We were heading from Little Five Points toward Midtown, down Dekalb Avenue, when the need for lunch beckoned. Originally planning to look for Thai (for the fourth time this week*), as we turned onto Krog Street, I remembered having read about the market just opening. We parked a couple of blocks away and walked back, surveying our lunch choices once we entered.
There are currently three lunch places open, Grand Champion Barbecue, Yallah (a Middle Eastern / Israeli place) and Fred’s Meat & Bread. I knew that Fred’s was the brainchild of Todd Ginsberg (of the General Muir and “Bocado burger” fame) – as is Yallah – and Jo said that I could choose. As long as it was other than barbecue. We stepped into the lengthy Fred’s line and looked at the (very difficult to read) menu board.
On this day, they were serving six sandwiches and five kinds of fries, along with a wide selection of semi-obscure bottled sodas (plus diet coke). We ended up waiting a total of about thirty minutes to get to the counter to order and then another ten minutes (or less) for food.
As we stepped up to the counter, we asked the cashier if he was Fred (that’s what it said on the name plate on his work shirt) and he said that “we’re all Fred”. And then he proceeded to tell us that the restaurant was actually named after Frederick William Krog (of both the street and the market). Jo was going to order the bacon burger stack, so I worked a deal to try part of hers and went with the ribeye cheesesteak for myself. We also decided to split an order of pomme frites (served with an aioli that was mostly mayonnaise), paid, grabbed my Cheerwine and Jo’s Diet Coke and waited for my name to be called.
We took our tray to one of the communal tables in the front of the market, found a couple of seats together and began the unwrapping process. The cheesesteak was, absolutely, packed with meat and the bread was fresh and tasty. This may have been the best cheesesteak that I’ve had since we were in Philly and trying to decide between Geno’s and Pat’s.
The burger was an amped-up version of the Bocado burger – the patties are thicker and the burger (in total) is larger. And it has bacon! This was an excellent meaty, flavorful burger, served with mushrooms and B&B pickles. I can see this burger soon appearing on many lists as one of the best burgers in Atlanta.
On upcoming visits, we’ll have to try Yalla, and the yet to be opened Spice Road from Asha Gomez (formerly of Cardamom Hill). But it will be tough to NOT order the burger from Fred’s.
* Yep – for the fourth time this week. Technically the fifth for me and the fourth for my bride. Sometimes you just get into a Pad Thai / Drunken Noodle groove.