Viva Las Chicken

I had an impromptu dinner date with a friend at Viva Chicken, and it was so good, I went back the following week for lunch with another friend. Ordering at the counter isn’t my favorite type of restaurant, but for Peruvian roasted chicken and fried plantains, I’ll do it.

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From their website: “Our chicken is 100% natural, free range” and also, “Our plates, silverware, straws, cups and are 100% biodegradable which means less trees being cut down!” What’s better than an eco-friendly, natural food restaurant with reasonable prices and delicious sauces? (Not much, in my opinion!).

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On my first venture, I got the Viva Chicken salad, which was good, but a little on the light side. My friend got the Quinoa Stuffed Avocado and I had dinner envy. Seriously, it looked so amazingly delicious.

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I had the Herbal Lemonade (House made lemonade infused with basil, rosemary and mint) to drink and it was fantastic. I only drank half because I imagine it was filled with a fair amount of sugar.
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On my second visit, I got The Great wrap, and it was great. Seriously, it was SO great.

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I added avocado to it and opted for the medium and hot sauces on the side versus the mild that comes with it. I got the fried plantains as my side and they were the perfect amount of crispy and soft. Also, you only get 4-5 of them, so it’s a very reasonable portion.

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The food is quick and delicious. The staff is friendly and helpful. And if you’re nosey like me, you can watch them pulling the roasted chickens out of the oven and they will get out of your way for pictures.

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Side note: they get quite busy at lunch time but do a good job of getting tables cleaned off as soon as someone leaves. They also have a really adorable covered outdoor area that’s pleasant to sit in on nice days.

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If you’re in the Elizabeth neighborhood, I recommending stopping in for lunch, or even a to-go order. Also, while you’re in Elizabeth, you should grab some dessert from Elizabeth Creamery, then you’ll have the best day/meal ever. Cheers!

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I’m on a Boat!

The joys of boat ownership, without all the hassle and upkeep, are now accessible to just about anyone. Well, anyone willing to pay a monthly membership to a boat club.

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My brother is one of those people who was willing to join the boat club and I have twice benefited from this and enjoyed two glorious days on Lake Norman. Boat Club members pay somewhere between $250-275 per month in the first year and have a set number of rentals per month. My brother has eight 4-hour long rentals in a given month and has his selection of boats. We’ve taken out a pontoon and also a speedboat.

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What if you want to spend the whole day out on the boat? You can. You just double up on reservations for that day. We’ve only done 4-hour increments, once from 11-3, another time from 2-6. The best part is finding a cove or a beach and hanging out; although, my nephew thinks flying a kite off of a moving boat is pretty fun.

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Most of the boat club websites break down for you the difference in club membership versus owning your own boat, and it’s roughly a $2-3k difference per year. So if you’re not set on having your OWN boat, but want to spend some time on the lake and feel like you have a boat, a boat club might be just the thing for you. Plus, this way, you get to try out lots of different boats and don’t have to worry about any of the maintenance. Life jackets and coolers are provided. Just bring your sunglasses, sunscreen and towels. Gas is charged back to the renter, either after the session or can be on a monthly basis. It was interesting to see how much more gas we spent on the speed boat ($20) verus the pontoon ($5). You should definitely factor gas costs in when thinking about joining.

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If you’re looking for a way to have some fun this summer, check out these boat clubs and see if lake life is the life you want to have. It should be noted that Lake Norman is not in Charlotte, but in Cornelius, Mooresville, Huntersville and Denver, it’s actually quite a hike from Charlotte proper. However, there are over 500 miles of shoreline, plenty of island beaches, tons of coves to explore or hang out in, so it might just be worth it.

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Here are some LKN Boat clubs that you can join:

If you’re not sure you want to join, you can always just rent a boat for a day. Many of these clubs also have daily rentals! So, what do you say? Will you be joining a boat club this summer?

I scream, you scream…

We all scream for Elizabeth Creamery. Seriously, I haven’t stopped thinking about going back since our post-dinner stop on Saturday evening. And since we’re already hitting 90 degrees here in Charlotte, it’s definitely the season for ice cream.

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There were several other couples and families visiting the homemade ice cream shop while we were there, enough to make it busy, but not crowded. My husband, mom and I scanned the cases, mulling over our choices. The sweet smell of baked ice cream cones wafted through the air and I may or may not have drooled a little on the case as I pondered which scoop(s) to get.

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My mom opted for black cherry, which she claimed was “delicious.” My husband got the Reeses, which he devoured so I can only assume it was delicious. And per the usual, I couldn’t decide on one (and I have a sweet tooth), so I selected the cappucino and brownie fudge scoops. Brownie fudge was the winner of the two – I’ll definitely order it again. I think I’ll replace cappucino with the coffee flavor next time. This double scoop cone blew my mind!

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I am absolutely smitten wtih this local, family owned and operated shop, situated just behind Carpe Diem and Passion8 in Elizabeth. It’s the perfect place to grab a scoop and go for a walk after dinner (or a pre-show snack if you’re heading to Visualite). The Kims make their cones AND ice cream. They also serve frozen yogurt and have a selection of toppings behind the counter for the fro-yo.

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If you’re wondering about pricing, it’s very reasonable and much cheaper than your chain Coldstone ice cream. It was around $10 for our three cones (with one double scoop!). Definitely worth paying a visit to if you’re in the Elizabeth area, or even if you’re not. It’s worth the trip over. I can assure you that you’ll be screaming for more as soon as you finish your first cone!