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Fredo's Phillys - Pasadena

I stopped by this new place this afternoon (on my way up Lake to Altadena to check-out the new Bulgarini Gelato - thought I should consume something "healthy" before indulging in the gelato). It's a small store-front with tables inside and a few just outside the door on the sidewalk. Ordered a "Philly" (onions and cheese) to go - forgot to specify cheese choice, but I think I was given provolone. It was a massive sandwich - made it back to my car and continued up Lake about a block when the scent was just too much and I had to pull into a parking lot to "just taste" the sandwich. Steamingly hot meat, finely chopped, some onions (next time I'll order extras), and lots of meltingly gooey cheese all blended together - encased in a fresh, slightly chewy, firm roll. Pretty near perfect. Actually, it might have been perfect, had I not burned my tongue with my first bite. But I ignored the pain and devoured the half of the sandwich I'd decided was "mine" (the other half was destined for my co-hound). Really, really, really darn good.

I'm not a cheesesteak snob and have had many that I've liked, but I think that this is the best I've had. Everything melded together to become something much greater than the sum of its parts - I'll be back to try the other menu offerings very soon.

Oh - service was fast and very friendly - I think it was Dan who was manning the register and we chatted a bit - I 'fessed-up that I'd heard about the restaurant on CH (and thanks to whoever originally posted about it!) and had to stop by.

Fredo's Phillys
720 North Lake Avenue (east side of the street, just north of Orange Grove)

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  1. Thanks for trying it, Elsie! I posted about it, but since I have never had a cheesesteak (can you believe it??!!) I would have absolutely nothing to compare it to! I definitely have to try it. They were advertising that they use Amosoro rolls. Thank you!! Nice to see that they offer other things as well... wonder if their chili is any good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: WildSwede

      Oh, it was a hard task, WildSwede, but I did it for my fellow 'Hounds, as miserable as it was.

      Actually, the roof of my mouth is still tender today, else I'd go back and try another offering - though I don't know if it'd be another cheesesteak or if I'd try one of their other subs or see if they'd be willing to make an off-menu chili-cheeseburger. I seem to recall their in-house menu board saying that the cheesesteaks could also be made with chicken, so that'd work for folks who don't eat red meat.

      Thanks again for posting about this place - I could have driven by it for months before noticing it, I'm afraid.

    2. i read about it in the other thread and passed by yesterday on my way to big mama's. i can't wait to try it!

      1. Went there tonight after reading your posts. Had the cheesesteak with peppers and onions. Didn't specify cheese, though, because it wasnt on the wall menu (they have white, american, provolone). It was a fantastic, gooey delight, however. Meat to the edge of the 12 inch (not 8 as it says on the website) amoroso roll, not skimpy like South Street. Washed it down with a Hanks orange cream.

        Granted my experience with philly cheesesteaks is limited to LA places (South Street, Luigi Ortegas, Philadelphia Sandwiches), but this beats them all hands down. Would have taken a photo, but it was gone in 5 minutes!

        Had a nice chat with the owner afterwards. They've been open only one month, relying mostly on word of mouth. He mentioned that he would make the sandwich any way you want it (inside out, wid wiz,etc). I wish I had known from the outset, I would have gotten wiz. I am definitely going back to this place. It's great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ozzygee

          Couldn't resist and went there again for lunch. This time I had the provolone with the pepper and onions, and it was not as gooey-cheesy as the white cheese (american) that I had last night. You could really taste the steak and peppers, though. My friend got it with wiz and it was very messy, but he said it was the most delicious mess he's ever had. This place rocks.

        2. I actually went there tonight after reading an ad on PW and noticing how I live so close. I had the 12' Chicken Mushroom Sandwich for $7.39. It was soooooo good. These sandwiches are by far better then Luigi Ortegas. The only bad thing was that I honestly felt the Amosoro roll was too small. I've had from other places to compare it to and the rolls in this place are small. Well, small in width and not in length, but yet taste so good. My husband had the Pepper chicken steak sandwich and that was yummy as well. The owner was super nice when I mentioned I had read the ad in PW and even offered us free drinks or chips. We declined, no need for the extras. I was just happy to support a small new business. They do need to work in the ambience of the place though. However, the owner did say they are only 1 month old so that explains why the walls are so bare and there isn't that much color in the place. Next time I think I'll try their Super Philly Steak Sandwich

          1 Reply
          1. re: handycrafter77

            Split a cheesesteak with peppers and onions, with a side of zucchini for lunch today. Owner is very nice I agree, but the food was even better. The steak was not one bit grizzly, the broth and cheese amounts were perfect, and to me, most importantly, the peppers and onions were not just halfcooked like you get at a lot of places. I like the roll size personally for my taste, but most places use a heftier roll. We'd prefer the 8", but we're old folks. Highly recommend trying this place. We plan to check out something different next time too, pretty good variety on the menu and great value.

          2. I read your review and went today. Thanks for the tip! Same experience. Save the burnt roof of the mouth. Dan is the owner and he is a very nice guy. Very accomodating. He will make it in any style you want it. I told him I liked the way they make it at the Peppermill in West Chester, PA and which is kind of a sticky gooey way and he said it was called making it nasty. He said he could do that next time. He asked how I heard about the place and I said CH. He said he had others say the same and so he is going to check out the site. I had the mushroom and onion cheese steak and it was as good as any I had in Philly. He seasons the meat real well (which a lot of places don't) and I am betting heats the bread on the cooking spatula shredded meat. He heaps on the meat so it is a good sized sandwich. Didn't get a chance to try any of the other stuff. There is always tomorrow!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mpron

              I am so glad that everyone's enjoying these sandwiches. I'm still salivating thinking of the one that I inhaled - sadly, the roof of my mouth and tongue are still healing and so I've had to forego further exploration of the menu for now.

              (Sad confession: I actually pulled into their parking lot this afternoon and spent several minutes looking at the take-out menu, trying to find something that wouldn't be painful to consume - after much attempted justification, I gave-up and left to come home to some yogurt. *sigh* Body, heal thyself, and fast!)

            2. I went yesterday with a friend. He had the Pepper and I had the Philly. It was really good and the right size too. The owner was nice as well and he asked me how we heard about the place and I mentioned Chowhound. He said that he's had others say the same and that he's never been on Chowhound, but plans on checking it out.
              I definitely recommend it and I'll probably be back this coming week as my brother wants to try it.

              1. So I went all the way to Fredo's and didn't get their cheesesteak, I got their teriyaki bowl!

                Just kidding. I love the variety in their menu, but I can't figure out the pattern. There's just some random stuff on there and it cracks me up!

                I could not help myself and dragged the husband to Fredo's today for lunch. I actually overheard another Chowhounder ordering her food, I wanted to say hi but was enjoying my sandwich too much. I got the "Super" with american and hubby got the "super" with wiz. He LOVED his (and that's saying a lot since he's so "Whatever" about food). Mine was very good. I'm not complaining, BUT...I think I'm going to go with the provolone next time because mine was too cheesy-I couldn't really taste the massive amounts of meat. The fries were okay, they're the big guys, and I tend to like skinnier ones. The onion rings, were just frozen ones, but that didn't stop me from eating them. I know I didn't go there to be "wowed" by fries and onion rings, but I'd stick with the potato chips next time-better contrast in texture with the sandwich-if you're into that balance.

                One more thing, I love a place that has convenient parking. Although I went around 1:30ish-it was still nice.

                1. I went for lunch by myself today and since I have never had a philly cheesesteak, I decided to wait on the cheesesteak until I go with someone who knows what they are talking about. So, I ordered the 1/4 Lb All Beef Char Dog. It was a delicious! Served on one of their rolls with mustard, relish and thinly sliced red onions. It was really good. I would definitely order that again. What I would not order again are the chili cheese fries. Steak fries (I ordered mine well done, but only some were near well done, while the others were normal), chili (tasted familiar but can't put my finger on it) and that nacho-style cheese (is that the wiz?). It was pretty bad. Like the chili cheese fries you get at the neighborhood park while you are watching your brother play T-Ball. But, then again, the title does have the word "Phillys" in it!! ;-) Disclaimer: if anyplace that I go offers chili cheese fries, that is definitely what I order the first time around since this is my main downfall. Okay. I also got a Hank's Black Cherry Soda which was delicious.
                  The guy behind the counter (maybe the afore-mentioned Dan?) was telling a guy sitting at the table in front of me that he should try the Pastrami and that it "blows The Hat's out of the water". Maybe I will get that next time, since I like The Hat's P. He also mentioned that they were either staying open until midnight or thinking about staying open until midnight and then later on the weekends.
                  Of course, everyone in the place except for me (oh, and a pregnant girl who came in after me) ordered the philly sandwich... I will definitely go back and try their sandwiches...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: WildSwede

                    Last Friday it was raining and I was in Pasadena and decided to stop in and see njust how good the cheese steaks were. I got there about 11:00 after completing me work in Pasadena and started for the door and Dan(?) was standing in the doorway waiting for his crew and said that they were not open just yet as his crew had not yet arrived because of the rain. Darn, I was so looking forward to lunch. Went down the block and ate at the Hat. Oh well, next time in in Pasadena I will try again, maybe later in the morning.

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      I went again today, but this time I went with my brother. I had the Pepper and he had the bbq chicken, which was odd of him as I figured he'd try something else. But he really liked the bbq chicken and he's very hard to please. So it was all good.
                      As usual the owner was nice and remembered me from last time. He also mentioned he's been getting more people from chowhound and that he still needs to check this site out.

                      One thing I forgot to mention from the last time I went, was that he also told my friend that he plans on opening late on the weekends. He even said he might consider opening till 3am, which is really late. Maybe he wants to cash in on the club crowd?

                    2. Hello,

                      Based on all the reports here, my sister and I went to Fredo's for lunch yesterday. We shared a mushroom cheesesteak with wiz (no peppers), and some chips. It was fantastic! I think a previous poster said that the meat is well-seasoned - that it is, you definitely get the burn of lots of black pepper, but that is a good thing! Just the right amount.

                      As others have posted, the owner is very nice and friendly. I also chatted with him a bit and told him I heard about the place from chowhound, I think he's getting pretty impressed! He also reiterated how he's been open for about a month and business is pretty much word-of-mouth so far.

                      We'll definitely go back. Note: the place has a tiny storefront that is easy to miss, it is part of a little street mall and if you turn into the driveway in the center of this little mall, there is parking in the back. We drove by the first time and had to make a big circle to get back there. Anyway, we loved it and anyone in the area looking for a great cheesesteak should give this place a try!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Michelle

                        Just discovered this place today, looked it up online and found this thread... good to see others agree this place is a little gem! It's without a doubt the best Philly cheesesteaks I've had in the L.A. area, this from someone who visited a relative at U-Penn many many times over the years. We all should go as much as possible, to help keep the place open late! (I have my own selfish interest, since it's 5 blocks from my home) I'm not exactly clear on the hours at the moment.

                        1. re: vjmelzer

                          Selfishly too I live by Eaton Canyon, and I will pay the 12" price for the 8" sub SO THERE! (meaning that is saying something huh)

                      2. I REALLY love a great Philly Cheesesteak.... I love it so much that even though I really don't like the Philly made at South Street in Burbank, every time I am close and I see the words Cheesesteak, I stop and get one anyway... well luckily those days are over for me.... Just a hop skip and a jump from the SFV is Fredo's Philly in Pasadena ... It's funny when I attended school in Boston I had a Philly sandwich , the Boston version I suppose, 2-3 times a week. I thought for sure I had discovered a new favorite food that I should be able to get anywhere... I mean how hard could it be?? It's so simple: meat, cheese (ok a LOT of cheese), onions, peppers and a decent roll. Well apparently it is much harder than it sounds to get it right, as there are SO many mediocre and just plain awful Philly Cheesesteaks out there.....but Fredo's has got it down... absolutely so good... I should have ordered 2! I had the number 4, the Super; Mushrooms, onions and peppers with EXTRA American white cheese. I think the wiz would be great too..... I washed it down with an ice cold, gourmet, vanilla creme soda.....yummy! "Authentic" Philly style? I don't know... One of the best Cheesesteaks I have ever had? Definitely!
                        I love the way the meat, cheese, onions all come together to create a sauce and everything just melds together. SO GOOD! The roll has a very slight chew to it but mostly the bread just blends in with all the other ingredients and becomes part of the flavor. Fast, friendly service. The guy is so nice and very grateful to us chowhounds for the steady stream of customers all the positive write ups have been sending his way. If you are at all a fan of a great Cheesesteak and you haven't been to this place, go NOW!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: wizardx

                          "I should have ordered 2!"

                          Trust me, you'll be back.
                          I've been to this place like 6 times in the last month...
                          Damn you delicious cheesesteaks!

                          1. re: ozzygee

                            Hah... of course I'll be back! I am looking for any excuse to go back today..... I think gas was 2 cents cheaper out that way....

                        2. Just stopped by for lunch - had the mushroom cheesesteak - excellent! Been looking for a good philly place for a long time, finally found one. Indulged in a tastykake as well ...