The Juice Jar in Corolla, NC

The Juice Jar Review - DoyleDispatch.com

When you go on a beach vacation, what type of food do you usually get? If you are like our family, it probably involves hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, BBQ, and other delicious (yet not-quite-great-for-you) foods. So, on our recent family vacation to Corolla, NC, we found the newly-opened Juice Jar. And we fell in love. And I want to tell the whole world about it.

Photo Courtesy of Juice Jar's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Juice Jar’s Facebook Page

We got there during its second week open, when they were still trying to figure out the best times to be open. But one thing they had already figured out? Their recipes!

They have everything you could want in a juice restaurant bar: fresh juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and acai bowls. To top it off, everything is local and/or comes from their garden out back. They also have a great add-on menu with bee pollen and other healthy additives!

And the location? It’s beautifully situated in the historic Corolla Village, close to the lighthouse. It is right near a yoga studio and Corolla Village BBQ. They have a great walk-up deck where you order, and then you can enjoy the lush, green grass, picnic bench, or swing while waiting for your order.

The Juice Jar Review - Acai Bowl - By DoyleDispatch.com

The food? I can’t say that I tried too many different items, as once I ordered the Morning Glory Acai Bowl, I kept getting it. I absolutely loved the base of the bowl (much like a smoothie), but what made it so delicious was the coconut chips, granola, bananas, and strawberries on top. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. But my family loved everything they got (even Audrey enjoyed her beet, apple, celery, and cucumber juice). After discovering it on the 5th day of our trip, we went back every day because we couldn’t get enough (even the morning we had to leave).

So if you are heading out to Corolla (or even Duck), make sure you stop in to check it out and get something a little redeeming. As we joked, we enjoyed our Juice Jar because it allowed us to “detox in order to retox.”

Restaurant Review: Genghis Grill (Short Pump)

Tonight, we went to a truly terrific restaurant: Genghis Grill. Yes, it is a chain, but it is one that we had not been to before.

The new Short Pump location *

(Okay, I lied… I went there once before taking Tim – my fourth grade teammates and I celebrated a day off with lunch there.)

Instagramming Genghis Grill*

Now, this was a meal during the busiest night: Saturday. When we walked in, Tim saw how busy it was and mentioned to me, “If it is a long wait, we aren’t staying.” We told the hostess that we had a party of two, and she responded, “Two or three minutes!” It only took 1 minute until we were seated.

Because I had been there before, I figured I would explain the process to Tim, thus saving our waiter from having to explain it to the both of us. Basically, you go in, and you have the option of picking an appetizer (very inexpensive, but we decided against this in order to be cheap). We just ordered an iced tea and water (mmmm).

At this point, the waiter asks if you have any allergies, as they want to be sure that all patrons will feel comfortable. I made the mistake my first time of saying that I do have allergies (yes, I am technically “allergic” to many different foods, but it will not cause anaphylactic shock, so it really will not affect their cooking process), but I learned and did not make that statement this time.

Next, they bring you a metal bowl, and you can enter the self-serve area. You will pick from all different kinds of meat, spices, and veggies and fill them in your bowl. You can pick as much or as little as you want. Just as long as it doesn’t overflow, you can stack the food high! I personally love the chicken and broccoli, and I even went back to fill the bowl higher, since no one was behind us.

The veggies! *

This is heaven for me. *

Spices *

The final part of the self-serve area is the sauce bar. You will put as much or as little of it in a side bowl. They have little taster spoons, so you can try before you decide. I am a big fan of the Honey Soy. Yes, I did try a huge spoonful of it first “just to be sure.” Mmmm!

The final step is to go to the grill, and select which type of starch you want: white rice, brown rice, fried rice, Asian noodles, or spiral noodles (they have tomato sauce as one of the sauce options for the pasta lovers). They will mark that on your ticket, at which point they will ask if you have any allergies again. I also took this opportunity to ask for mine to be made with very little oil. Yep, they will do that for you!

The grill *

Before heading back to your seat, you can grab an antibacterial toilette (this germaphobic girl was so happy) and some sesame seeds or other toppings.

At this point, I also went to the bathroom while we were waiting for the food to come out. They not only have those great super-strong hand driers, but they have something called a StepNPull attached to the door. Literally, you step on it, pull back, and you can open the door without getting your newly-washed hands dirty.

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OHMYGOSHWHEREHASTHISBEENALLOFMYLIFE!

When I got back to the table, one of the managers approached us with a bowl of edimame. He asked us if we liked it, explaining that he was testing the kitchen staff to make it, and they did. This meant they had some edimame and no table to deliver it to. We must have looked especially kind that day, because he brought it to us. Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS! It’s only $2.99 in the menu, and it would be worth every penny.

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I will be ordering it every time I come in from now on.

The food arrived shortly afterwards, and it was amazing. I was able to get a picture of Tim’s before he started eating.

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I could tell Tim just wanted to dig in.

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend Genghis Grill to anyone in the Short Pump area. The service was quick and good (in and out in about 30 minutes… on a Saturday night), food was delicious, and it was as healthy or unhealthy as you wanted it to be. Plus, we got out of there in under $25! This is a new favorite, and I can’t wait to bring my family the next time they are in town.

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Mine!

*Picture from Genghis Grill Facebook page.

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A horribly fuzzy picture.