A storefront where people used to drop by to hit the speed bag is now a place to get a sandwich or go a few rounds at the bar with small plates and drinks.
Wayfare (4510 Freret St., 504-309-0069) is a new addition to Freret Street's restaurant row. It's in the building that housed the Freret Street Boxing Gym, which relocated to Central City.
The father-and-son team of Ray and Vincent Arnona opened this combination casual restaurant/deli, citing Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.-com) as their inspiration, and they work a lot of Italian flavors into the menu. Both the bar and the spacious dining room are finished with recycled lumber and found objects.
The menu includes sandwiches, salads, small plates and a small selection of jarred pickles and sauces to go. There's a Reuben, a BLT made with fried green tomato and a rendition of a Cuban sandwich. The porchetta sandwich is made with fatty pork belly and salsa verde on a toasted hoagie roll, and there's an Italian sausage sandwich with fried egg on ciabatta. Sweet potato hot sauce spikes a number of these items. Vietnamese fish sauce goes into shrimp salad with pickled vegetables, and the Wayfare salad combines house-made mozzarella, blood orange and tomato.
Look for arancini (rice fritters), bruschetta, duck sliders and meat and cheese boards under "bar fare" and sides like oyster dressing, faro with quinoa and greens and peperonata, a Sicilian salad of peppers, onions and garlic. Wayfare serves lunch and dinner daily.