OGDEN — At first blush, the concept of a restaurant like Pie and Fry seems a bit, well, alien.
After all, burgers and fries? Those go together like a hand in glove. And pizza and pasta? That’s like shoes and socks.
But mixing and matching pizza and french fries? Frankly, it’s all just a little un-American.
Nevertheless, Pie and Fry somehow works.
The new restaurant, which opened April 17 at 2251 Grant Ave. (in the old Burger King restaurant behind The Junction), is pretty much as its name advertises. It offers all manner of personal pizzas, as well as heaping orders of french fries smothered in everything from Chili Verde to red or yellow curry sauce.
Pie and Fry owner Ryan Glenn concedes that his eatery won’t be mistaken for a health-food store.
“It’s carbs and carbs,” the Salt Lake City restaurateur says with a laugh. “But people like that.”
However, in Glenn’s defense, he does offer a couple of healthier, less-carbohydrate-oriented options as well. Pie and Fry has a variety of salads, as well as chicken wings.
Glenn, with a partner, owns a small restaurant chain called The Junction, with locations in Heber City, Park City and Midvale. But Glenn says he was looking for a new challenge, and opening Pie and Fry satisfies that urge.
“I went to Canada five or six years ago and just loved poutine,” he said of the Great White North delicacy of fries topped with cheese and covered in gravy. “So I came back and put poutine on the menu at The Junction, and that was the start.”
A later trip to England introduced Glenn to curry on french fries, which he also brought back to The Junction.
“I went to this hole-in-the-wall Thai place that offered red curry fries over there,” he recalls. “And the place was just packed. I wanted to recreate that here.”
These days, Glenn is backing away from his The Junction restaurants and putting all his energies into Pie and Fry.
“This is my new baby,” he said. “It’s just a better, simpler concept.”
The menu is quite simple. A personal pizza is $6, and offers roughly two dozen toppings to choose from — everything from the usual pepperoni and mozzarella to things like roasted jalapenos. Specialty pizzas can also include sauces like barbecue, chili verde and curry.
The french fries vary from $4 to $8, and can be smothered in brown gravy, country gravy, chili, chili verde, red curry or yellow curry.
Salads, which run $5 and $8, include everything from the traditional House salad with mozzarella, tomato, black olive and red onion; to the more exotic For Salad’s Sake with cheddar, jalapeno, onion and tomato.
A combo pizza, fries, salad and drink starts at $10.
Chicken wings are also available, although Glenn says supplies vary. Gluten-free options can be had.
Glenn says the menu is designed to be quick, and with it consisting mostly of carbs he can keep the prices down. And with items like pizza, fries and soft drinks, Glenn says it’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or when people get the munchies. Like “stoners,” he jokes.
“Those are the best customers,” he laughs. “We’re like a stoner’s dream. We have had a few come in since we opened, and you can tell they’re baked.”
Glenn says business has been growing steadily at the downtown Ogden restaurant since the April opening, and he’d have it no other way.
“I’m kind of a slow-growth guy,” he said. “I would rather ramp up slowly than be crazy busy from the start. I’ve done both, and I prefer the slower build-up.”