Ford Fry, the chef and restaurateur behind No. 246, Superica, and the Optimist, is getting ready to open his 12th restaurant in the Atlanta area—his most casual venture yet. Located in Piedmont Heights in the old Anchor Bar & Tattoo space, Little Rey will offer tacos (including breakfast tacos), salads, and chicken al carbon, ordered at the counter or picked up at a take-out window. With a menu created in collaboration with Ford Fry Restaurants vice president and chef Kevin Maxey, Little Rey will open on May 27.
“We wanted to be able to go into this in super-casual mode,” Fry says. “That building, size-wise, is perfect for the breakfast taco/chicken al carbon idea.”
From the food to the decor to the tunes, Little Rey will have an all-around casual vibe, inspired by Austin, Texas. Designed by Smith Hanes (who also worked on the El Felix at the Battery and Superica’s Charlotte outpost), the 3,500-square-foot spot is rustic and funky with neon lights, Mexican festival masks, folk art, and animal paintings. The decor is accented with smoked wood and pops of pink, blue, and sage. There’s a wraparound porch and about 90 seats overall. A custom-made, wood-burning grill—for roasting vegetables and chicken—is visible from the restaurant.
The menu (shown below) takes a healthier spin on Superica’s menu. For breakfast, there are breakfast tacos filled with migas, beans, and cheese; an avocado tostada, huevos rancheros, and pancakes (a smaller version of Superica’s famed stack). Six and 12-packs of breakfast tacos will be available to-go.
For lunch and dinner, there’s chicken and skirt steak tacos on house-made corn tortillas, among other items. Fry describes the tacos as “a little larger than street tacos and packed with meat.” He says those tacos and the chicken al carbon are similar to the recipes featured in his new cookbook, Tex-Mex: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods From Both Sides of the Border, but most other menu items are unique to Little Rey.
He thinks the whole, bone-in chicken meals—served with rice, beans, chips, salsa, and tortillas—will be especially beneficial to families to in the area. Soft-serve ice cream in flavors such as tres leches and salty cajeta and fried peanuts will be available, too.
Beverage director Eduardo Porto and beverage manager Jen Chan have curated a simple menu of margaritas (frozen and on the rocks), a few wines by the glass, and local and regional craft ales, as well as some agua frescas. They can be ordered at the counter with refills at the satellite bar inside.
Can’t wait for Memorial Day to dig in? Little Rey is hosting a breakfast pop-up on Saturday, May 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Your first taco is free, and East Pole coffee and alcoholic beverages will be available.
View the full menu below. (Tap to enlarge.)