The corner of East Main Road and Aquidneck Avenue is full of tasty surprises and news lately. First, the news.
Frosty Freez is opening April 15, for real this time. After a few unplanned delays, we finally will be able to enjoy that rite of spring we’ve been jonesing for. All we need now is the warm weather. Welcome back Frosty Freez — we’ve missed you.
The other big news from the corner is Flat Waves will be moving there to take over the space in the former Grange building that previously housed Plumby’s. While the move is only a few hundred yards from the current spot on Aquidneck Avenue, the new space will allow Flat Waves to expand the kitchen, menu and dining areas.
The new restaurant will be called The Food Shack and, according to an Instagram post, will feature, “a relaxed dining experience with locally sourced menu items, original Flat Waves recipes, and a twist on street food favorites”
If they bring the quality and creativity we’ve grown to love from Flat Waves to the new Food Shack, we’re in for a tastebud delight.
Now for the tasty surprises. If that’s what you are looking for, the East Main Road and Aquidneck Avenue corner has got you covered. There’s Dunkin’ giving islanders their much needed caffeine and Munchkin fixes, and there’s also the Neon Marketplace Express with made-to-order sandwiches and pizza slices ready for anyone looking to fill up.
But perhaps the gem of the corner is Gansett Wraps, which has found a home in the space where Boss Man Burger once was. If you’re seeking a quick lunch or easy dinner made with really fresh ingredients, look no further than Gansett Wraps. First opened under the name Pick Pockets, it officially changed the name in early 2021 to Gansett Wraps after merging with its other location in Narragansett.
It was a pretty seamless transition, and throughout it all, it continued to serve up fresh soups, salads and wraps to one and all.
Outside of the Narragansett and Middletown locations, the growing business also has shops in Westerly and Storrs, Connecticut, for UConn Husky fans while a fifth location is in the works for Groton, Connecticut. But if you visit the Middletown eatery, you might not even know it’s are part of a restaurant group. All you would know is it provides great food to a growing local fan base.
The restaurant is bright and clean inside and the green interior subliminally reminds you of the fresh greens in its food. It’s walk-up service so you place your order and watch them assemble everything behind the glass-covered cooking line, which is the focal point in the restaurant.
There are plenty of tables for dining in and a few television screens to keep you entertained if you choose to dine there. Online ordering is also available if you want to have quick in-and-out pickup.
There’s something for everyone here. The menu is full of Mediterranean influences from fresh-made fattoush and tabouli to gyros and falafel. There are also options like a steak and cheese subs and chicken caesar salad wraps that can hold their own alongside any sandwich shop offering.
It’s not a giant, intimidating menu, but it’s substantial with excellent variety. Once you establish the menu item that will be your new favorite meal on Earth (like the Gyro or its signature Gansett wrap — breaded eggplant topped with fresh mozzarella, lettuce, roasted red peppers, and house balsamic vinaigrette), you may find it hard to venture and try something else because you’ll want to stick to what you crave.
But trying their different menu items is worth it. The Works wrap consists of falafel, hummus, tabouleh, lettuce, tomato, and tahina dressing and is as tasty as it sounds and a vegetarian item, too. Give the Island Wrap a taste as well — buffalo chicken, french fries (in the wrap) and blue cheese.
It may not be your authentic Mediterranean meal, but it sure tastes good. And don’t forget to order their sweet potato fries. Twice fried for extra crispiness and served with a tasty sauce for dipping, these are a game changer.
The corner of Aquidneck Avenue and East Main Road is not typically a pleasant place to be, especially if you happen to be in a hurry. The traffic light often works against you, the sun seems to always be in your eyes, whatever way you’re going, and there’s usually some clown trying to take a left out of the Dunkin’ parking lot into traffic making everything all higgledy-piggledy. It’s enough to make you take the back roads.
But if you take a minute to look around, you can see that there are some merits to that particular area, especially if you’re hungry.
Dan Lederer is a Middletown resident with 30 years experience in the food service industry throughout New England. He continues to work locally behind the scenes within the industry and remains a devoted fan of all things restaurant and hospitality related. His column appears on newportri.com and Thursdays in The Daily News. Cheers!
This article originally appeared on Newport Daily News: Middletown RI has your taste buds covered with Gansett Wraps