So, how many of the restaurants at the KRATE Container Park at The Grove have you tried so far? I have tried all of them, although I definitely haven’t tried every dish at every KRATE eatery yet, so below is a list — in alphabetical order by the name of the KRATE — of my favorite dishes so far at the now-18 open restaurants and bars at the KRATEs. I plan to keep on sampling everything I can at these mom-and-pop eateries, and I will list my favorite KRATE desserts next issue, so stay tuned! — GN
Bacon Boss HQ — Although I have them put the BBQ mayo on the side, my favorite menu item at the Bacon Boss is the Bugsy Siegel Burger, which features a grilled-to-perfection burger topped with two slices of American cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce & tomato. So good.
Blush Wine Room — Despite its billing as a wine bar, this is definitely one of my favorite KRATE restaurants. I already love the bruschetta, beef & pork meatballs with spicy marinara and the chicken with vodka sauce flatbread (photo, left). The wines (including wine flights) also are great, but my favorite drink is the strawberry frosé — perfect on a hot day.
Chamo Bites Venezuelan Cuisine — I’ve always been a fan of arepas, and Chamo Bites tops them with a great variety of meats and cheeses, but I’m absolutely addicted to the Cachapa (a sweet corn pancake) filled with queso de mano, or “hand cheese,” which is like mozzarella only better.
El Prince Mediterranean — The meat shawarma sandwich, which is delicious, marinated sliced ribeye beef roasted with Middle eastern spices in a pressed pita-style wrap, topped with onions and tahini sauce (that I had them put on the side) is still my favorite at El Prince, although the diced El Prince salad is also a delicious option.
La Creacion Express — You don’t have to be a fan of Puerto Rican cuisine to enjoy La Creacion, although I haven’t yet tried the more hard-core items like octopus or alcapurria (green bananas & taro root) empanadas, I love the tripleta sandwich (with steak, ham and pork).
Mojo Grill Latin Fusion — The menu really is a mix of so many Latin favorites you really can’t go wrong, but my favorites so far are the steak chimichurri sandwich (thinly sliced skirt steak, caramelized onions, melted cheese and house-made chimichurri sauce on a toasted baguette) and the build-your-own bowl with grilled chicken, cilantro rice, black beans and Cuban slaw.
Palani’s Hawai’i Noodles House of Saimin — To date, the only dish I’ve tried is the saimin noodles in a savory clear broth garnished with barbecued char sui pork, kamaboko and crisp green onions, but it definitely makes my list of KRATE favorites. I suggest paying $4 for additional Chinese-style char sui pork. So good.
Shake-A-Salad — Since it was one of the first KRATE restaurants to open, I’ve tried more than one option of all three parts of the menu — the salads (my favorite is The Cobb), the wrap sandwiches (the Chicken Caesar is my fave) and the signature rice bowls (I absolutely love the Asian Marinated Chicken Rice Bowl).
Tacos El Patron — Already a family favorite, we love the savory pastor quesadilla filled with marinated pork, the huge carnitas burrito (filled with pork chunks, rice, beans and cheese) and the asada (steak) taco salad.
Tasty Ramen — Although I’m not as much into the variety of ramen bowls as I am the appetizers, I definitely love the pan-fried gyoza dumplings and crispy spring roll.
TJ’s Hot Dogs — Although TJ’s has a great variety of topping for its gourmet hot dogs, I only really have one favorite type — a kosher-style dog with brown mustard and sauerkraut (above) and TJ’s satisfies that craving for me. I plan to try some of the other options…eventually.