More and more new restaurants have been opening at the KRATE Container Park at The Grove at Wesley Chapel and the word is definitely getting out that KRATE is a great destination for a wide variety of cuisine types from all over the world.

eel-sauce-slathered Zukku dumplings

Although it wasn’t open at our press time, Bakery X (pronounced “Eeks”) Authentic French Bakery had a sign inside saying that its soft opening would be on Aug. 3, a few days after we went to press with our latest issue. If you love authentic French croissants, breads and pastries as much as I do, this is another KRATE to get really excited about.

Also opening at the KRATEs the weekend we went to press was Ato “Edible Art,” the sister restaurant to Zukku-San Sushi Bar & Restaurant on S.R. 56. Ato features a variety of “curated” and create-your-own masterpiece poké bowls and sushi burritos as well as some of our favorite Zukku-San appetizers (including both the sautéed, eel-sauce-slathered Zukku dumplings and the fried gyoza dumplings).

And, while Ato is well worth a trip to the KRATEs on its own, but there are other newbies to try, too.

The Flipn’ Fries Factory opened as promised (near Bebo’s Cheesesteaks & Rhythm Pon de Grill Jamaican Cuisine) in July and although the menu only offers French fries with a variety of toppings, the fries are crispy and always served hot and delicious, no matter what you toppings you choose — whether you pick one of the Flip’n Fries menu favorites or make-your-own. Jannah and I were surprised how much we loved the bacon & beer cheese fries (photo) from the menu, which are loaded with real bacon and topped with the mildest beer cheese sauce ever.


Mediterranean food lovers also should try the new Falafel Factory, which is located next to Palani’s Hawai’i Noodles (and congrats to Palani’s for winning a “Best of the Best award as Best Asian Restaurant from the Tampa Bay Times).

We enjoyed the organic chicken shawarma wrap (right), which comes with hummus and your choice of up to four of the Factory’s fresh veggie salad bar toppings.

Other options at the Falafel Factory are, of course, falafel (fried chick peas balls) pita and wrap sandwiches, a pita burger and even a classic hot dog and a variety of fresh salads. 

Other eateries at the KRATEs that also are getting close to opening, albeit without yet announcing their respective opening dates, are Boba Mac’s (mac & cheese and boba teas), Café Zorba Greek Cuisine, Pisco Express Peruvian Chinese Cuisine and 365 Café.  

Oh, and a big shout out to my new best friends, Tracy and John Dimillo of Urban Sweets, for serving the best chocolate chip cookie sandwich I’ve had in years! I already loved Tracy’s cupcakes and other desserts, but you have to try the cookie sandwiches! — Gary Nager; Ato photos above by Charmaine George

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