In the courtyard behind his new restaurant Redbird, where beautifully composed dishes of such lovely things as Heritage Pork Chops with roasted apples and Little Gem salads are served, chef Neal Fraser is now selling slaw dogs and chili-cheese-slathered tots. For a couple of weeks, Fritzi at Vibiana operated as a pop-up, but the tent-covered kitchen is now here to stay—it officially opened last week, offering a casual new spot for Downtown’s lunching set.
“We had an opportunity to do a consistent pop-up at Vibiana, which we felt would be the perfect adjunct to Redbird,” says Fraser. “Great quality food, fast.”
Outfitted with a few umbrella-shaded tables, the new outdoor spot serves the same menu as the first Fritzi Dog stand at The Original Farmers’ Market, minus the corn dog-like Bacon Pups, which weren’t quite practical for the tented kitchen setting. Favorites, like the Garlic Dog, a blend of merguez-style beef and pork served on a pretzel bun and covered with garlic aioli and crispy onions, are available and presumably winning over a whole new set of taste buds.
There’s also something new. Launched with the Vibiana location (though it’s available at the original Fritzi outpost, too) is the Smokey Snappy, which Fraser describes as “our version of a smoked dog—like a red hot but without the coloring. Same snappy mouth feel.”
The Smokey Snappy can be ordered in the form of a specialty dog, like The Pittsburgh, topped with cheddar, sweet mustard, thick-cut bacon, and grilled onions. And, as with all the other varieties, which include Turkey & Duck, Jalapeno Chicken, and Spiced Pork among others, you can go your own way and build the whole thing yourself. There are three types of house-made buns to choose from and a long list of toppings, from sauerkraut to sriracha ketchup.
Vegetarians aren’t left out of the equation either. Instead of serving mock meat, though, Fraser offers the Carrot Dog, which consists of a carrot that’s been sous-vide for three and a half hours with loads of spices, giving it a firm texture somewhat like a hot dog. It sounds undeniable weird, but it’s actually pretty good, especially covered with crispy, salty brussel sprouts. Vegan buns can also be requested.
And don’t forget the tots. They’re some of the best around, staying nice and crispy on the outside–even when they’re covered in sauce and even when you take them home and eat them hours later. You’ll get them free right now when you order a dog and drink.
Fritzi at Vibiana, 214 S. Main Street