Sometimes you’re in need of a restaurant where you can pig out on something other than the usual pizza or burger. You might also want to enjoy a semi-formal atmosphere you can’t usually obtain from the dining hall or pizza joint around the corner. In those moments, we think Fondue Fred is the place to go.
Although Swiss food is typically one of the more inconspicuous global cuisines, and although Swiss restaurants don’t always have a wide variety of dishes, Fondue Fred is still a great option for an occasional meal, especially due to its atmosphere. The walls of are decorated with intricate paintings of Swiss sights such as the Alps and the streets of small Swiss villages. The restaurant is quite small and can only seat about 25 people, but as long as you’re not made to wait in line for a space, you’ll find the petite size of the place makes it homey and cozy, an effect completed by the wooden and brick walls, which make you feel like you’re snuggling up for a warm meal in the Alps (not to mention the stringed lights outside which create an eternal feeling of Christmas morning).
As a group, we ordered two fondue sets: a cheddar fondue for the main course and a chocolate fondue for dessert. We were served with a large bowl of salad before our meal came, which, despite being tangy and able to satisfy our stomachs for a few moments, seemed rather preemptive, as service was slow and our main course took more than 25 minutes to come.
That being said, the cheddar fondue was mouth-watering. It came with a side plate of potatoes and baskets of white bread pieces we were meant to dip into the pot of melted cheddar. The meal was filling but not to the point that we couldn’t enjoy our delectable pot of melted chocolate, which came with an accompanying plate of marshmallows (which we could roast over a small fire on our table) and pieces of fruit, such as strawberries, apples, bananas and melons (we recommend avoiding the melons, though, because they don’t pair well with chocolate).
Fondue Fred prides itself on obtaining its ingredients fresh and from local businesses and farmers markets. Aside from the standard classic, garlic and cheddar fondues, the restaurant offer a series of gourmet fondues, fondues in wine sauce and side orders such as mixed vegetables and garlic bread. The only major downside about Fondue Fred is that, unless you make a lunch reservation, it is only open for dinner, so Sunday brunches are out of the question. Also, the price of the expansive and captivating menu matches the amazingness, so be prepared to spend about $17 per pot of fondue (although you can always split a pot with others so you end up paying less).
Fondue Fred is located at 2556 Telegraph Ave., inside the Village Mall.