Fire Up Halal Grill Serves Delicious Mediterranean Cuisine!

Chicken kabobs

Although the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel already has several Mediterranean-themed restaurants (as well as several that have closed for good), there seems to always be room for one more.

That’s especially true in the case of the new Fire Up Halal Grill, located at 10016 Cross Creek Blvd., in the Cross Creek Plaza (in one of the spaces previously occupied by Café Olé). 

The family that owns and operates the new Halal Grill (which is not to be confused with, or owned by the same people, as the Halal Café, which opened briefly further east on Cross Creek Blvd.) moved here recently from Dallas, Texas, where they operated a couple of Halal restaurants.

The owner, Mustafa, is rightfully proud of the new Fire Up Halal Grill. According to its website (, “Fire Up Halal Grill is home to amazing Halal cuisine. Enjoy our homemade dishes and welcoming space! In case you’re searching for top-notch Halal food, Fire Up Halal Grill is unquestionably one of the spots to go in Tampa. Our menu features your favorite Mediterranean dishes — such as: chicken shawarma, beef kebab, lamb shawarma wrap, falafel, baklava and much more deliciousness!”

All I can say is that after sampling both the chicken kabob entrée and lamb gyro pita wrap sandwich (photo above left, shown without onions and the accompanying sauces, as I ordered it), Mustafa and his family definitely are living up to their promises of delicious Mediterranean food in an inviting space.

The menu also includes beef, chicken and lamb shawarma entrées served over the same delicious rice as shown in the top picture, beef, chicken, lamb and kofta kebab entrées and wraps, plus falafel, hummus, tabouleh and dolma, plus flaky baklava for dessert. They even offer catering and delivery is available through UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub & Toast. For more info, call (813) 591-1133. — GN

Hello Sweetness Opens In Cross Creek Plaza!

A new dessert place called Hello Sweetness is officially open at 10018 Cross Creek Blvd. (at Kinnan St.) in the Cross Creek Center plaza, between the also-new Fire Up Halal Grill and The Liquor Shoppe. All three stores are helping revive the plaza, which has had vacancies in those spaces for a while.

We never were able to catch up with the owners of Hello Sweetness, but the website says the new café features gelato, crepes, waffles and coffee. For their most popular desserts you pick a base (such as a crepe or a waffle) and then pick two fruits (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches or raspberries), two sauces (Nutella, white chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, peanut butter or lotus) and two toppings from a variety of choices.

Crepes, waffles and gelato seem to be the stars of the show at Hello Sweetness, but its nice spacious interior and super-friendly staff also make it a nice spot on that end of Cross Creek Blvd. to stop in for a coffee or latte.

For more information, call (813) 575-9003. — GN  

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