Frey Smoked Meat Co.
(4141 Bienville St., 504-488-7427), a new barbecue restaurant from Rue 127 chef Ray Gruezke, is now open in Mid-City.
The restaurant is a Gruezke family affair, and it’s far from their first time behind the smoker: their Hogs for the Cause
team has competed for several years at the annual charity competition and the group drew inspiration from the cook-off for their new restaurant.
The family-friendly spot includes seating for roughly 120 people and features retractable windows, which open up to a large outdoor patio. The Gruezke brothers and their father handled the majority of the woodworking inside, building out a space outfitted in a combination of reclaimed farm wood, oak and cypress. It’s the newest addition to the Mid-City Market, the Carrollton Avenue corridor commercial development that also houses a Winn-Dixie, Five Guys and Felipe’s, among other businesses.
The restaurant’s namesake is Gruezke’s great-great-grandfather Andreas Frey (pronounced “fry”), a 19th-century butcher who peddled his smoked meats and sausages door-to-door and at the French Market.
“We’re a family business all the way,” said Gruezke’s brother, Andrew. “For years we had talked about teaming up and opening up a restaurant, and now we’re extremely happy to be a apart of the neighborhood and a part of the Mid-City revitalization,” he added.
Smoked meats are the focus, and the expansive menu includes a variety of barbecue platters featuring pork belly, chicken, pulled pork, brisket, sausage and beef ribs. Sides run the gamut from braised green beans, coleslaw, grilled cabbage, baked beans, grits and Texas toast, among others. The menu ventures beyond the regular barbecue joint spread, too, and includes a long list of burger “fatties” (the mac-n-burger is topped with jalapeno mac ’n’ cheese) a smoked oyster salad over romaine, pepper jelly-glazed pork belly poppers, and a fried chicken sandwich with Sriracha aioli, among others.
For drinks, there are eight beers on tap and a large selection of bottled beer and whiskeys. The restaurant’s house margarita, the Hogarita, features a smoked salt rim, and the proceeds go to Hogs for the Cause.
For those who prefer sweets to booze, there’s a list of milkshakes; the Coffee & Donuts is made with coffee-based ice cream and topped with glazed donuts, and the whimsical-named Saturday Morning Cartoons is a mix of vanilla ice cream, orange sherbet and Fruity Pebbles.
Frey Smoked Meat Co. is open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit the restaurant’s website, here.