America. Land of a thousand cheeseburgers.
I moved to the States just over three years ago, having started a life with a man who, though I adore to the ends of the earth, isn’t the most inspiring chef. He makes a mean fried egg, and if you need something grilling, he’s your man! But one thing we have enjoyed doing together is finding new places to eat, and eat well, as well as expanding our culinary horizons. We’ve enjoyed tempura mashed potato in a diner in Chicago, smoked grapes in Cincinnati, even eel pie and mash in South London with lashings of mushy peas to wash it all down. Sure, we’ve been known to settle for a McDonald’s at the tail end of an 8 hour drive back from Atlanta, but what really excites us is good food, made by good people. To quote Bradley Cooper in Burnt, a visual smorgasbord of sexy fine dining shots and ahem, a few sneaky moments filmed at my old venue in London, “a chef should strive to be consistent at experience, but not in taste“. Having lived in the land of burgers and fries long enough, I know that too many fast food restaurants are stagnant and too consistent. Big Macs are cookie cutter. They look and taste the same whether you’re in Raleigh or Rome. And that, quite frankly, isn’t good.
So imagine my surprise when I found out that Freddy’s, a humble burger joint down the road from me, not only embraces consistency, but delivers on their promise of great food with a very liberal helping of nostalgia.
There are all the staples of a 1950’s diner. The red leather booths. The black and white checkerboard tiles. Vintage photos of dashing young men and beautifully coiffured women. Even neon signs spelling out the restaurant chains namesake. It is, at least for this foreigner, the quintessential Americana experience.
The menu features all your usual fast-casual fares- burgers, triple stacked burgers, fries, but what sets Freddy’s apart is that the menu goes beyond what every other restaurant offers. There is an extensive hot dog menu, chili cheese fries, patty melts…and all can be customised! I broke my semi-vegetarian diet to get the full Freddy’s experience: a Freddy’s Original Double with fries, and a shake on hold (they’ll hold off making your shake or sundae so you can pick it up as you leave- GENIUS!)
Where to start? Made to order beef patties somehow bridging a gap between moist and crispy. Pickles sliced length ways for added bite. Shoestring fries so moreish that I nearly ordered some to-go because I honestly believed I hadn’t had enough! But what I was really there for was the custard! Made fresh and on site every two hours, whether you’re stepping in or driving thru, you are guaranteed fresh product no matter what time of day you’re dining. Freddy’s custard is known for its thickness and richness, and it’s thanks to some exclusive use equipment that your shakes or sundaes don’t water down- all the ice is pressed out, creating thick, luscious, creamy goodness!
Their custard menu, as with their sandwich and dog menu, is extensive and adaptable, as I found out when I was invited to go behind the scenes and make my own sundae. With toppings ranging from fresh pineapple chunks to mini M&Ms, it has everything a sweet toothed diner could dream of! I toyed with the idea of going for “The Works” but I knew that I would wake up diabetic or have a sugar high that I’d never come down from. Instead, I picked out my faves- caramel sauce, smashed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups AND mini Reese’s Pieces, finished with a generous squirt of whipped cream, a few jelly worms and, of course, a cherry on top. It was a work of art.
What impressed me the most about Freddy’s was something I learned away from the custard machines and fryers. As my evening wrapped up, I got to sit down with their Community Coordinator to find out what makes Freddy’s such a vital part of communities all across the USA.
A local volunteer fire department, in dire need of new equipment and uniforms, approached the company to help raise funds. They had a target that needed to be met, and it was quite high. Knowing how ingrained in the community these volunteers were- they’re the football coaches, the veterans, the soccer moms we all know- and how vital their services are, especially in the more remote and rural parts of the country, it was decided that Firefighter Friday would be a thing. They’d bring the firetrucks and Freddy’s would bring the food. The collaboration well and truly cemented that particular Freddy’s location into the hearts and minds of the community, and their events raised a sizable chunk of the fire departments target. Similar events have cropped up in communities all across the States, from hurricane relief drives to recognizing the sterling efforts of military personnel and their families, especially those serving overseas. In 2017, Freddy’s raised in excess of $100,000 for local non-profits in Wichita that focused on providing much needed, and often underfunded, veteran services.
It is this philosophy, along with those moreish fries, that proves to me that Freddy’s is all about good food, made by good people.
This has been a review of the Amelia, OH Freddy’s
3792 Waterford Pkwy
Amelia, OH 45102
(513) 752 2736
I’d like to extend my thanks to Heather and the Cincinnati Bloggers Network for the opportunity to dine out at Freddy’s in Amelia.
This has been a sponsored post.
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All images used in this post are mine, unless stated otherwise.