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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Food That Is Over the Moon

Harvest Moon Grille brings country to the city by Lisa Moore photo by Meredith Jones

What’s orange, delicious and healthy all over? The Harvest Moon Grille is tempting the taste buds of the uptown crowd with a creative, wallet-friendly menu completely prepared with all natural, local ingredients. Nothing comes out of a box or can; nothing is synthetic or genetically modified. Just clean, fresh food.

The bright orange food trailer belongs to Natalie Veres and Cassie Parsons, owners of Grateful Grower Farm in Lincoln County. The ladies, who believe food is a valuable gift and shouldn’t be laced with poisons, produce hormone and antibiotic free pork, duck and chickens and some produce. Inspired to diversify their business and to use Cassie’s culinary skills, they launched the portable enterprise a year ago.

Harvest Moon Grille can be found from 11-2 Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tryon and 4th streets next to the Bank of America building and Wednesdays in the Gateway Center next to Johnson & Wales University. On Saturdays they land at Charlotte Regional Farmers' Market from 7:30am-noon.

The menu is driven by what’s in season and available within 100 miles, so it changes frequently. “Our goals are to create unique and fun dishes that help our patrons ‘stretch’ a little while giving them great value. We also want to ensure that the great ingredients we are using are the stars of the show. We don't over-sauce or cover up naturally perfect flavors,” says Parsons.

A few offerings include pork carnitas - slowly roasted pork topped with fresh cabbage-cliantro slaw, tomato relish and creme fraiche; a homemade grilled cheese made with pimento cheese with pieces of crispy bacon, grilled ‘til slightly melty and topped with arugula pesto.

Don’t fret vegetarians, there are options for you, too. The Asian noodle entree with an array of seasonal local vegetables and a fun dressing or the veggie burger - a cake of Rice and Sea Island Peas grilled crispy and topped with fresh salsa, greens and cilantro oil will make your belly smile. Happy patrons can cleanse their palettes with all-natural root beer from Uncle Scotts of Mooresville.

The Grateful Grower gals take every opportunity at Harvest Moon Grille to educate their customers on the importance of sustainable food. They feel that as a community, we need to give food the attention and scrutiny it deserves.

“Folks need to demand that restaurants and institutions use food from local sources. We are proof that it is financially possible to use local ingredients in food service. For our health, food shouldn't be full of preservatives and pharmaceuticals. For our environment, our economy and for freshness, it shouldn't come from thousands of miles away,” states Parsons.

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