Monthly Archives: June 2011

BBQ Chicken Banh Mi Recipe

I’ve fallen in love with these classic Vietnamese sandwiches at our local Bambuza Vietnam Grill (their pork banh mi is amazing!) and came home thinking, How would Burnin’ Love BBQ do this?

This is now my favorite use for leftover bbq chicken. From now on there will always be a couple of extra thighs on the grill! A quick-grilled chicken breast would work just as well (I’d brine it for 2-3 hours first).

BBQ Chicken Banh Mi

1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup carrot, peeled and shredded
1 Tbs rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 bolillo rolls, or 1 (12-inch) soft baguette
1/2 sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
3/4 cup packed cilantro sprigs
1/2 cuke, peeled, seeded, and julienned large
4 bbq chicken thighs, chopped or sliced thin
1 Tbs bbq sauce


Shred cabbage and carrot in a food processor fitted with medium shredding disk. Toss together with vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let slaw stand, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Peel and slice cuke, and salt lightly.

If using bolillo, each roll almost, but not quite, all the way through. If using baguette, cut off and discard round ends, then split baguette.

Using the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the slaw on the inside (top) of the roll, schmear the bottom half with a little bbq sauce, top sauce with 1/2 of the chicken (warmed or cold), cuke, onion, and cilantro.

If using baguette, layer topping and cut sandwich crosswise in half.

Note: I found that the sandwich was easier to assemble and had a more even bite when the bread was sliced “almost through” as opposed to cutting a pocket in each roll, and using the cabbage/carrot mix as a spread instead of a topping. As you can see from the pics, I tried both.

Equally good hot or cold.



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Fat Freddy’s Diner Review

Fat Freddy’s Diner
6315 Pacific Ave
Pacific City, Oregon 97135
(503) 965-6012

What we tried: lot’s of stuff (see below)
What I liked best: Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burger
Rating: 5/5 Stars

One line review: “Burgers and fries the way they oughta be!”

After a long day of playing on the beach in Pacific City, I shuffled into the Pelican Pub and was shocked and disappointed at the jump in menu prices. As much as I love a tall Tsunami Stout, I was footing the bill for the group, and still wanted to make my mortgage payment this month, so I decided that perhaps we should explore other options.

Victoria and I have visited Pacific City many times, including an anniversary week-end, and there’s a little grub shack on the corner of the main drag named Fat Freddy’s that we’ve always meant to stop in at, but never have. (Note: they aren’t always open for dinner in the off-season, so call ahead!).

So, given it’s proximity, and with a couple of ravaging youths in the van with us, it seemed like the ideal time to give it a try. Boy, am I glad we did!

Known locally for their burgers and shakes, Fat Freddy’s has a walk “To Go” window, which we didn’t use, but would be great fun if you were just walking around town checking out the wine shops and antique stores (which just about sums up Pacific City), instead we availed ourselves of the small dining room.

Redolent with the aromas of frying burgers and deep-fried mushrooms, your cholesterol can rise several points just by breathing the air…in other words, it was perfect.

Both the dining area and bathrooms were very well maintained and very clean with a lot of fun, old photos, license plates from around the country, and an article about the airplane that crashed into the restaurant years ago, on the wall. The airstrip is still located directly across the street, seemingly pointed directly and our table, and we did have one pulse-jumping take-off buzz the roof while we were there. The kids loved it!

So, enough atmosphere, let’s get down to it…

The Original Fat Freddy

I was going to order the namesake “Fat Freddy Burger” – which comes with standard burger fixin’s plus bacon, fried egg, and cheese.

Served with fries, the house special comes in 1/4lb (Mini-Freddy), 1/2lb (The Original), and a whopping 3/4lb “Ultimate Freddy”, but the waitress recommended the Bacon Swiss Mushroom as “to die for” and, being my favorite burger combo, how could I say no?

Besides, Johnathan, our token teenager, was more than happy to face down the Fat Freddy (it never stood a chance.)

My burger was fantastic, with that unmatchable fried-on-a-greasy-grill flavor.

Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burger

The fixings were crisp and fresh, including the mushrooms (NOT canned) which were sauteed to a slightly chewy, perfectly caramelized mahogany, just the way I like them.

The coup ‘de grace on this burger, however, was the bacon. Typically, bacon on a cheeseburger is cooked limp (or, god forbid, those pre-cooked, plastic-wrapped dog-treats warmed on the grill.) Freddy’s cooks fresh, thick-cut bacon to a crispy well-done brown that some folks might consider overcooked, but that I feel creates a rich, nutty flavor and “meat crouton” crunch that’s the perfect  contrast to a moist burger and crisp veggies.

By the unhinging of his jaw, Jonathan made it clear that The Freddy met with his approval, and Victoria had very complimentary things to say about her California grilled chicken sandwich and Mountain Blackberry/Banana Milkshake (an off-menu combo that they happily concocted at her request.)

Then there were the fries….Sweet Lord in heaven…the fries! Fresh cut, double-dipped, seasoned French fries; the salty skins crunching between your teeth like potato chips, revealing a hot, steamy baked-potato center. Gracie, our resident French fry connoisseur, gave them two sandy thumbs up…and she’s never wrong.

Seriously, these were in the top 5 of any fries I’ve ever had.

French Fry Bliss

Speaking of our junior-foodie, Freddy’s provided her with a cup of crayons and an activity page, without even being asked, and had a deck of cards on each table, as well. Which segues nicely into…

Service was a pleasant surprise, as well.

Too often, these diners, drive-ins, and dives are manned (or, more appropriately, womanned) by impatient, Flo-esque, “kiss my grits” kinda waitresses, who never look up from their order pads, and raise a penciled-in eye-brow at any special request.

Our waitress, however, was very friendly, helpful, and very, very patient with us (Gracie informed her, at every pause in the order-taking process that she wanted fries AND ketchup). Her laughter, knowledge of the menu, and obvious enjoyment of the food were infectious, and our anticipation level jumped several notches by the time she left with our order.

I wish I’d gotten her name, she deserves a raise.

Burger prices ranged from $7-$15, and the menu includes a good variety of gourmet salads, appetizers, hot & cold sandwiches, and classic seafood dinner combos, as well. Sure, we could have saved a few bucks and gotten a dollar-menu cardboard burger from some fast-food joint on 101, but where’s the fun it that? Lord knows, we already have enough of those places back home.

Also, the portions are generous enough that light eaters could easily split a burger and fries, maybe add a side-salad, and enjoy a very nice meal.

Fat Freddy’s is exactly the kind of great food/great fun one-of-a-kind place that becomes the icing on the cake for those “family summer beach-trip” memories. Next time you’re near Pacific City, I strongly recommend Freddy’s.

I know we’ll be going back!


About Fat Freddy’s

Fat Freddy’s is a “must stop” when you visit Pacific City.  It is one of the oldest buildings still in use in Pacific City.  Freddy opened the charming burger diner in 1985 with the idea of serving the best burger possible at a fair price.  He became an immediate success and a landmark as well.  Freddy retired in 1992 and the present owners, Art and Tammy, picked up the tradition as Freddy handed down the secrets to his burger success.

Although Art and Tammy have maintained Freddy’s name and reputation for quality food and service, they have applied their own charm to make the diner one of the most talked about and fun eateries in PC.

Fat Freddy’s has become a meeting place for family and friends and is walking distance to the beach.  Check out the antique photos of Pacific City on the wall and watch the planes land on the PC airport right across the street (keep your head down).  Bring Mom, Dad, Grandma and the Kids and enjoy their old fashion milk shakes, onion rings, fish & chips, sandwiches, and Kids menu. And of course, you can’t say you’ve visited PC without experiencing the famous “Fat Freddy Burger”….(the way burgers were meant to be!)

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