If you haven't been to Neal Fraser's (of Redbird) newest venture Fritzi, situated conveniently next to Arts District Brewing, then you're missing out. This casual spot is upgrading your average lunch fare, throwing in tender rotisserie chicken and kale salads to your more casual assortment of burgers and hot dogs to create a well-rounded and approachable menu. With such a varied menu, it's no surprise that the restaurant attracts a varied clientele of Downtown corporate types and Arts District creatives, all gathering for a quick bite or power lunch meeting.
The space is smaller than expected, with wood tables and industrial details that keeps the decor minimal, cool, but not unapproachable. Their coffee menu and assortment of pastries makes this a surprising spot for a coffee meeting (not to mention that there are plenty of outlets scattered around the space for easy laptop usage). And unsurprisingly, they serve plenty of wonderful beers as well.
It was a bit too early to indulge in the beer and cocktail list, so I opted for the honey & lavender iced latte, a new addition to their coffee selection. It was sweet and really tasty.
The rotisserie chicken is one of their signatures, and they do it very well. The chicken is golden brown with perfectly crispy skin on the outside, and tender and juicy in the middle. It's served with a side of really good brussels sprouts, and the "potato waffle," which is like a large, cheesy waffle fry.
Though Fritzi excels in the fried food category, their fresh salads are also great. The Chopped Summer Salad is a seasonal favorite, with a lovely combination of figs, corn, frisée, and kale. It's topped with their "naked fried chicken," which is a healthy (baked?) "fried" chicken. For those looking for a lighter lunch alternative, this is a great option: healthy AND satisfying.
The Fried Chicken Sandwich is one of their daily specials, but we would not be surprised if it ends up on the permanent menu. The bun is fluffy, yet lightly toasted, while the fried chicken is really nice and crispy. With a really rich, cheesy sauce, the whole dish is incredibly indulgent and delicious.
The Fritzi burger is just as good, with a little bacon topping for extra sumptuousness and served with crispy, salty fries.
Of course, we had to end our lunch with a classic post-burger dessert, like the Stout Beer Float and Cream Soda Float. They were both really fun and sweet.
Overall, the lunch was great; it was such a satisfying selection of both more healthy and more indulgent options, making this an ideal meet-up spot for Downtown dwellers. Between the atmosphere and menu, Fritzi is an incredibly approachable restaurant that would be easy to keep coming back to.