This year’s momentous Northside Rock n’ Roll Carnival marked the soft opening of Chef Gary Clark’s restaurant, Fresh. Fresh is located inside Northside’s neighborhood bar and music venue Chameleon; adjacent to the new Myron Johnson building currently under construction. Northside’s homegrown kid, Clark is a young culinary arts graduate and entrepreneur, and his kitchen specializes in home recipes with flavorful sauces; all made from scratch daily.
Designed to satisfy the neighborhood’s late night grubbers, the Fresh menu features a variety of specialty entrees and appetizers ($4-$8), including “Northsliders” ($6), zucchini hummus ($5), the Fried Green BLT ($8), and the 3CGC (three cheese grilled cheese), which is panini-pressed with your choice of three cheeses ($6). The most beloved of the appetizers are the fried green tomatoes ($6), which are lightly-breaded with panko, and served with remoulade. The trending burger option is the Big Sexy Burger ($8), which comes topped with hash browns, fried egg, bacon, shredded lettuce, and spread. All entrees are crowned with cheese and spreads, plus your choice of yukon or sweet potato chips all of which is prepared inhouse.
Fresh’s signature, homemade sauces and spreads give the restaurant its distinct personality. The palatable dipping sauces are mango habañero, honey jalapeño, hot garlic ranch, lemon pepper, and sweet BBQ, while the exclusive sandwich spreads include the highly-praised bacon jelly, tomato jam, onion jam, basil pesto, and dijonaise. The sauces are best partnered with the chicken wings ($6) or corn fritters ($6), while the spreads will accentuate any of the six current sandwich and burger options ($6-$8).
The menu and hours of operation continue to grow and evolve, as Clark promises an “ever-changing menu” that sustains his “made fresh in-house” approach. Specials aren’t on the laminated menu, but presented on the sidewalk “sandwich” board at the entrance of the restaurant, as well as on their Facebook page. Thus far, specials have included the “Pitza” pita pizza topped with vegetables ($5), white chili garnished with pickled jalapeños ($4), and most recently, the turkey club wrap with bacon, red onions, and shredded lettuce ($6). Clark hinted that vegan-friendly and gluten-free options are imminent.
Those who are ravenous will be drawn in by the smell of Chameleon’s homemade cider. Patrons order appetizers and entrees from the bar staff, then enjoy the beautiful view of Northside’s landmark Hoeffner Park. Fresh’s kitchen staff delivers your dish with an unwavering ambition to satisfy every customer personally. The interaction between the kitchen and the customer is quite significant. Chameleon’s happy hour cocktails, discounted drinks, craft beer selection ($4-$6), and soothing live music round out the dining experience.
Fresh is a desirable enhancement to Northside’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Chef Gary Clark offers affordable yet fulfilling entrees, and service that is re-freshing.
For More Info:
Dine In: 4114 Hamilton Avenue, inside Chameleon
Carryout Orders: (513) 541-2073
Hours of operation: Weekdays from 4pm to 10pm, and Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm.
By Nick Mitchell