This was a post that was supposed to be up almost a week ago, but when you work in the food service industry you are lucky if "tomorrow" turns into "a week from today." While hanging out with some friends we were debating on a place to go in which I hadn't been before. A daunting task when you live in a city as tiny as Atlanta. After a few name drops, The Fred was the only one that peaked my interest. I'd heard it mentioned in casual conversation before but my friends and I had never managed to go out of way to get there. Tonight was the night.
Not knowing what to expect or even where it was located, I sat in the back of the car wondering if we were ever in fact gonna get there. Finally we pulled into a decent sized shopping center locale and I saw that there was a Taco Mac, Taco Mac - Prado to be exact. The place was enormous and was pretty jammed pack for a Thursday night. As we walked in the general direction of the Taco Mac I began to wonder if maybe in fact, the driver and passenger had changed their minds and decided we go there instead?!? As we neared the entry way I began to turn in because I had assumed we were going there and was shocked to see that they continued along and began to walk around the side of the building..., obviously, our destination was down and behind the TMac, right? We continued along and as we came to an alleyway I continued straight to shockingly see that my two companions had done a U-turn into this sketchy looking alleyway beneath the Taco Mac. Confused, I joined them to come to a door with a strange logo, peep-hole and a red button. My friend pressed the red button and we waited. It was at this moment I was finally informed that we were entering a speakeasy. Instantly I was filled with jovial jubilation and fascination. The door opened to a smiling face who was already well acquainted with my companion, who's a beer rep for Heavy Seas Brewing and has managed to meet some people within the industry. We entered the establishment and instantly I was flabbergasted.
Upon entering you wind through a dark, narrow hallway before coming upon the main dining area. It's very dark, but not dreary. A few tables line the middle but the booths along the sides are what gather your attention. Very dark, very cozy with what looked to be plush seats and numerous pillows. And of course, very secluded with very high backs, you instantly get the feeling that some very important business decisions have taken place here. We meandered past the tables and sat at the bar where the same smiling face who let us in, was waiting eagerly to serve us drinks and make us aware of a brand new menu that they were rolling out. Timid at first, since I have given up meat for the practice of Lent, I decided to check out the menu to see what they had to offer. Never so quickly had I regretted opening a menu. Filled with numerous delectable items, one stood out in particular and I knew I would have to break Lent momentarily if only to try this one burger.
A Fried Mac & Cheese Kobe Beef Burger. The Fred - 1 Lent - 0. I chose to take the pub fries with the spicy mustard aioli and I had no regrets. The burger was phenomenal, ordered Med-Rare as to not destroy the flavor of the beautiful Kobe beef, served with all the fixings and the most glorious part of them all, a fried Mac & Cheese cake. Much like a potato cake, but with Mac & Cheese. Perfectly fried on the outside to a crisp golden brown while still relatively gooey on the inside. The burger was so fantastic that when I reached the point of not being able to grasp it anymore, I resorted to eating the remnants off my plate with a fork. Not many things can top this, in fact, I've now got this burger at the top of my list knocking out the long standing champ in the Bocado Burger.
Besides the wondrous flavor presented by the burger, The Fred also appeases the palette by providing a rather elite selection of beers. Typically, people boast about the selection of beers at Taco Mac, well, as a slightly more upscale concept of Taco Mac, you will encounter beers that you've probably never seen in other restaurants or bars.
I don't have an Urbanspoon rating for you guys but I'm working on getting one approved. Until then, hit up The Fred's Site to see a pic of the interior and also their beer menu. They don't have the food menu up yet, but hopefully it will appear sometime soon!
*Update* Urbanspoon approved The Fred for me and here is their rating and a link to their site: