Chef Nick Gile has launched Fry and Pie, a french fry and pan pie pop-up that will be open Wednesdays at the Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude Ave., 504-945-4446; www.hiholounge.net). Gile says the concept was inspired by the french fry stands he encountered while traveling in Europe.
"French fries are so popular, and it amazed me that they've never really been the focal point here," says Gile, executive chef at Richard Fiske's Martini Bar and Restaurant. He is operating the pop-up as a separate project with partner Chance Price.
The menu features six loaded fry dishes and two 4-inch dessert pan pies, including the decadent-sounding Burnt Out Elvis: a bruleed banana and peanut butter cream pie with a graham cracker crust.
The fries come topped with a rotating host of ingredients and appear designed to serve as fodder for soaking up excess amounts of alcohol. The Hangover Special is topped with bacon, three types of cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg.
"Our concept is anything you can put on a sandwich, but without the bread," Gile says.
A version that mimics a Reuben includes pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, caraway seeds and Thousand Island dressing; the Midnight Cowboy is topped with barbecued beef brisket, grilled corn salsa and aged cheddar cheese.
Condiments are made in house and can be ordered separately. They include horseradish sour cream, spicy chipotle ketchup, fresh herb aioli and an IPA beer mustard.
The menu at Fry and Pie likely will change weekly, Gile says. It will serve food at Hi-Ho from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays.
The Fry and Pie team will be at the St. Claude Avenue music spot for six to eight weeks, longer if the venture is successful, says Gile, who was the executive chef at The Bombay Club for more than a decade.
"We want a spot with a lot of walk-in traffic," he says. "You'll never see us doing delivery, though. That wouldn't work: fries don't travel well."
For more information, visit the pop-up's website at www.fryandpie.com.