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Freda's Seafood Grille

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Finally, I found a place that makes a delicious crabcake.

A delicious crabcake for me means:

- Not a ton of breading (most common problem)

- Not a ton of salt
I love salt. I crave salt. I carry salt packets in my purse just-in-case... However, for some reason, places make crabcakes with a ton of salt.

- You can taste that one of the ingredients is crab.

Beyond that, I'm flexible.

Other crabcakes I've tried here were at:

- Quality Seafood.
One of the worst crabcakes I've ever had. Way over-breaded. Quality Seafood has received rave reviews here, but I do not recommend their crabcakes.

- Central Market
Good!

- Vin Bistro
Better than CM, but that might have been the wine effect ;-).

I wasn't very hungry that dad so I only ordered the crab cake appetizer. Freda's crabcake had a tasty crunchy exterior breading, and a perfectly seasoned crab mixture inside, The Oysters Rockefeller another person had looked really good, as did the fried catfish, and each were received with positive reviews. The breading on the catfish looked like panko, and they looked perfectly fried.

ScrumptiousChef, I hereby claim credit for checking out a place that hasn't been reviewed here yet!

Ms. Rene, have you tried this place yet?

--------

From their webpage:

Freda's Seafood Grille
A Collaboration in Food & Art
Serving American - Cajun Cuisine

10903 Pecan Park Blvd
Austin, TX 78750
512-506-8700

Reservations are welcome

FredasSeafoodGrille@Gmail.com

Hours:
S U N D A Y B R U N C H
Every Sunday 10:00am till 2:00pm

Sunday to Thursday 3:00pm till 10:00pm
Friday, Saturday 3:00pm till 11:00pm

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  1. the only time i've been to freda's was for sunday brunch buffet one time. i was attracted by the seafood that was advertised on the buffet, but overall it was pretty blah stuff. i was a little pissy b/c they didn't replenish the oysters on the half shell and crab legs quickly enough. i don't remember much about the rest of the food, other than it was unremarkable. also, all the hot items were in these silver domed things with a retractable front cover thing (hard to describe, you slide the front cover up into itself!) - the inside of each dome thing was so dark, you couldn't see what you were getting at all. so that definitely killed their presentation. and last, they seated us under a horse ass (bronze statue, yes, but we were looking up at a horse's butthole the whole time- YUM!)

    1. Well, yes, I've been to Freda's several times. We were excited for something local and a little upscale out here and dined there twice when they first opened which was an unfortunate mistake. They had a different chef then who came out and spoke with the patrons and was quite charming. However, after the first meal our companions said that they would NEVER go back. We, on the other hand, assumed it was just issues with a new kitchen. We went back a month later and again were very disappointed. Our problem was with overcooked steaks and burnt roux type flavor in the crab toppings... also, uninspired side items.

      Due to construction in that area, the place was almost deserted for a long time and with our previous experience we were not inspired to give it another shot.

      Since then, I've been with friends for a convenient lunch location and found everything to be alright. I particularly enjoyed a pecan crusted tilapia and very tastey gumbo.

      I've yet to feel the urge to go for dinner again, though, I've enjoyed the Happy Hour on several occassions. Again, flavorful gumbo - oysters rockefeller and fried pickles are quite delightful. I tried the crab cakes once and recall not wanting to share, but of course, I did. I'll give them another try and pay a little more attention soon.

      Freda is a delightful hostess with a quick sense of humor and works the bar sometimes. All of these things should have inspired a return visit for dinner but somehow have not.

      Rene'

      1. So I attended two Happy Hours this evening. One for business at Sam's Boat (EEESH-worse than I remember and I didn't touch the food) and the other for pleasure at Freda's.

        We ordered the scallops wrapped in bacon and the seafood quesadillas. The combination of flavors with the scallop dish was great; bacon, capers, light cream sauce and the scallops with herbs and spices... however the scallops were overcooked. My friend thought they were great, though. I found them to be good and acceptable.

        I didn't bother with the quesadillas as I planned to order the crab cakes to go, which I did.

        Sweet100s is right on! These crab cakes are CRAB - very little filler. Well seasoned and nicely crunchy fried. They were served with the same capers and sauce as the scallops. However, I made a remoulade this past weekend and used it instead. It really worked!

        So, for $5.50, you can have two big, fat tasty crab cakes during Happy Hour.

        Life is good!

        1. Rene, glad you liked Freda's Crabcakes!

          It was definitely the best seafood I've had since the fried crawfish at Louisiana Longhorn Cafe in downtown Round Rock. LLC's crawfish was excellent , with a delicious breading, and perfectly fried, but their friench fries were disappointing (barely warm), so I never wrote it up here.

          Nirvrush, thanks for your reply; I won't rush to their buffet. Though it's been eons since I've been to a seafood buffet.

          MPH, your reply was poofed! However, recalling its contents, and given your bionic taste buds, I'm not 100% confident these crab cakes would pass your muster, even though I really enjoyed them.

          In fact, the only thing in Austin I've eaten that I would confidently recommend to you was the no-longer-available Tuscany Market's Margherita pizza (it still makes me so SAD that they closed).

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweet100s

            Hmmm, I hadn't even noticed that my response was poofed. Sometimes the mods try to weed out posts that don't contain practical chow-tips. But thanks for the warning about Freda's. I'll put it on my "if I'm in the area" list.

            Now for the practical tip: III Forks does decent crabcakes and shrimp cocktails, but I didn't like their steaks, sides, or desserts (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/336638 ). If you ever wanted to check out a different type of crabcake, you might stop in for appetizers some evening.

            Best,
            MPH

            1. re: sweet100s

              sweet100s, you should try the fried crawfish at Cherry Creek Catfish Company...they blow away the ones at LLC. In fact, the last time I visited LLC I was shockingly underwhelmed by not only my entree but those of my 4 dinner companions.

            2. Yummy brunch! Took a girlfriend and her toddler. My advice is get there early, we arrived at 10:15 and all the food was delightfully fresh, and the place was empty. I agree, I do not care for the buffet server dishes with the steamy insides and heavy lids. I did enjoy the coconut shrimp, crab legs (not terribly big snow crabs but still), the u-peel shrimp, the bourbon pasta and shrimp... the prime rib was good... my friend enjoyed her omelette though when we went (two weeks ago) the omelette chef seemed a little new/hesitant. We were not offered our complimentary mimosa but didn't intend to have it either. Tea selection was lovely. For $20 it's a nice deal especially being up north.

              8 Replies
              1. re: salsera

                Went to Freda's last night for the first time, and I will NOT go back.

                Bottled dressing, overcooked bacon on the wedge salad (who serves a wedge salad w/ two strips of bacon just laying on top?) and the crabcakes? Loaded with everything BUT crab. Yuck. I'd rather go get seafood at Red Slobster.

                1. re: LaurenLoves

                  My, how things change... Sorry to hear of your experience!

                  1. re: LaurenLoves

                    I took my girlfriend to dinner at Freda's the other night . . . thought I'd give a quick review.

                    We shared the calamari as an appetizer. The calamari itself was great--very tender and not too much of a batter. But the two sauces that came with it were a little weird. The "carmelized garlic mayonnaise" tasted like mayo with parmesan and the "fire roasted red pepper rouille," while tasty, just didn't go with the calamari. It would be better on chicken or as a spread rather than a dipping sauce.

                    Entrees:
                    I had the Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout with lemon caper Beurre Blanc and a side of Cajun dirty rice. The fish was good. It wasn't over- or undercooked and the pecans were chopped fine enough to stick as a nice breading. The two short filets were left on the skin, but came up easily with a fork. The sauce, however, would have been great, but was underneath the skin on the plate, making it a little difficult to reach. Also, because it was under the fish, it had already begun to separate by the time it got to me. The Cajun dirty rice was a joke, and I don't think I'm biased just because I'm from Louisiana. It tasted like really bad "Mexican" rice, very orange, with some dubious bits of andouille and frozen, unseasoned crawfish tails. It was like a cross between Mexican rice and badly cooked jambalaya, with none of the flavor. Really, if you're going to put crawfish in anything, don't use frozen. If you have to use frozen, find a way to season it properly. The sausage was completely dried out and the crawfish was very soft and mushy. Gross.

                    My girlfriend got the Sea Bass with the lemon caper buerre blanc and a side of saffron rice. Her fish was amazing--very firm and lightly marinated. I will give Freda's credit for cooking their fish so that it shines and isn't overpowered. Her rice was so-so, nothing exciting. There were some crunchy bits in the rice that had either been burned or undercooked, and at one point she thought she cracked a tooth.

                    We also split an order of grilled asparagus. It wasn't bad, and I'm always a fan of this vegetable. The tips were good, but the bottoms were far too thick and stringy. They should have been trimmed higher. There was a sauce dotted over it that we couldn't quite identify. I thought it was steak sauce and she thought it was a weird kind of hoisin. Whatever it was, it was VERY salty and a huge overkill. A stewed tomato was served on the side, and I was very surprised when I took a bit and found that it was completely cold and very Italian-flavored. It didn't go with the asparagus at all and the temperature different was an unpleasant shock.

                    Our waiter was great and very attentive until the end, when he started to annoy me. He asked me 6 times if I wanted to try the bread pudding, even though I said "No" very emphatically the first time. Finally I got a little snarky and said "Look, the only bread pudding I like is from New Orleans. I don't like white chocolate bread pudding. Please bring the check."

                    I doubt I'll go back to this restaurant, even though I was happy with the fish (and that's all). It might be a decent place to hit up for happy hour, but there is no way I'm paying that much for oysters on the half shell. I'll drive back to Louisiana if I need them that badly.

                    1. re: MyySharona

                      Do you think Freda's Calamari is better than Carabbas (my fave for Calamari - consistently tender and delicious) ? I haven't been there since I posted, and your sea bass description is tempting me to go back.

                      1. re: sweet100s

                        I haven't tried the calamari at Carabbas, but now I want to try it. Yes, the sea bass at Freda's was amazing . . . just avoid the rice. Maybe the baked potato would be good?
                        Oh, and please let us know if you try the lobster bisque at Freda's. I was very curious.

                        1. re: MyySharona

                          the calamari itself is better at Freda's, but the dipping sauce is better at carrabas

                          Of course, at Freda's you don't have to deal with the deafening noise and wanna be yuppies

                          1. re: MyySharona

                            I was a bit disappointed by the bisque. It had more of a roux flavor than the sherry and cream flavor that I prefer. I didn't notice much lobster, either. It was a few months ago and, because the gumbo is rather tasty, I have not considered ordering it again.

                            1. re: Rene

                              Oh good to know about the bisque, Rene, that might have brought me back for another try, but I won't bother. In response to Amy, above, I went to Carrabas last night and had the appetizer plate at the bar with a friend. I really liked the calamari--glad I tried it. Great marinara sauce and wonderful flavor in the breading.

                  2. We went to freda's last night for the first time.

                    It was rather late, outside of my eating window....so i just had a salad......i sware the dressing was bottled.........

                    they forgot to bring our bread......everyone else had bread..why didn't we get some......maybe you have to ask. We blew it off.

                    My husband had the very spicy bourbon pasta. I tasted a small bite and thought it was just okay. Really spicy and over sauced. It had a lot of sausage.........and 4 shrimp layed out on top.

                    Also, I thought the prices were waaaaay too high. 17.50 for a bowl of bourbon pasta.......mabye it's just me.......being a poor artist and all.............but geeeez.

                    The nice part was the piano guy.....he was very good and it was nice having it in the background. The bar looked nice and we'll probably sit in there next time and just have an appetizer. (If we go back) The whole building design was pretty cool. It had a really nice feel inside.

                    But the food............and the price..............probably won't go there to eat a meal again.

                    1. I do enjoy going to Freda's (we don't do it often). Being up north, sometimes we don't feel like battling traffic, so we make do with Freda's-it is about a mile or so from my house. I have found it to be hit or miss. We love the calamari, but it seems the dipping sauces mentioned were new-they used to be served with marinara. I will have to look into the recent suggestions on this board.
                      At least it's locally owned.

                      1. My parents wanted to go to Freda's for my mother's birthday this year. The food was meh. Not great, not awful. We all agreed we wouldn't go back. The fries that could've been awesome (they were freshly cut shoestring) were greasy, the rice served with my fish was bland and my mother's crab cakes were overly salted. Our waiter was extremely attentive but great service didn't make up for kitchen failure.

                        1. Try Sambet's in northwest Austin (183 & Spicewood/McNeil) for crab cakes - they're my favorite in the Austin area.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bamaboy108

                            hey-former bama guy here too. and I completely agree, their crabcakes are superb!

                            1. re: bamaboy108

                              the 2 times i've been in sambet's, the dirtiness has scared me.
                              and i'm not easily scared...

                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                Lol...if Texas Chili Parlor didn't exist, Sambet's would easily be my favorite dive restaurant in town!