Food & Dining

A minute on the grill with: Chad Smith

by Bradley Hartsell


Chad Smith, owner, manager and cook, Rednexican in Newnan.

What inspired the barbecue/Mexican fusion menu?

Smith: Me and and some high school friends went on a scalloping trip in Florida, and we just came up with idea sitting around one day. We thought fusion would be a really cool, different thing to try.

Fusion is big out west in California. Out there it’s Korean barbecue. We just thought, why couldn’t we do southern barbecue with Mexican twist here?

What made you confident something like that would work in Newnan?

Well, [the South] is like five or six years behind California with everything. If we could bring that flavor here five or six years before it hit big, we’d be the innovators [laughs].

California is just big on new food. They’re ahead in everything, really. People everywhere else just stick to basic Mexican or basic barbecue. But everybody likes barbecue and everybody loves Mexican, so why not combine them?

What’s the key ingredient to your tacos?

The gouda is definitely one of them. Some people come here and ask for no gouda and I’m like, “That’s what makes it!” A lot of people haven’t had gouda, because it’s kind of a different cheese, but it’s really good.

Our cilantro ranch and some of the sauces are also really good. Overall, we just make everything fresh every morning. It’s different than anywhere else. You can really taste the meat and the sauces, it’s not just tasting filler like rice and beans at other places.

Any sibling rivalry between you and Redneck [Smith’s brother, Casey Smith, owns Redneck Gourmet]?

[Laughs] I don’t think there’s any rivalry. My family started that business 24 years ago, and it’s done really well — probably better than any place besides Sprayberry's.

We wanted to offer the same experience here but with a different food style. But hopefully you come in and you see it’s a family business. You see family working, like my son or wife.

I just hope I can be sitting here in 24 years and say the same thing.

How’s the response been so far [Rednexican opened last month]?

It’s been excellent. The response has been a blessing. We have a lot of people coming back more than once, and people have been commenting on seeing us in [The Newnan Times-Herald]. It’s really, really been good. More than I could have expected in the first couple of weeks.

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