Family Dining: Taste of the South


Think upscale, healthy fast food. Taste of the South, or TOTS, off Exit 33 in Mooresville, is a new locally owned eatery that features an expansive menu of gourmet burgers, chicken, salads and specialty sandwiches.

TOTS trademarked its “Healthy in a Hurry” slogan, and it delivers. Find only hormone-free chicken and Angus beef burgers (from a certified ranch in Montana), and only non-processed cheeses. Wheat pita and flatbread can be substituted for sandwiches.

Diners order at the counter, but the food is brought to your table. Service was quick, and the staff was cordial when my family of five dined in.

The Southern beer-battered fish-and-chips platter was a hit with my husband. The Corona-breaded fish was light and didn’t sit too heavily on his stomach. I tried the chunky fruit-and-nut chicken salad, which was a delightful twist on the average chicken salad, with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges and walnuts mixed in. Try the zesty onion petals as an appetizer, too. Similar to blooming onions served at chain steakhouses, it came with a delectable dipping sauce.

The kids’ menu features grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and chicken tenders, which come with a choice of waffles fries, vanilla sweet potato fries or chips. While my husband and I loved the tasty vanilla sweet potato fries, our kids preferred the waffle fries. The meal was overflowing with fries, but I would have preferred a healthier option, such as a fruit cup, yogurt or applesauce.

Definitely save room for dessert. My 2-year-old summed up the Key lime pie on a stick dipped in chocolate in one word: yummy! Apple nuggets a la mode — fried cinnamon apples with soft-serve vanilla ice cream — is perfect for family sharing.

The Chow Down

TOTS (Taste of the South), 129 Gateway Blvd., Mooresville

Dollar Deal: $1.29-$6.89

Décor/Atmosphere: Casual, family-friendly

Kids’ Menu: $3.29 (includes side and drink); ages 10 and under eat free

Amenities: High chairs, changing tables in ladies restroom, drive-thru, outdoor patio

Got Milk/Juice: Yes; however, Tum-E Yummies juice bottles may be difficult for younger toddlers.

Phone: 704-660-0514