First look: Fresa's
First, Larry McGuire tackled barbecue (Lamberts), then seafood (Perla's), then Vietnamese (Elizabeth Street Café) and now, grab-and-go chicken at Fresa's Chicken Al Carbon. (In the middle of all that, his restaurant group bought a majority stake in Jeffrey's, which he will reopen later this year and will become his home kitchen. See item below about the transition.)
At the small building at 915 North Lamar Blvd. that houses the just-opened Fresa's, McGuire and partners Tom Moorman, Tracy Overath and Margaret Vera aim to show that fast food can fit the slow food ethos, too.
The whole and half chickens, as well as the chicken on the sandwiches and salads, come from cage-free, pastured birds from Peeler Farms outside San Antonio. The corn, which is rolled in mayonnaise and dusted with cotija cheese, chili and lime zest, is shucked by hand, and the salsa, tortillas and pints of ice cream (Mexican vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and chocolate chip and mint) are made from scratch.
It's a labor-intensive operation that utilizes the upstairs of the small building, which used to house Back-in-A-Flash photo store and then Emerald City Press coffee shop, so prices are higher than your run-of-the-mill chicken drive-thru, but the food, especially the chicken, tastes better than what you'd grab from under a heat lamp as you're checking out of the grocery store. The whole and half chickens ($24 and $14) come with rice, beans, grilled onions, jalapeños, salsa and tortillas, and you can also choose from a carefully crafted beer and wine list. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. 428-5077, fresaschicken.com