Barbelicious - Fast Freddy's, a Mid-County staple for over 30 years
If you own a restaurant and have the word “barbeque” in the name, especially here in Texas, the food better be good. For those in Mid-County, Fast Freddy’s Barbeque has been one of the most popular food joints for more than 30 years. But for others who are just now hearing about it, it’s well worth the short trip to 3113 Nederland Ave.
Atop of the barbeque menu is sliced beef, chipped beef, hot link with bun, pulled pork and a plate lunch, which is a choice of meat plus two sides such as french fries, Cajun rice, onion rings, coleslaw, potato salad and beans.
But the eye catchers were BBQ Club, Bar Burrito and Freeloader.
The BBQ Club includes three meats — sliced beef, chipped beef plus a link — portioned out between three slices of Texas toast. Oh, don’t forget the cheese. Yes, cheese with barbeque. You can get away with it at Fast Freddy’s.
Want some barbeque in a burrito? No problem. Take the Bar Burrito, tasty chipped beef wrapped in a tortilla with cheese.
And then there’s the Freeloader, which has been a signature item on their menu for quite some time — sliced beef on a grilled hoagie bun.
What ties this all together for a complete mouth party is the sauce, which is homemade and unique. A little sweet with a touch of heat. It breaks a rule or two on the barbeque sauce blueprint, but it’s so good, even creator “Fast” Freddy Fore still likes to talk about it.
“When I used to fish in bass tournaments, I would stop at a barbeque place in Kirbyville called the Lazy H Smokehouse,” said Fore. “I loved their sauce, so I knew I wanted something like that.”
After a couple of attempts and altering ingredients, Fore said he finally had it.
“A friend of mine tasted the sauce and said, ‘Man, this tastes just like the sauce at Lazy H,” said Fore. “That’s all I needed to hear. I still get goose bumps talking about it.”
In fact, none of the barbeque is seasoned, not even the ribs are rubbed before being placed on the pit. The only treatment it gets is Freddy’s sauce, which can also be purchased bottled for $3 (14 ounces) or $6 (44 ounces).
And if you want to taste those ribs, they are only available on Thursdays and Fridays. You will be reminded as you drive by his place because a blinking yellow light on the sign out front will let you know the ribs are ready for consumption. They cook on the pit for about 2 1/2 hours at 340 degrees.
Just as he cares about his sauce, though he refuses to give away any secrets, Fore truly cares about his entire menu. He cuts all his chipped beef by hand with an electric knife, and it never goes into a chopper.
So who is this character behind all this?
Freddy Fore, a Vietnam veteran, was laid off at Texaco after 14 years, so he and wife, Susan went into the food business in December 1984 when they opened the restaurant at its original location at 3900 Pure Atlantic Road (Highway 366) in Groves.
After Hurricane Rita in 2005, there wasn’t much left to the restaurant, so they relocated a few blocks down in a vacant gas station property, which was owned by Total. They have since relocated to their current location.
Fast Freddy’s spent 27 years in Groves, but will celebrate seven years in Nederland later this month.
Yes, it’s Mid-County, so there’s a burger called the Wampum (double-meat with fried onions and jalapenos) for those of Port Neches-Groves pride and the Big Ned (double-meat with grilled onions and jalapenos).
“Repeat customers,” said Freddy about his success. “You have to keep the same products and never change.”
Many customers have become regulars, including John Wilson, who has been eating at Freddy’s since Day One. “It’s great food,” said Wilson. “I’ve even created my own sandwich called the Wilson Special.”
Wilson explained his “special” sandwich is a sliced beef po-boy, but with hot roast beef, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce and tomatoes, and of course, barbecue sauce.
“I haven’t won any awards, don’t have any trophies and haven’t been on TV,” said Freddy about the business. “But I can say I have been doing this for over 30 years.”
You can dine in, carry out, drive-thru or order online using the Waitr App.