“Spit-roasting is one of the world’s most ancient and universal forms of grilling, and there’s nothing like it for producing exceptionally moist meat with a crackling crisp crust.” – Steven Raichlen
I like chicken just about any way it can be prepared, but for the juiciest, most flavorful bird, I’ll hang my hat on rotisserie grilling, even more so now with the grill accessories that are available. This even-heating, self-basting method ensures a perfectly cooked bird, with crispy skin all around. Using a grill (with a rotisserie burner) is especially convenient when cooking for parties or holiday get-togethers, as it frees up the oven and stove-top, and you don’t even have to remember to flip or baste your entrée!
Start with a good dry rub, end with proper treatment of the finished fowl, and you’ll have a winner chicken dinner that folks are going to remember!
Plus, rotisserie cooking is thought to be the oldest cooking technique known to man… so that’s pretty cool, too.
Here are 5 things to remember when grilling a chicken rotisserie style:
Dry rub 8-24 hours in advance
A dry rub is a combination of salt, spices, herbs, and sometimes sugars, that’s used to flavor meat in advance of cooking. Unlike a marinade or brine, a dry rub forms a crust on the outside of the meat when cooked.
The salt draws out the juices in the meat, making it more moist and tender, while the sugars caramelize and form a seal that traps in flavor and juices.
You can add just about anything you want to a rub (and you should experiment with some of your own favorite flavors) but here’s my go-to dry rub for chicken: 2 Tbsp. sea salt + 1 Tbsp. each: dark brown sugar, coarse black pepper, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, onion powder, and Italian seasonings. Combine all in an airtight container and mix until completely blended.
Once you’ve sprinkled, then rubbed the spices into (and under) the skin, and trussed it, wrap the whole bird in plastic wrap and refrigerate until 1-2 hours before you plan to start cooking it. Be sure to sprinkle some of your seasonings into the body cavity of the chicken or turkey, as well.
Truss the bird
Trussing (tying up) a whole bird before cooking is always a good idea as it helps keep it moist and promotes even cooking (and a prettier presentation), but for rotisserie grilling it’s absolutely essential. A non-trussed bird will loosen up on the bar, legs and wings floppin’ ever which-a-way, and start burning at the extremities long before the rest of the chicken is cooked through to the bone.
Trussing isn’t particularly difficult, but it does take some practice to perfect. Google “How to truss a chicken” for any number of excellent videos and step-by-step guides to trussing.
Watch the heat
I like to preheat my grill (burners on full, lid down) before putting the pre-loaded spit (the rod that holds the meat) in place. Watch the bird closely, checking every few minutes at first, and adjust your flame as needed to avoid hot spots or burning the skin.
Cook to the right temp
Figure about 25 minutes per pound to cook a chicken on a rotisserie, but what you’re really looking for in an internal temp in the thickest part of the thigh of 175 °F. A lot of variables can affect the number of minutes it takes a bird to cook to the bone, including starting temp of the meat, the heat of your grill, and the weather while cooking, but 175 °F is done regardless of outside influences.
Give it a rest
Once your chicken is removed from the heat, it’s vital that it be allowed to “rest” for 15-20 minutes, tented loosely in foil.
Resting allows the meat to relax and reabsorb its own juices back into the muscle fibers as they cool. The reason for tenting in foil is to keep the surface temperature from dropping much faster than the internal temp, which can lead to drying.
Once the chicken has rested go ahead and snip away the trussing (I use a pair of kitchen shears for this), cut the bird up as you see fit, and serve.
Oh, and be sure to save those lovely roasted bones and extra bits for making stock or flavoring soups or gravies. It’s gold!
If you don’t believe that…this recipe will convert you!
Guanciale (gwan-chalie), an Italian-style bacon made from hog jowl, is a prized gourmet delicacy in central Italy. Typically, it’s dry-cured, hand-coated with fresh cracked peppercorns, then smoked over smoldering hickory logs for nearly 24 hours. The result is a meat with a noticeably richer flavor than typical bacon, and is a popular addition to such classic dishes as spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta all’amatriciana.
I found it with the uncut bacon, and smoked hocks, at Fred Meyer, for about 1/2 the price of good bacon (about $2.50/lb).
Here’s what I do with it:
Grilled Chicken and Guanciale Bacon Alfredo
2 pound dried fettucine
1/2 lb chicken tenders, brined and grilled
1/2 lb pork cheeks (jowls) bacon, or Guanciale
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs yolks
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350d
Slice guanciale into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a rack over a a foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bacon appears crisp at the edges. Remove to paper towels to rest.
Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. NEVER RINSE YOUR PASTA.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, add garlic. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Roughly chop bacon and chicken (tenders can be re-warmed slightly in microwave).
Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the asiago, bacon, and chicken, and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Sprinkle with remaining asiago and garnish with raw egg yolk, if desired.
NOTE: We made this recipe again last night, with (at my daughter’s request) tri-color spiral pasta. Turned out very nice, and, for a 4 y/o, a lot less messy!
PS – The raw egg yolk is another Italian thing, and adds an extra layer of richness to the recipe. Once served, break the yolk and gently fold into the dish. Alternatively, you can add the yolks to the pasta along with the sauce and blend it in then.
Since my childhood, I can remember my mother Millie cooking so many delicious southern dishes using her famous sauce. Millie’s memory still lives on in our family, as she has inspired my wife and I to re-create this one of a kind sweet and tasty barbecue sauce.
– Craig & Toni Brown
The first commercial barbecue sauce was made by H.J. Heinz Co. in 1948, and today there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties of jars, jugs, and bottles available.
A couple of weeks back, Texas Pepper Jelly owner Craig Sherry was kind enough to answer my Facebook plea for an Apple Habanero Jelly (that recipe is still in the works…it will be awesome) and while I was perusing his website, I couldn’t pass up the chance to order a 2-oz bottle of Pineapple Habanero while I was there.
I’ll tell you this…I’ll never order that two ounce bottle again…I’m gonna be a 12-oz bottle customer from now on!
Well, we’re countin’ down to Independence Day, and planning on what to grill up while Will Smith, once again, kick’s some serious alien butt.
I really want to play with my new oyster racks, and I’m jonesing for some grilled lamb, as well, so I cruised on over to the Food Network site to see what the big boys (and girls) were throwing on the fire.
Here are a few that had me droolin’ on my keyboard…
Guy Fieri’s Malibu oysters. Mario’s black pepper drumsticks. Paula’s easy BBQ chicken. Bobby Flay’s Smoked Ribs. Alton Brown’s Pulled Pork. Giada’s Grilled Lamb
Six top celebrity chefs’ favorite grilling recipes for the Fourth of July!
“Time to kick the tires, and light the fires, big daddy!”
Guy Fieri’s Malibu Oysters
Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 8 oysters
* 8 large oysters, BBQ size
* 1/3 cup mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Parmesan
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 cup fried potato sticks (recommended: Pik-Nik)
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
* 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
* 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
* 6 ounces havarti cheese, sliced
* Rock salt, for baking
Preheat a grill to high. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Shuck the oysters and set aside in the refrigerator or on ice, keeping them in the shell.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, white vinegar, Parmesan, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, cayenne, and white pepper. Stir to combine, and then stir in the fried potato sticks.
In a small saute pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and red onions and saute for 3 minutes, and then add the spinach and allow to wilt. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
Top each oyster with the spinach mixture, dividing evenly, and then do the same with the mayo mixture. Top with the havarti and place on a baking sheet lined with a layer of rock salt. Roast in the oven until cheese is bubbly and oysters are just warmed through, 5 to 6 minutes.
Let cool enough to handle, and then serve right away.
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network, 2011
Mario Batali’s Spicy Black-Pepper-Coated Drumsticks
Partly cooking the drumsticks in the oven ensures that they will cook through on the grill without charring. You can bake the chicken early in the day or even the night before.
12 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, preferably chipotle
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed in a spice or coffee grinder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 fennel bulbs
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet and season all over with salt. Bake unadorned for 20 minutes (25 minutes if your drumsticks are very large).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Set a wire rack over a large plate or a small baking sheet.
As soon as the drumsticks come out of the oven, toss them, in batches, into the buttermilk mixture and turn to coat, then place skin side up on the rack to drain. Spoon a little of the mixture, with the fennel seeds and pepper, over the top of each one, and set aside. (The drumsticks can be baked and marinated up to a day ahead; leave them on the rack, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before grilling.)
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
Trim the fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise in half, and cut out most of the core. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide batonettes and toss into a bowl of ice water.
Crumble the Gorgonzola into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the red wine vinegar and stir with the fork until fairly smooth. Drizzle in the oil, stirring, to make a dressing. Pour into one or more shallow bowls for dipping.
Place the drumsticks on the hottest part of the grill, cover the grill, and cook, turning occasionally at first and then more often as they start to caramelize, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Put the drumsticks on a platter. Drain the fennel sticks, pat dry, and place on the platter next to the wings. Serve with the Gorgonzola dressing.
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali’s Italian Grill (Ecco 2008)
Paula Deen’s Easy After Work BBQ Chicken
Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
* 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups bottled sauce or Easy BBQ Sauce, recipe follows
Prepare a medium-hot grill or preheat the broiler. If using the broiler, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the chicken on the grill or, if broiling, put it on the prepared baking sheet. Grill or broil, 4 inches from the heat, turning once, for 10 minutes per side.
Put 1/2 of the BBQ sauce in a small bowl, for drizzling and serving. Reserve.
Baste the chicken with the remaining sauce and grill or broil for 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, drizzle with some of the reserved sauce, and serve with lime wedges and the remaining reserved sauce
Easy BBQ Sauce:
* 3/4 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
* 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons minced onion
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1/4 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce, (recommended: Tabasco)
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and light green parts)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
* Lime wedges, for serving
In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, onion, mustard, hot sauce, and black pepper. Stir in the scallions, lime zest, and lime juice. Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Yield: 2 cups
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network, 2011
Bobby Flay’s Smoked Ribs with Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce
Total Time: 19 hr 15 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 12 hr 45 min
Cook: 6 hr 0 min
Yield: 4 servings
* 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
* 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
* 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons dry mustard
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons ground coriander
* 1 tablespoon dried oregano
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* 2 teaspoons chile de arbol
* 2 racks St. Louis-style pork ribs, 12 ribs each, membrane removed
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 2 cups cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
* Few dashes hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Mix of hickory and applewood chips
* 1 quart apple cider
* North Carolina Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows
Carolina Style BBQ Sauce:
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 2 medium Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
* 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
* 2 cups ketchup
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
* 2/3 cup cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 2 tablespoons molasses
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the rub:
Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Brush both sides of the racks with oil and rub with the spice mixture. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
In a large pot over low heat, add all the mop ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 45 minutes before smoking to allow them to come to room temperature. Add the mix of hickory and applewood chips to the smoker according to package instructions. Heat a smoker to 220 degrees F. Put the apple cider in a small heatproof pan in the smoker.
Put the ribs directly on the smoker rack. Smoke for 6 hours, brushing the ribs with the mop every hour for the first 5 hours. During the last hour, brush the ribs with the North Carolina Barbecue Sauce every 10 minutes. Remove the ribs to a serving platter and serve.
For the BBQ Sauce:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator, stored in a tightly sealed container.
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network, 2011
Alton Brown’s Pulled Pork
Total Time: 24 hr 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 13 hr 0 min
Cook: 11 hr 0 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
* 8 ounces or 3/4 cup molasses
* 12 ounces pickling salt
* 2 quarts bottled water
* 6 to 8 pound Boston butt
Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in 6 quart Lexan. Add Boston butt making sure it is completely submerged in brine, cover, and let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. 12 hours is ideal.
Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.
Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing latex gloves during the application.
Preheat smoker to 210 degrees F. Place butt in smoker and cook for 10 to12 hours, maintaining a temperature of 210 degrees F. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours of cooking time. Use fork to check for doneness. Meat is done when it falls apart easily when pulling with a fork. Once done, remove from pot and set aside to rest for at least 1 hour. Pull meat apart with 2 forks and serve as sandwich with coleslaw and dressing as desired.
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network, 2011
Giada De Laurentiis’ Grilled Lamb with Salsa Verde
Total Time: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 15 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 8 servings
* 1/4 cup salted capers, soaked for 30 minutes, drained, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
* 1/3 cup chopped scallions
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
* 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
* 1 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
* 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
* 3 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
* 1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) butterflied boned lamb shoulder
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* Nonstick cooking spray
Stir the first 7 ingredients and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Set the salsa verde aside. Place the lamb in a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Rub the minced garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes all over lamb. Pour 1/2 cup of salsa verde over the lamb, turning the lamb to coat evenly. Use immediately, or cover the dish and remaining salsa verde separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day.
Spray the grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill the lamb until a meat thermometer inserted into the thicker parts registers 130 degrees F for medium-rare, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a work surface and let rest 15 minutes.
Cut the lamb across grain into thin slices. Arrange the lamb slices on a platter. Serve the remaining salsa verde alongside.
Thought it might be time to get all of my La Caja China “How To” posts indexed for easy ready (and to save myself the trouble of constantly looking up the individual URLs…I’m so lazy…)
La Caja China is not a good or a service – It’s an experience. It’s a culture. It’s about the age-old mainstays of good food, good friends, and good times. It’s rugged but romantic. Requiring butchering, braising, brining and handling. It’s charcoal and chatter. As the food cooks, the aromas become as enticing as the spectacle itself. It becomes not just a conversation piece, but a conversation starter.
Most of all, La Caja China is realizing that in 4 hours or less you’ve made a delicious, authentic meal that ended up feeding your soul.
Here are some of my most popular “how to” posts on La Caja China…if you’re looking for great recipes for cooking on your La Caja China, check out my cookbooks La Caja China Cooking and La Caja China Word, available in paperback and Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at www.perryperkinsbooks.com
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.
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.
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!)