Review: Freudy’s Bar and Grille

Alison Matas taste-tests the buffalo mozzarella, fried calamari, steak burger, wedge salad and the grilled romaine salad.

Alison Matas taste-tests the buffalo mozzarella, fried calamari, steak burger, wedge salad and the grilled romaine salad.

Freudy’s Bar and Grille doesn’t have a sign with its name on the building, and you have to walk through the front door of a different restaurant to be seated at this one.

But none of that matters. The place is popular. And the food is good.

Let’s clear this up first: Freudy’s used to be called Samantha’s Bar and Grille, but the name has since changed. The restaurant is connected to the Plain Township Samantha’s Restaurant, which opens for breakfast and lunch. After it closes, Freudy’s puts up some decorative screens to block some of the Samantha’s seating area from view and ushers diners into the adjacent bar area, and, voila! the place becomes Freudy’s.

We went to Freudy’s during happy hour on a recent weeknight and ended up at one of only a few available candle-lit tables in the small room. Groups of friends and a couple on a date also were dining while we were. The back wall has a full bar lined with TVs, which keeps the restaurant from feeling too formal.

The menu at Freudy’s features small plates—mostly appetizers in the $10 to $12 range—and big plates, such as filet mignon ($33) or a french-cut bone-in pork chop ($23), all of which come with a choice of baked potato, pasta or fries. The restaurant also serves pasta dishes and what it calls “green plates,” meaning salads.

review2Go for the green plates.

The true highlight of our meal was our salads. I didn’t know I could get so excited about lettuce until I ate here. I ordered the grilled romaine palm ($8), which was huge. The waiter presented me with two massive palms, each sprinkled with crispy applewood-smoked bacon, dried cranberries, feta, sunflower seeds and a lemon-honey vinaigrette. The salad is so hearty it comes with a serrated knife. I don’t even like bacon, but I loved everything about this sweet, savory and crunchy salad.

Andrew got the wedge salad ($8), topped with applewood-smoked bacon, bleu cheese, white sharp cheddar, tomato, egg and white French dressing. Also delicious, especially the combination of the white French dressing with the crumbled bleu cheese.

review3I ate so much of both our salads I barely left room for my Samantha’s steak burger ($12), served on a whole-wheat bun next to steak fries seasoned with what I think was grated Parmesan and parsley. It wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever eaten, but I enjoyed it and would get it again.

Andrew ordered a “big plate” compared to my “small plate.” Our plates basically had the same amount of food on them, so, to me, “big plate” here really just means “fancier” or “more expensive.”

His ahi tuna ($23) came with fried onion straws, which he liked, once he removed the fried onions. He upgraded his side to smoked gouda risotto (an extra $3), mostly so I could eat it. It was a little too al dente for my taste but still warm, cheesy and flavorful.

Aside from the salads, the other standout for us was the buffalo mozzarella appetizer ($10). The plate had three slices of panko-coated mozzarella on top of basil pesto and marinara. The cheese was melted and creamy, and the sauces were fresh and paired well with each other and the mozzarella.

Oh, and in case I didn’t convince you with my earlier ode to Freudy’s grilled romaine palm dish, here’s my final pitch: The menu gives you the option of adding chicken ($8), jumbo shrimp ($3 each), steak ($9), salmon ($11) or ahi tuna ($11) to any salad.