Thursday, January 10, 2008


1703 S 1st St
Austin, TX
(512) 445-9197

Last night, Laura and I were feeling particularly energetic and decided to take a dance class. But it wasn’t just any dance class - it was an exotic dance class. It was at Laura’s gym, that really nice hip meat market gym on 6th and Lamar. We thought it was going to be some sort of sexy pole dancing kind of class, but it turned out to be a Britney Spears-esque hoochie dance class. It was a lot of fun, but all the hip gyrations were hard work! After we were done, we decided to head to a good greasy comfort food restaurant to counter-act our healthiness. We decided on Freddie’s on S. 1st because neither of us had been there before and well, they have a cool sign.

For a Tuesday night the place was pretty empty. But it had the unmistakable trash-funk décor that characterizes other “Austiny” restaurants. Wood booths, tin wainscoting, funky decorations and all. They even had 1970’s era framed pictures of families and kids (not sure who those people are). We immediately noticed their HUUGE outdoor patio, but since it is January and last night was a little chilly, we opted for an indoor seat. But, I will not that their patio is freakin huge and nicely shaded by large oat trees. It would be a very nice place to have a beer and relax on a warm April afternoon.

The menu was everything we could hope for in comfort food. It had burgers, fries, sandwiches – everything that is greasy and good. Laura was initially scared that, being a vegetarian, she wouldn’t have that many options. But, we soon discovered that Freddie’s is a vegetarians greasy spoon paradise. Not only do they offer veggie burgers, they also have grilled portabella cap burgers as well. What’s makes the burgers really awesome are the selection of toppings. You can choose from 3 different types of buns, 6 different cheeses, and anything from avocado to pineapple to bacon. It’s essentially a build your own burger. I went with a veggie burger with a spicy pepperjack cheese and a fat slice of pineapple. They also offered a veggie cheesesteak sandwich, which Laura opted for. At first we thought it was going to be a cheesesteak with onions, peppers, and mushrooms, but it turns out that they chop up a veggie burger patty instead of the usual shaved beef. Genius! Probably the one thing that impressed us (well Laura) the most on the menu was the Texas Style Portabella entrée. Chicken fried portabella caps in a veggie gravy. Laura, who is a huge fan of the deep fried comfort foods went nuts over it. When she wants to blow her diet and eat a bunch of nasty fried food she usually opts for potatoes, because “they’re meaty” as she puts it. Now, she has another “meaty” deep fried comfort option to try.

While we waited on our food, Laura and I discussed our lives. She thinks everyone in the world is mad at her (I told her I wasn’t!). I on the other hand got ditched by a date so he could “play video games with his brother.” He’s not getting a second chance. Loser. We also discussed the merits of deep fried food. We tried brainstorming to think of any food that didn’t taste good deep fried. We went through a whole list, from cheese, to fruits and veggies, to meets, to desserts, and even coke (honest to god, look up the Texas State Fair website if you don’t believe me). Laura thought maybe bread wouldn’t be good deep fried. I pointed out that I thought Melba toast was deep fried bread, but its not, its broiled, I’ll admit to my mistake. In the end we decided that everything tasted better deep friend and just to accept that particular fact of life.

At that point the food arrived and we dug into the deep fried goodness. Laura raved about her veggie cheesesteak. She basically licked the plate clean of the veggie filling (but left the bun). My burger was good, but not great. It was large and the bun was fresh and chewy. The pepperjack cheese was melted perfectly on top of the pineapple and the veggie patty. The veggie patty left a little to be desired. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the crisp veggie greatness I’ve had at other restaurants. It was, however, thick and “meaty” and tasted pleasantly of grains and carrots. The basket of fries that Laura and I shared were the perfect sized fry, a wonderful balance of mealy potato to crisp deep fried coating. The fries were slightly grayed and not a nice golden color indicating it had been a while since they changed their fry oil, though. But they tasted wonderfully and I wholeheartedly admit to cleaning out the whole basket.

The most spectacular part of the evening had to be the dessert. We tried getting the smores, but were told the restaurant did have “a fire” and they couldn’t be served. I wondering what that means. Do they usually serve them with sterno lamps (a la Cosi) or do they have a fire pit on the patio going on normal when the weather is nice? So since we were shot down from our smores request went with the moonpie sundae, just because we’d never had one before (a moonpie sundae, not a moonpie, everyone from the south has had one of those before). We weren’t expecting much, but what we got was delicious (and I’ll underline delicious). The moonpie was warmed to the point of being an ooey-gooey-chocolately-cakey marshmallow extravaganza. Topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, and a cherry it was incredible. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good southern dessert. Mm.. Transfats…

Bottom Line: Great veggie comfort options and you HAVE to try to moonpie sundae

Mariah: 7.5 (if you rate it on the merit of the moonpie sundae alone, it’s a 12)