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Who would've guessed fruit could be fun? Atlanta's Lottafrutta

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Lottafrutta goes against all odds: it's in a kinda ramshackle -- albeit historic -- neighborhood in Atlanta. It's not traditionally Southern or Soul food. They don't serve some obscenely rich concoction that Guy Fieri's gonna make a risque comment about. Lottafrutta concentrates on serving choice, exotic fruits in a fun way! Their arrangements and recipes have a tropical/Caribbean/Latin flare, made in a colorful little shotgun shack. I was happy to be hosted to experience it.

The mostly carry-out place is open 7 days a week, 9-5. In case you're thinking serving juiced or cut up fruit is no hat trick, let me disabuse you of that notion! Years ago, I knew a prominent young chef who assured me that fruit desserts -- especially berries -- were the trickiest for a chef to prepare. As he explained, you have to hand select each piece of fruit . . . there's no room for anything but perfection. Then, each piece has to be carefully placed and arranged.

I sampled the Cremolatta, with bananas, grapes, melon, papaya, strawberry and watermelon, served with delicious homemade coconut crema. The coconut crema was vegan, yet very rich. It definitely feels good on a hot day!