If your Little Foodies are mini-Vitamixes like mine, tearing through a pint of fresh berries or wedges of melon in mere seconds, LottaFrutta tropical fruit stand is a great option for a healthy snack on a hot summer day.
On a hot, sticky morning at the recently built Old Fourth Ward playground, we quickly became envious of other families that clearly planned better for the day by donning bathing suits and heading straight for the adjacent splash park. Without suits of our own and needing a substitute method for cooling off, we sought out frozen treats.
LottaFrutta, which bills itself as a gourmet fruit house and market, sits on the corner of Auburn Avenue and Randolph Street in Old Fourth Ward, and presents a welcome alternative to the omnipresent self-serve yogurt shop. Tropical, straw umbrellas and colorful painted wooden tables remind me of the licuado/batido (Latin American smoothie) stands in Mexico that I frequented as a child, just with cleaner water. You will immediately find respite from the frenetic pace of the city once you step inside.
Fresh tropical fruit already cut up and ready to eat maybe a slight splurge, but these fruit cups sure beat slaving away next to the sink hacking spiny pineapples and de-seeding juicy watermelons. The Limonatta, a combination of fresh-cut coconut, cucumber, mango, melon, papaya, pineapple, and watermelon, topped with fresh lime juice and spicy chile guajillo, is typical of the fare served up by fruit vendors in Latin America.
My Little Foodies went gaga for the Cremolatta, consisting of grapes, melon, banana, papaya, strawberry, and watermelon, served with a deliciously decadent and tropical coconut cream. Just one bite in, and I almost felt like I was lying on a hammock on the beach, not dealing with whines of heat exhausted, overtired, and hungry little ones.
Things really mellowed out as Big A and Little A sucked down some of the smoothie especiales. While fresh fruit smoothies are an easy and healthy snack I make at home (banana, blueberry, and almond milk are a family favorite), LottaFrutta incorporates many tropical fruits that I don’t typically buy. I immediately opted for my childhood go-tos: Pura Pasión made with maracuya (passionfruit), banana, and mango, Wanna Guana made with guanabana (soursop which tastes like a slightly sour, citrusy hybrid of a strawberry and pineapple), and LottaMora made with mora (Andean blackberry), banana, and strawberry. All smoothies can be made with either water or milk; I opt for the latter for a creamier texture and increased nutrients for My Little Foodies. You truly cannot go wrong with your flavor choice, but just be prepared to order your own, because your little foodies are not likely to share.
Naturaleeza Fruit Cup (Chica) -$4.50
Cremolatta Fruit Cup (Chica)-$5.25
Smoothies (Wanna Guanabana, Pura Pasion, or LottaMora)-$4.75