Ford Fry’s latest restaurant, which will open on the Piedmont Heights/Morningside border, now has a name: Little Rey. Inspired by the Reynosa area of Mexico near the South Texas border where Fry’s father and grandfather used to hunt, Little Rey will serve chicken al carbon platters and tacos in a casual environment.
Scheduled to open in early 2019, it will be led by a thus-unnamed kitchen manager, with Fry and Kevin Maxey creating the recipes and Eduardo Porto Carreiro designing the beverage program.
“Historically, chicken al carbon spots are cinderblock buildings in a little town where there are spatchcocked chickens [cooking] out back, marinated and roasting over wood,” Fry says. “We’ll have a custom-built hearth grill [at Little Rey], and everything will be cooked over wood.”
The menu at Little Rey will include whole and half chickens served on butcher paper with roasted onion and jalapeno, and a family meal that features chicken, rice, beans, tortillas, salsas, chips, and maybe even margarita mixes. Boneless chicken options, such as tacos al carbon (similar to those served at Fry’s Mex-Tex spot Superica), will be available, along with guacamole and queso, and sides like grilled sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, steamed rice, and whole beans in a smoky, spicy tomato sauce. There will be a Mexican-inspired salad, and a grain bowl, too. All meals will include access to about five salsas made in house. (Try the emulsified salsa cremosa made with charred jalapeno.)
Replacing the Anchor Bar & Tattoo on the corner of Piedmont Road and Piedmont Circle, Little Rey will also serve breakfast tacos daily. “Growing up in Texas, you can get breakfast tacos anywhere, any day of the week. I haven’t found that in Atlanta,” Fry says. These tacos will be available individually, as well as in six- and 12-packs, in varieties like potato and egg, egg and chorizo, migas, and build-your-own (including chicken). Coffee and fruit will be available in the mornings, too.
All meals will be served via counter service with diners taking food to-go, eating outside or in one of the 90 seats in the neon-accented interior. There will be a satellite bar that also functions as a takeout window, where diners can order additional drinks (think margaritas and beer on tap) or soft-serve for dessert.