. A simple motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has kept this family owned and operated bbq joint in business for over 50 years. I cannot say enough great things about this spot. From the staff, owners, and food, it is truly a gem. A Southern Legendary Gem….. Midway BBQ is famously known for its hash and spicy chicken stew. They offer over 30 meats and sides and can cater an army for $8 bucks a person….. Y’all heard right… $8 bucks a person and if you order off the menu a meat and 3 will run you $6.99. Not even shitting you. I was speechless for the next 2 hours because where else in the Carolinas can you get a meat and 3 for under $10 bucks. And needless to say their peach cobbler dessert will run you a whopping $.50 cents, like I wanted a whole tray for myself. Their old school sides are perfection and bbq is hands down in my top 3 all time bbq joints I have come across in my life. From sides such as sweet potato casserole to their collards and mac and cheese… doesn’t get much better than this.

Jay Allen, the owner and I after he treated us to a fantastic meal. I truly felt like family just hearing his story and the history behind this business. And just a little fun fact and another reason y’all should drive here to visit and get your grub on… Midway BBQ made the top 100 bbq spot list that you should drive 100 miles to eat this barbeque. Its totally worth the drive. People drive from all over to come to this establishment and damn nation, I can see why!!!


Not only can you find an awesome cidery and some bomb ass BBQ in South Carolina, but you can also stop and smell the roses in the beautiful Piedmont Physic Garden located in Union, SC. This botanical garden is a non profit garden where it houses a variety of historical and medicinal plants from around the world. This Physic Garden focuses on health and well being, puts on workshops on how to grow vegetable gardens and survival garden classes. There are interns that live on site 8 weeks at a time to help with the upkeep of the gardens. I have never seen such unique and stunning plants before until I stepped foot onto the gardens. The house itself is so lovely and is the perfect spot to have private tours and community celebrations. They truly want to impact the community and educate people how these plants have an affect on our daily lives, particularly in the health and wellness world. So they offer volunteering opportunities to all age groups and experience levels. Everyone is welcome to donate funds, time, or expertise to help support this non profit organization.

As the craft beer industry keeps expanding to cities near and far…. Legal Remedy Brewery was next on the list. Looking back on 2 minutes before pulling up to the parking lot, the sky fell out… literally the SKY FELL OUT. I’ve never seen it monsoon so hard, talk about perfect timing, lol! So, a craft beer was much needed that’s for sure. Legal Remedy Brewery had a really cool vibe and the space itself used to be an old car dealership, so when I was looking around and taking it all in, it definitely made sense. The windows and the space, you could tell that where we were sitting, eating, and sipping beers in the automobile showroom space at one time long ago. As the owner was bringing out menu items for us to try, we met and chatted with the “food lead”, Mike Ramsey. They don’t call Chefs… Chef, they go by food lead. Whatever the title may be, the food was more than just brewery bar food. We tried everything from smoked brisket sandwiches to pork schnitzels and southern poutine nachos. Then a quick tour of where all the magic happens.

After heading out from Legal Remedy Brewery, it was The Pump House time! This restaurant has been on my list for awhile now, so when I saw that this spot was on the list, I was like a little kid in a candy store! The Pump House has been open for 2 years and pretty cool story how it came about. So the owners were driving down the road and saw the pump house, and they envisioned it being a restaurant. Even though the structure had been built in the 1950’s, the architects and contractors said it was a solid build and they could basically build anything in the space. After lots of detailed planning and construction, The Pump House was brought to life.

Ending the night meeting Sous Chef Nigel Clark, as he prepared this glorious dessert, Cheerwine Cake that has two types of chocolate, cheerwine syrup, butter, and guess what?!?! NO FLOUR and its gluten free!

If y’all haven’t checked out The Pump House yet and want to go, I would highly recommend the fried green tomatoes, crispy calamari, drunken elk chops, shrimp and anson mills grits, cheerwine chocolate cake. All were really fantastic! Also, make a reservation to sit up on the top floor for an awesome view too or the patio. Cannot go wrong with either.


DAY 2:

After a long day and late night of working and staying up way later than I should’ve…. I was super stoked to visit The Yolk Cafe for breakfast on our final day of the tour!!! Another spot that had been on my list and wowzers, I am so glad I can check this badboy off the list. It’s funny because right when I posted on my instastories I was at The Yolk, my inbox was blowing up with messages from my followers telling me “Get the potatoes, you have to get the potatoes”. Rest assured, I got the damn potatoes and ermagherrrrrddddddddd…. The best damn home fries I have ever had. Chef/Owner Gregory Collier is a super talented chef that was born and raised in Memphis, TN and attended culinary school in Scottsdale. He utilizes southern ingredients to make southern cuisine, but he puts a fresh spin on all his dishes. He works with as many local businesses and farms in the area, goes through an average of 3,000 eggs per week, and he strives to get the most outta every ingredient he can. Even though he’s a huge Tennessee fan, I’ll let that slide because the food made up for it, hahahahha (if you don’t understand…it’s a rivalry football thing…Alabama fans do not like Tennessee fans)

This whole trip is focused on The Olde English District which covers Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Union, and York Counties. We stopped by the super cute Visitors Center where it was a gift shop, tourist center all in one.

Mixing in the arts and history of the trip, we stopped by Metal Sculpture Artist Bob Doster’s Studio in Lancaster, SC. What a treat it was to meet such a talented man and tour his studio space. What a small world it is, as I found out that he created a piece for the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Atlanta, GA. Back when I lived in Atlanta and would meander around through Saks, I remember seeing that sculpture as it towered over me as I went up the escalators. Not in a million years did I ever think that 10 years later, I would meet the artist himself.

This particular sculpture I found so intriguing and it’s actually cut outs of the students hands at the School For The Deaf and Blind.

Down the street, we headed over to The Native American Studies Center, a 15,000 sq foot facility that houses 6 faculty, an Archaeologist, Chris Judge, and five galleries.

As if I hadn’t already eaten my weight in food this trip, last but certainly not least are 2 more food spots. After leaving the Native American Studies Center, we walked up to 521 BBQ and met the owners and also the owner of Benford Brewing. Here we dined on pulled pork sammiches, fried pickles, fried okra, smoked wings and hushpuppies. Great lil hole in the wall bbq spot that definitely housed all the locals.

Five and Dine is a cool spot in Rock Hill, SC where they offer American Classics… With a twist! It’s located in the heart of historic Downtown Rock Hill on the site of the iconic civil rights sit-in where the “Friendship 9’s Jail no Bail strategy changed the protest movement. Inside the restaurant they display the original bar stools and lunch counter where history was made and on the counter above each stool was each gentleman’s face and picture.

Chef Anthony Russo was raised in Upstate NY and has been in the restaurant industry all his life. Five and Dine has been open for 5 years and they have dishes such as mini doughnut cheeseburger sliders and my favorite menu item I tried was the Pot roast. It was fantastic and the perfect ending to the perfect trip!

I highly recommend all the places I highlighted in this blog post. Overall, if you want to venture out of the city and have a full tummy and great experience in The Olde English District, look no further and GO!!! It was a blast and I will definitely be back!!!



The Sweet Seoul