FLAVOR OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Date

Mar 11, 2013

Wheatgrass shots, smoothies, wraps, salads on the menu

KAREN SULLIVAN

Temptation? Yes.

But there's almost no guilt on the menu at Froots, the restaurant vividly decorated in the colors of green apples, strawberries and other natural foods.

The restaurant offers diners a full day's worth of smart food choices, including smoothies, salads, soups, wraps, and breakfast foods. And it's the place to meet others who are just as juiced about protein boosts, wheatgrass shots and antioxidant blasts.

"This is all about feeling good and keeping a positive mind and positive attitude," said Brent Heavner, who opened the Carolinas' first Froots franchise in March just off W.T. Harris Boulevard near Northlake Mall.

A positive attitude is important to Heavner, a former high school football and college baseball player, Marine Corp veteran and former Huntersville police officer. Fitness is also a passion. At one time, he was certified to train police recruits in preparation for a required physical agility test.

As a restaurant owner, he can help others who are looking for food choices they can feel good about.

Diners can start the morning with breakfast wraps and smoothies. The wraps combine eggs and white tortillas with ingredients such as bacon, ham, spinach, tofu or jalapeno, black beans and corn.

Smoothies ($3.99 to $5.99) have a prominent place on the menu. That's because there are so many. They can be made as shakes with vanilla yogurt, as tropical drinks with a variety of fruits, or as performance- and energy-boosters.

Options for lunch and dinner include wraps that are available in two sizes. Specialty wraps ($5.49 or $6.49) include the popular Kingston jerk chicken, bistro ham, Kansas City beef and a Southwest wrap.

Basic wraps ($4.99 or 5.99) are a smaller portion. The California turkey is the favorite, made with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, tomatoes, sprouts, onions, spring mix lettuce, ranch dressing and a whole-wheat tortilla.

Hickory barbecue chicken with bacon and cheddar on a white tortilla is a close second in popularity. The menu also includes vegetarian options.

Eight salads ($5.99) offer a variety of flavor influences -- Santa Fe, Greek, Chinese, Posted on Sun, Jun. 01, 2008 Subscriber Services Caesar and Cobb. Or build your own salads.

Many customers want a more radical serving of nutrients. They might start the morning with a 1- or 2-ounce wheatgrass shot. It's valued for delivering energy thanks to strong doses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Follow the wheatgrass shot with freshsqueezed juice (in three sizes, $3.99, $4.99 and $5.99) to meet recommended doses of vitamins and minerals. Weightlifters who visit a nearby fitness center often stop at Froots for high-protein performance smoothies ($5.49). They're made with fruits, fat-free vanilla yogurt and 40- grams of protein powder.

Mac Golden doesn't lift weights, but he likes the high-protein smoothies as meal replacements just the same.

Golden had made a pact with his pregnant wife that he would lose a pound for every pound she gains. He had already lost 9 to her gain of 7. His strategy includes high-protein smoothies.

"The easiest way to do that is meal replacements," he said. "It makes you feel full, and you get (two) servings of fruit." Flavor of the neighborhood

Froots

Address: 9200 Harris Corners ParkwayPhone: 704-598-7890

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Tell us about your favorite places

We'd like to hear where you like to eat. What restaurants, or owners, make your neighborhood special?

Call or e-mail Karen Sullivan at ksullivan@charlotteobserver.com, or 704-358-5532. Karen Sullivan

Karen Sullivan

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