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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chiquita swills smoothies here

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 3:40 PM


LottaFrutta (590 Auburn Ave. at Randolph St., 404-588-0857) is going to be a favorite destination as the weather gets hotter. I drive by the shop nearly every day and, even if I don't stop for a sandwich, fruit cup, smoothie or tropical juice drink, I get a great dose of visual stimulation. The decor, inside and out, is by Chiquita Banana (or more accurately, Carmen Miranda, whose campy visage inspired Chiquita).

Every fruit imaginable is available, in different combinations. Although I don't always find the fruit first-quality, I do like their flavorings — especially the limonatta's lime juice and guajillo pepper. You can also go hippie-dippy with yogurt and granola atop your fruit.

Personally, I prefer the tropical juices, particularly the maracuya (passion fruit). I like my juice straight up, but you can order it blended with milk or in a smoothie, too.

Grilled sandwiches here are delicious. The queso quartet and the havarti-and-ham are my favorites. You can add avocados and tomatoes to most any sandwich. They are accompanied by corn toasted Ecuadorian-style.

The inside of the shop is pure whimsy. The walls are painted with fruit graphics such as a watermelon's green, wavy rind and a strawberry's seeded red flesh. There's limited seating.

Breakfast is also served here. The main attraction is scrambled eggs, seasoned with herbs and served with ham or cheese in a bun. There are also muffins and, of course, fruit. Hurry and go.

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