Despite sharing a name with his chef-driven hot dog concept, Neal Fraser’s new Downtown Arts District restaurant Fritzi (open this Friday), is focused on wood-fired rotisserie cooking. While some items from Fritzi Dog do make an appearance on his new menu, including the sous vide (for three and a half hours) carrot dog and tots, the lunch and dinner spot also features chicken, slider-sized beef and turkey burgers, and salads.
“We have a rotisserie at Redbird, which we use a little bit,” says Fraser. “Steve Samson was going to use the space, and he ended up backing out. And I’m not a pizza guy, so I thought the perfect thing would be rotisserie chicken and rotisserie whatever-we-come-up-with along the way.”
The “whatever,” at least so far, consists of steak, which is served with hand-cut fries and in a salad with pickled heirloom tomatoes, as well as Santa Barbara white fish that comes with judion beans. Vegetables, including a purple and romanesco cauliflower medley spruced up with lemon, Calabrese peppers, and herbs, also get a spin on the spit.
Sides include french fries and those tots, plus the Potato Waffle, which is exactly what it sounds like. “My business partner John [Moshay] came up with this crazy waffle thing, and I thought it was just complete genius, using chicken and waffles. It’s a potato waffle, which to me is the ultimate complement to any food. It’s meat and potatoes,” says Fraser.
The open, modern space has an lightly industrial aesthetic (i.e. cement floors and geometric lighting cages softened up with neutral hues) that matches its refined fast-casual approach, meaning you order at the counter, but there’s table service from that point on, so you don’t have to stand in line for your second drink. And since it’s connected to to the new Arts District Brewing, there’s nice selection of craft beers, wine, and cocktails to choose from.
In reverse, if you’re hanging out at the brewery, you can order from a limited Fritzi menu of snacks to enjoy while showing that skee-ball machine who’s boss. Kitchen service ends a half hour before last call.
Fritzi, 814 Traction Ave. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., starting Friday.