Vlog: White Duck Taco Shop

I recently visited White Duck Taco in Downtown Johnson City. Here is a short vlog I made about the trip.

Among three friends and I, we sampled several of White Duck’s tacos including the shrimp, fish and jerk chicken.

We were all very pleased with our experience and plan to go back soon.

Check out the video, and tell me your favorite local restaurant in the comments.


Review: Southern Craft barbecue


Southern Craft barbecue tacos. Photo by Raina Wiseman.

Only by chance did I find out about Southern Craft. I had been searching Facebook for places to eat in the area, and the barbecue restaurant appeared as a suggested page. I followed it, but didn’t think much more about Southern Craft.

Then, on a Wednesday night when no one wanted to drive far for dinner but also said “NO FAST FOOD,” I suggested we try the downtown barbecue joint I read about.

With the help of GPS, we easily found Southern Craft, which is conveniently located at 601 Spring Street in downtown Johnson City. The restaurant has excellent parking as it is beside a public lot.

Our group of three immediately noted how the restaurant was very trendy. With low lighting and vintage-chic decoration, the building is likely to become a new favorite for Millennials whose interests are piqued by “hipster” atmospheres like that of Southern Craft.

We arrived around 5:30 p.m. and were told there would be a 10-minute wait. We stood inside the entrance of the restaurant, and were lucky to have entered when we did because several parties came in after us. Their wait times rose to 20 and 30 minutes.

We were then seated in a large booth at the center of the restaurant. Southern Craft offers several seating options including table, booth and bar.

Our waitress, Morgan, brought our drinks and took our orders. I got the pulled pork tacos without slaw (no offense to Southern Craft. I have never liked slaw). One friend also got the tacos, but she ordered them with slaw. We both ordered them with queso on the side for $1 extra. The second friend ordered a Fire Water burger with tater tots as her side.

We were very satisfied with the tacos, both of us noting that the barbecue sauce that came on them was the best part. It was a sweet, tangy sauce that went well with the pico de gallo on the tacos. The pork was very tender and had no burnt ends that so many barbecue restaurants leave in.

The friend who got the burger said she was “very particular about barbecue.” Though not as impressed as we were with our tacos, she agreed the food was good, and she would return to try another menu item.

Morgan told us at the end of our meal that it was only her second day working at Southern Craft. The restaurant must do an excellent job training its staff because she did a great job waiting on us. The tortilla chips were left off my plate when first brought out, and she ensured I had them as quickly as possible.

Since dining at Southern Craft, I have been dreaming about the next time I could have barbecue tacos. I can’t wait to go back and try other dishes from this trendy restaurant.

Fizz Soda Bar, business feature

Fizz Soda Bar window. Photo by Raina Wiseman.

Fizz Soda Bar Offers Unique Drinks and Charity for East Tennessee

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.— If you’re looking for a sweet treat that benefits your health and your community, Fizz Soda Bar has you covered. This locally-owned business offers floats, soda and ice cream that cater to different dietary needs and wants while helping a local animal shelter.

“We wanted to make sure that we had lots of options that were really indulgent and really exciting but were also not full of terrible things,” said Catelyn Pate, general manager of Fizz Soda Bar.

The soda bar uses homemade, small-batch ice cream from The Hop Ice Cream Café in Asheville, North Carolina. Fizz always has at least one vegan ice cream option to better cater to customers’ dietary needs and wants.

Sodas come from the Boylan Bottling company in New York City. The soda syrups use natural-flavors, no high-fructose sugar and pure sugar cane.

“There are people that are very health conscious that come in and they don’t feel as bad about indulging in something like this because it doesn’t have all of the artificial sugars and sweeteners,” said Pate.

Fizz Soda Bar also gives back to the community. The shop has a “Fursday Thursday.”  All tips and donations on Thursdays are donated to the Unicoi County Animal Shelter.

Fizz hosted a “Cookie Extravaganza” fundraiser in conjunction with the shelter in December 2016. Baked goods and specialty floats were available to raise money for the shelter.

“We are big animal lovers, and we love to help out with local pets as much as we can,” said Pate.

Fizz Soda Bar has 15 custom floats featured on its menu, but customers can make any drink combination as long as Fizz has the ingredients. There is a secret menu as well with favorite pre-made recipes.

“If there is something that we don’t have that you want, we’re more than happy to make it for you,” said Pate.

New, customer-created and featured floats and drinks are posted on Fizz Soda Bar’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Fizz Soda Bar is located at 207 East Main Street, Suite 1-D in downtown Johnson City. It is on the first level of Fountain Place building. The soda bar is open Wednesday though Sunday. Hours can be found on its website.

To learn more about Fizz Soda Bar, its drinks and how they are helping the community, visit its websiteFacebook or Instagram.

Buccaneer float at Fizz. Photo by Raina Wiseman.