Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
J and I were sitting on the couch after dinner on Saturday night and I mentioned I was in the mood for ice cream. I didn’t want to leave the house though and that was a much bigger urge than wanting ice cream, so being lazy won out. The next morning, after my mention of ice cream, J was in the mood for Culver’s. I still didn’t want to leave the house, so she offered to go. I forgot to ask for custard so I still didn’t have what I had been craving.
Fast forward to Sunday night. I was out on the northwest side of Grand Rapids near Alpine Avenue. I had time for dinner and I still wanted that ice cream. I knew there was a new chain that had opened not too long ago somewhere on that side of town, so I took to the Googles to start trying to figure out where it was.
Eventually, I remembered the name Freddy’s and found Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers on Plainefield Avenue in front of the Meier in Plainfield Township.
Freddy’s is a national chain of fast casual restaurants with somewhere over 220 locations nationwide. They got their start in 2002 in Wichita, Kansas when two brothers and their business partner opened a restaurant “reminiscent of a simpler time” and named it after the brothers dad, Freddy Simon.
The Grand Rapids location opened in February of this year and marked the entry of the chain in to Michigan. As of November, they’re still the only location with a second one in the works on Lake Michigan Drive near Rosedale Memorial Park Cemetery.
The restaurant is similar to most fast casual restaurants. The red and white stripes in the design and the red plastic covered chairs give it kind of a throwback feel to the classic diner days.
The kitchen is an open concept so you can see into it. Ordering is done at a counter near the door. The menu is displayed on LED monitors high above the cash registers.
Steakburgers and custard the key items at Freddy’s, but they also have something on their that I wasn’t expecting. Vienna beef hot dogs. When you eat hot dogs in Chicago, you are likely eating Vienna beef. It’s not unusual to find these dogs outside of Chicago, but it is unusual to see them on the menu at a chain restaurant. They even serve up what looks like a decent Chicago dog (minus the bun which is way, way off).
Another interesting menu item is the Double Steakburger California Style. This seems to be a copycat of In-N-Out Burger. The sauce on this burger is called Freddy’s Sauce which appears to be a spiced version of Fry Sauce…oh, btw, you can actually get fry sauce for your fries at Freddy’s, which again, is very unusual in this part of the country.
I did a fairly safe order and got the Bacon & Cheese Double Steakburger Meal. It comes with Freddy’s Shoestring Fries and a drink. Since I was still craving ice cream, I ordered a mini Oreo Concrete. The whole meal set me back about $12.
The cashier asked for my name then handed me a cup to fill up myself. They have Coke products, so I didn’t ask to make it any larger than what the normal meal is.
The custard and the food come out at two different spots. The custard is handed off near the cashier while the food actually comes directly from the kitchen. There is a little counter right next to the deep fryers so the fries come right out of the oil before being bagged up and handed to you.
The Concrete came out first and its just like all the other places that do Concretes. The mini size is pretty small, but I didn’t want a whole lot so it was perfect. Good mix of Oreos and custard and a delicious snack while I was waiting for my food to be cooked.
When I was about halfway done with the concrete, my name was called and I grabbed the bag off the counter and headed to my car. I needed to get back to work and a burger and fries is something I can eat on the way.
I started with Freddy’s Shoestring Fries first. I mentioned in the very first line that Freddy’s is a pretty good mix between Culver’s and Steak ‘n Shake. Obviously the custard is very Culver’s like. The rest of the food is very Steak ‘n Shake like including these fries which even come in the same round container that fits nicely in your cup holder just as Steak ‘n Shakes does.
The fries are actually my least favorite thing from Steak ‘n Shake and these fries area very, very similar. They’re very thin and very hard to grab a handful of without half of them going all sorts of sideways. You either have to eat them one at a time or contort your mouth in to unnatural openings to get multiple in at once. The taste of the fries is really good. Nice crispy, salty fries, but eating them is, I guess, something I have yet to master.
I saved the Bacon and Cheese Double Steakburger until I got back to the office. The sandwich is served on a toasted bun and comes with American cheese and bacon plus choice of condiments. I let mine with just the meat and cheese option. The burger was very tasty with bits of crispy bits along the edges. It’s a burger that’s pounded fairly thin so it’s not much to look at, but There’s a lot of flavor in the meat itself and the crispy bacon and toasted bun give you just a little bit of a crispy edge to bite through.
I really enjoyed Freddy’s Custard & Steakburgers. It’s very similar to a couple of other chains, but they have a unique atmosphere (similar to Steak ‘n Shake, but with counter service instead of full service) and a delicious array of choices. It’s always nice to have choices when it comes to the chain restaurants because sometimes, it’s just easier to grab something on the go. Freddy’s offers a new choice in West Michigan when you need something on the go….and a place where you can get delicious custard treats along some tasty steakburgers….instead of making two separate stops.