On Small Business Saturday, I needed to get out of the house, and it was clear that there would have been mutiny if I tried to serve Turkey leftovers again, so we took a little drive to Freddy’s Lobster + Clams in Bethesda.
This was my third visit, and I enjoyed the establishment more and more each time! Freddy’s opened this summer with a limited menu and a distinct lobster shack charm. From the beginning, their beer selection has been shockingly good, and kept us coming back even though not all my friends wanted a Lobster Roll. This Fall, Freddy’s has really come into it’s own. They have slowly expanded the menu and are building a loyal clientele by paying attention to quality and value.
Saturday, we had the pleasure of dining in the bar with Bruno. He is upbeat and knowledgeable, but in a relaxed way. Bruno patiently answered all our questions, and was quick with another drink or story.
At Freddy’s, they make almost everything in-house. Exceptions include the top sliced hot-dog buns (imported from Maine with the lobsters), and the thin cut fries. Real care and attention are shown to the from-scratch items, and it shows!
During my previous visits, I had sampled the lobster rolls. They are served cold (lightly dressed with mayonnaise), or hot (tossed with butter), each on a grilled bun. The meat is sweet, succulent, and piled high!
While I DID order the cold roll (wrapped to go – for dinner), for lunch I wanted to try one of the new items. Because I couldn’t choose one item, the understanding Mr. Food Nerd offered to split the Fried Chicken and the Hamburger with me.
The Fried Chicken is incredible, but beware, because the chicken is cooked to order, the dish takes a little longer to prepare. Bruno proudly explained that the chicken is marinated in buttermilk, then – when ordered – dredged in seasoned corn flower, fried, and then finished off in the oven.
This is the fried chicken I remember coming out of my grandmother’s kitchen in Albany, New York. It is not perfectly uniform in color, the crust is thin, crunchy and intensely flavored, the meat oh-so-juicy and tender. We ordered the butternut squash puree and grilled asparagus side dishes almost as afterthoughts. You get two sides with the meal and we were already getting fries with the Burger… that, and veggies seemed like the best option to assuage a bit of Thanksgiving guilt. Happily, the sides added to the dish and were welcome accompaniments to the star of the plate!
The thin asparagus were green, tender and crisp, with the slightest hint of smoke from the grill. They TASTE like asparagus should – even at the end of November, which is rare. The silky butternut squash puree had a surprising citrus kick, and was a bright counterpoint to the rich chicken. I was tempted to steal the whole plate and leave my selfless companion to eat the burger by himself, but for you people I shared…
… and I was I glad I did! Freddy’s grinds their own beef, combining cuts of Sirloin and Short Rib to create the perfect mixture of texture and flavor. Our burger was topped with white cheddar cheese, and served alongside a heaping pile of crispy french fries. I would not go so far as to call them shoestring fries, but they ARE thin and very crispy – just like I like ‘em!
Other notable menu items include Grilled Portuguese Sausage, Steamed Lobster, Fried Clams, Fried Shrimp,
LOBSTER MASHED POTATOES LOBSTER MAC N’ CHEESE (As part of the menu upgrades this item was switched – thanks to Chef Litchfield for the correction!), Grilled Fish, Grilled Ribeye Steak and Chowder…
Freddy’s not only has great food, but they have an incredible selection of craft beer, both on draught and in bottles and cans. Don’t believe me? Check out the “Booze Book” and try a beer you’ve never heard of before! In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am prone to exaggeration… I wanted to tell you that there were HUNDREDS of choices, but I just counted the beers listed on Freddy’s website, and there are more than one hundred options (so I was super close!).
Visit Freddy’s, enjoy a craft beer (or two), and order something delicious. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday.Freddy’s Lobster + Clams 4867 Cordell Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 (240) 743-4257