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San Diego, California
Fred's Mexican Cafe
Fred's Mexican Cafe
A Review By The Unknown Critic

Fred's Mexican Cafe is located in the heart of old town San Diego and features an extensive menu of "Gringo Food" or what some may also refer to as the "American" version of Mexican food.

With no less than 24 other restaurants in very close proximity throughout old town, Fred's does seem to do a pretty good job bringing in both tourists
​and the local folks, as well as getting many to come back as regulars.

What seems to bring them in and keep them coming back, is that this location is a haven for colorful decorations that are wacky, tacky, or
sometimes just plain funny and definitely not authentic mexican decor, but it does have a bright cheery ambiance about it nontheless. Combine that fun atmosphere with plenty of room to stretch your legs and add an extensive food and drink menu and you have a pretty good start.

Before you have even experienced eating a meal at Fred's, you may be drawn to it's colorful exterior, or to that crazy Fred's mascot.
A person in a full size parrot costume, just may be standing on the sidewalk in front of you at the time you happen to come by, enticing you to step inside and check things out. One word of warning though,sometimes this zany full sized parrot can be a real camera ham.

The restaurant offers both indoor seating and a heated outdoor patio dining area featuring a double sided river rock fireplace, all in a very laid back casual atmosphere, which is also an excellent choice for larger groups, or those with little ones to care for. It is my understanding they can accomodate groups of up to 30 persons at one table although in my total of five visits, the most our group has had was eight at a table.

The bar located on the outdoor patio serves up some pretty decent margaritas, as well as serving both domestic and imported beers.
The Strawberry margaritas, which are my personal favorite, are made with real strawberry puree instead of a fake syrup flavoring, commonplace in many other local mexican restaurants.The margaritas are generally strong, but once (out of four prior visits,) I received one that was not nearly as strong.

Fred's provides free chips and salsa at your table while you wait for your food to be prepared and if you run out before your meal is delivered, you can ask for another basket of chips.I have not had to do this in all of my visits to fred's so far, as they have always offered to refill them before I had the chance to ask for more.Having chips to munch on can sometimes be a real plus, especially if you have children to keep occupied, before your entrees arrive.

The salsa's that are served at Fred's are freshly prepared on site daily and are most definitely good. (Red and green varieties)
When I say good I mean that there was something amiss in the taste of the salsa when I first tasted it. I realized that Fred's does not oversalt like many other Mexican restaurants tend to, nor do they have too much grease in their meals. By adding just a very small amount of salt to the salsa made the flavor pop! So now, instead of just being good, it was excellent.

Thank's go out to Fred's for not oversalting your food thereby allowing me the option to choose for myself the amount of salt desired. Difficult to beat their salsa, which is made fresh in house every day, but take my advice and use just a very small pinch of salt with the salsa and make it pop!

Unless you have already had way to many free chips and salsa, order the Fred’s original Mexican Egg Rolls, as they are quite good and make an excellent appetizer.

I also ordered the Mahi Mahi soft tacos, which were excellent and stuffed with a pretty generous amount of Mahi Mahi and only a small portion reserved for the lettuce. Just the way I like them.

Pollo Asado,Carnitas and Pescado are also all excellent choices and all are above average in flavor.

Kiss My Taco Night at Fred's is very popular and with good reason. Good food at a substantial savings.
On Kiss My Taco Tuesday's you can enjoy a $2 Chicken, Carnitas, Calamari & Mahi Tacos or many money saving meal and drink options, but there is one drawback. It is at times very busy on taco tuesdays and wait times could be (although not always) a half hour or more on a weekday evening.

Fred's is also one of the only dog friendly restaurants in old town and offer up a "monday night Doggie Date Night" where dogs eat for free after 6pm.
​(Some restrictions apply)

I have found that Fred's restroom cleanliness is as a general rule, about average for a busy restaurant. Not dirty, nor super sanitary clean.

Parking availability can sometimes be quite tricky and sometimes extremely limited on weekends, if special events are  happening in old town, or many times after 4 or 5pm, especially weekends, so leave early to find free parking. Paid parking is available down the street, if you just cannot find that free spot in the
​public lot, or on the street.


Kudos: Free chips and salsa, gluten-free menu, free wireless internet.

For more updated information check out their website here: .Fred's Mexican Cafe

Fred's Mexican Cafe
2470 San Diego Avenue
San Diego, CA.92110
(619) 858-TACO (8226)

That's my opinion what's your's?