Thursday, April 2, 2009


476 Amsterdam Avenue @ 83rd Street

My appreciation for gift certificates is well documented (Tacqueria, Joshua Tree), so when I was looking for a place to grab dinner before seeing a movie, my searching through led me to Fred’s restaurant, a spot on the Upper West Side serving classic comfort foods like roast chicken, meatloaf and mac & cheese with some seafood and pasta dishes to round out the menu. Named after a black Labrador retriever, Fred’s keeps the dog theme going throughout the restaurant with nearly every square inch of wall space dedicated to photos of dogs that patrons submit. After doing some due diligence online, I found that their recommended dishes were their meatloaf and the mac & cheese, and with the gift certificate in hand, I opted for the meatloaf, while my girlfriend ordered the red snapper off of the daily specials menu.

While the meatloaf ($16.95) topped with a thick mushroom gravy was plenty filling, it tasted like there was a lot of filler in the meat, almost processed. I want my meatloaf to be falling apart. I want to know that this is baked meat in loaf form. Not something I would order again. The red snapper ($19.95), on the other hand, was well seasoned and cooked appropriately. Nothing special, and definitely something that one could make themselves, but it wasn’t bad either.


For $10 a person, it’s tough to complain, and after hearing good things about their mac & cheese, I would be tempted to give Fred’s another chance, especially when their outdoor tables are open, but I don’t think I can justify coming here without a gift certificate.

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