When Fred's Cafe appeared on Diners Drive-ins and Dives in 2008 the small, bare bones cafe sat on a nearly empty Fort Worth street. In the four years since, condos, apartments and parking garages have popped up all around the tiny building, wrapping the burger joint in cocoon of cement.
Fred's is changing with the times too. They've recently built a covered outdoor patio, framed in cedar, where a simple backyard area used to be. The interior has been dressed up, but only a touch.
The burgers are as big and as greasy as ever. The kitchen fries them on a flat grill with plenty of butter and brushes a little extra over the top of each bun like a doughnut glaze. I wish they'd update those buns. The soft, white, low-quality bread is no match for greasy half-pound burgers topped with hot peppers, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Mine disintegrated by the time I was halfway done with my burger.
The newly expanded back patio will be opening this week, and it looks like they could use the space. This weekend there was a wait to sit inside in the late afternoon and some customers soaked up the sun along with grease eating on the small patio out front.