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Chef Todd Ginsberg talks Fred’s Meat & Bread
Jonah Merrell to be chef de cuisine at Krog Street Market sandwich spot
Set to open in March in the Krog Street Market, Fred’s Meat & Bread will be the newest eatery by the General Muir team, chef Todd Ginsberg, Shelley Sweet, and Ben and Jennifer Johnson. Jonah Merrell, previously of Bacchanalia and Star Provisions, will be chef de cuisine. The 600-square-foot counter service restaurant will offer burgers, fries, and sandwiches, including po’ boys, cheesesteaks, and banh mi, with with meals averaging $10 or less.
“We really appreciate the program they put together at Krog,” says Ginsberg, formerly of Bocado. “It’s a lot of great locals who have been busting their hump for the past ten years.”
He shares his plans for Fred’s below.
Why did you decide it’s the right time to open another restaurant?
This is more about the opportunity than us actually looking for a new restaurant. We weren’t talking about a new concept or anything. Krog Street reached out to Ben. He brought it to our radar. I live in Grant Park. Shelley lived down the street. Inman Park is really fun. It’s a piece of history. The pool of talent is so huge that I’d be over there a lot anyway. It was super exciting.
I’ve been cooking sandwiches for seven or eight years now and I have two to three people who have been with me for four-and-a-half years and I feel very strongly about their sandwich-making abilities. I trust them. I’ll be there through the opening and then can be managing it from afar. The General Muir will stay the priority.
The space is the right size so we can streamline. We’ll have both new and classic sandwiches, consistently executed well.
What kind of sandwiches will be offered at Fred’s?
Burgers will definitely be over there. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bocado burger with some extra salt and pepper appear on that menu. I want to do a great Philly cheesecake. Other than Woody’s, I don’t think there’s a great one in Atlanta. There will not be any deli.
We’ll probably have six sandwiches, a salad, some different styles of fries, and maybe a soup. It’s very small, very compact. There’s no walk-in so everything will be made fresh every morning.
Will you serve dinner as well as lunch?
We’ll be open for both lunch and dinner. It’s not really a brunch kind of atmosphere. I expect 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to be the peak time of the week, but I wouldn’t really call it brunch.
The Insomniac sandwich [steamed pastrami, two fried eggs, buttered and pressed rye, Russian dressing and American cheese] at the General Muir might make its way over there on weekends. We’ll have a couple of vegetarian options. Jonah Merrell, the chef de cuisine, has a lot of experience cooking that type of stuff. The cauliflower banh mi I made at Bocado will be on there for a while, too. I want to do a great po’ boy—maybe catfish or oysters or shrimp, maybe it alternates based on the season. The kitchen will be built around the burger and po’ boys.
What type of fries will you offer?
We’ll have pomme frites and several types of sauces and toppings, no poutine. We were originally thinking of an ode to the carnival, based around French fries and funnel cakes.
What will the decor be like?
The word ‘warm’ definitely comes to mind. There will be ten to twelve bar stools, so we’ll have counter service with a real operating counter. No alcohol.
Where does the name come from?
Frederick William Krog, who Krog Street was named for. It’s a nod to the time and place where the area developed. We wanted to do a sandwich shop and keep it simple, and Fred rhymes with meat and bread.
Anything else we should know?
I’m really excited about using the people and businesses inside of the market. We’ll use the Spotted Trotter’s hot dogs when we have a hot dog on the menu; if we do a really traditional banh mi, maybe we’ll use Grand Champion’s pulled pork.
We’re right behind Gu’s Dumplings. We talked about drilling a hole in the wall and spying on them to see how they make their fried eggplant, to sell at the General Muir on Mondays.