The Fritz

After seven years of calling the Ark Valley home, I have to say my favorite place to eat is The Fritz in Salida. The beauty of their menu is that, no matter what craving I have or how big or small my appetite, the dining experience and the quality of food always leave me satisfied. Plus, their ever-changing selections of world-class wine and artisan cocktails perfectly complement their menu selections.

Since opening on Sackett Avenue in 2010, The Fritz has enjoyed the kind of popularity that regularly packs this gastropub. Owners Grant Prill and Brett Ziehmke provide multicultural, fusion-style food in a tapas format. Large dishes like steak or a burger are also available to satisfy a hearty appetite, but what I enjoy about the small dish choices is that patrons are able to try a little of everything that might catch their eye on the menu.

Prill, who is also head chef, had me hooked on my first taste because of his daily specials and creative ingredient pairings and sauces. Every dish feels polished because of his thoughtfulness and creative flavor profiles. Each bite is packed full of just the right combination of citrus, spice, sweet notes or melt-in-your-mouth protein.

“A lot of the specials I make are just something that I feel like eating and think that other people would enjoy eating too. Like tonight we have an Asian gyro with braised chicken and Asian slaw. It’s just something that sounded good to me. Our seared ahi wonton with avocado, seaweed, cucumber, ponzu and spicy aioli is now a menu staple because everyone liked it so much as a special,” he commented.

I can vouch for the ahi wonton, a tapas dish that I order every time I dine at The Fritz. But I also enjoy many other Fritz dishes and would be disappointed if they were no longer on the menu, like the bacon mac and cheese or the out-of-this-world truffle fries with Parmesan and truffle aioli. However, anytime someone asks me for a recommendation, I always suggest the specials. Prill dedicates himself to discovering new recipes and ingredient combinations. So whatever the daily special may be, I always recommend ordering it while it’s available because, when it’s gone, you never know if or when it may be on the menu again.

“I have a trout dish right now that is very summery. It has asparagus and heirloom tomatoes and radishes, and people love this dish because it is so bright and vibrant. It was one that I wasn’t sure if it would go over, but I just wanted to offer trout for summer since we are right next to Gold Medal waters and it’s difficult to find trout on any menus around here,” he said.

“We are always trying to offer selections that satisfy all appetites, something you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.”