Fred’s Texas Café
915 Currie St.
Fort Worth, TX
Have you ever noticed how much better food tastes when you’re starving?
That’s all I could think about as I devoured my Diablo Burger at Fred’s Texas Cafe.
It was 1130pm on a Tuesday night. I’d been in meetings, standing in TSA lines, and crammed into flying metal tubes all day and night.
Other than the shrink-wrapped donuts from Best Western’s continental breakfast bar at 8am, I hadn’t had time for a meal until now.
Of course, the day could have been worse.
Thanks to the alignment of the stars and the kindness of the gods, I somehow scored a first class upgrade on my flight from Newark to DFW.
Great—all you can drink Beck’s beer on an empty stomach.
In case you haven’t been upgraded in the last century or so, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
You don’t get fed in first class anymore. Potato chips, peanuts, pretzels. Basically the crap the airlines USED to give you in coach.
By the time I got in my rental and drove to Fort Worth, I desperately needed two things.
First, get out of the suit I’d been wearing for 16 hours. Second, put something in my stomach that had been growling for 16 hours.
Unfortunately, with time rapidly approaching the witching hour, I figured I better not press my luck.
No time for checking into my hotel and changing out of my suit.
So search for a decent meal it was.
That’s where Fred’s Texas Café comes in.
Fred’s is a cool retro bar and burger joint in the hip section of “Cow Town.” But even late night hangouts like Fred’s eventually shut down the burger grill.
A tiny dining room decorated with mounted animals and longhorns, the locals downing fishbowls of beer and monstrous burgers didn’t bat an eye as I grabbed a booth.
Usually, when I walk into a place like this wearing a suit, I get confused for a politician, health inspector, even a preacher.
This night, I suppose I looked like exactly what I was – a hungry, tired business traveler looking for a slab of dead cow.
Like most places in Texas, Fred’s doesn’t offer much in their beer selection. Texans like their suds big, cold, and pale.
Fred’s fits the bill. Variations of the same old light yellow and massively produced light brew is poured from taps under a sign that reads, “Coldass Beer”.
My waiter said they do have a local brew on tap from Rahr&Sons Brewery, but it was their summer seasonal wheat beer.
Blah. Wheat beers are for girls.
So I ordered a Lone Star draft.
When in Rome.
Lone Star is a local beer, but it’s no microbrew.
It’s the kind of beer Texans make fun of—while haughtily sipping a Coors Light long neck.
But that’s why folks flock to the divvy Texas charms of Fred’s Texas Café.
Coldass beer. And big burgers.
By the time I sunk my teeth into my Diablo Burger, I was near a state of nirvana. Beer munchies combined with legitimate starvation made this one of the greatest burger experiences of my life.
Dripping in melted Swiss cheese and burger juices with sautéed onions, these boys in Cow Town really know how to make a great burger.
But it was the smoky, spicy chipotle peppers that elevated this burger to shirt-buying levels.
The tingling of my lips from the spicy burn did nothing to slow my feeding frenzy. I must have paused occasionally to douse the flames with some Lone Star because I ended up downing two fishbowls before last call.
And as I polished off my freshly cut french fries and the last of my beer, I just sat there trying to appreciate the sheer joy of the occasion.
When you haven’t eaten anything in 16 hours, a midnight beer and burger binge like this is a life-altering experience.
I feel sorry for some folks I know who have to be constantly eating. One friend told me he doesn’t even know what it feels like to be hungry.
Thanks to my schedule, I don’t enjoy that option. I eat when I can. That means long stretches of stomach growling.
And I’m okay with that. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-deprivation.
Especially when the reward at the end of the day is a big, juicy Diablo Burger and two fishbowls of Lone Star.
Yeah. I can hold out all day for that.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!