A restaurant inspired by the flavors and techniques of Southeast Asian barbecue is coming to Mid-City. Chef and owners Marcus Jacobs and Caitlin Carney will open Marjie’s Grill
at 320 S. Broad St. by the end of the year.
The couple also is behind the pop-up Sparklehorse
. They describe the new restaurant as a casual spot that will serve dishes inspired by the roadside barbecue they discovered while traveling in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos last year. The couple met while working at Herbsaint, where Jacobs was the executive sous chef and Carney works as a server.
Jacobs has been using a mobile grill for the better part of two years for the Sparklehorse pop-up, serving dishes such as grilled ribs and chili and garlic-tinged Gulf shrimp to bar patrons at and outdoor parties. He named the grill Lucy and uses it to make Santa Maria-style barbecue, a method common in Santa Barbara and California’s Central Coast, where an iron grate is adjusted to different levels over open coals to control the cooking temperature of different cuts of meat.
Jacobs says Marjie's will offer a large selection of slow-grilled meats, including lamb, chicken, pork and beef, as well as selection of flash-grilled seafood and vegetables.
The menu will incorporate Southern and regional elements and local, seasonal ingredients. The final menu isn't finished, but dishes might include a number of grilled meats, tomato and spring onion salad and more. In a dish Jacobs says “falls somewhere between New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp and Malaysian curry," Gulf shrimp are wok-fried quickly in a fiery beer-based curry sauce and finished with butter and spices. Slow-grilled beets are smashed, charred on the grill, tossed with Steen’s vinegar and molasses and topped with sesame seeds. Charred mustard greens are drizzled with citrus and topped with shaved Gulf bottarga.
Jacobs says he expects to use a lot of fresh herbs, chili, garlic, fish sauce, lemon grass and local honey.
Jacobs expects to open the restaurant in late November or December. It will serve lunch and dinner and complementary wines and beers.
The space, formerly occupied by the Latin restaurant Lupita’s, has been vacant since 2014. The dining room will seat 40 and there will be space on the patio for 30 people.
When Jacobs and Carney first saw the spot, they knew it was just what they were looking for.
“We want it to feel like a neighborhood restaurant, or like you’re your coming into our backyard,” Jacobs says.