Fred's Diner
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  01/12/14

I’m kinda amazed we are still enjoying this so much. Well over four hundred restaurants. Starting a sixth year. There are still new places, good and bad; full of folks, hospitable and not. We only do it when we want to and we’re still going. Today an internet search introduced us to a local joint specializing in breakfast. I saw the pictures online and it instantly reminded me of Bob’s Hamburg and we were soon cruising up Rt. 8.



It still reminds me a great deal of Bob’s, mostly white box, the most rudimentary of amenities, and a frenzy of food flying towards a non-stop federation of fiercely famished and faithful fans. Yikes. Got sorta carried away with the alliteration there, cheap entertainment. The place is packed, there is a wait at the door. Everyone is either waiting or getting something to go. Our wait wasn’t long. It seems the wide variety of patrons have all waited at one time or another and there is a sense of breakfast community to do what it says on the back of the shirt…eat…pay…get out. I first saw that signage at Ed Debevic’s in Chicago. It means something different here.

The service is simply a madhouse. As soon as you see seats open, someone will start wiping down the table and you sit. We sat in the small back room with the defunct juke box and the sign that says “eat until it ouches” where three servers continuously dashed through the room, assessed each table for food, asked unladen tables if anyone had taken their order yet and then either promised to be right back (typically one of the other two would beat them to the punch) or took their order. The kitchen has to be well prepped and staffed by some serious short-order slingers as our breakfast was soon on the table, steaming hot.

Steph's #2, Scrambled

My #9 EOE

You order breakfast by number. Steph had the #2…Two Eggs, Sausage, Ham or Bacon, Homefries, Toast & Jelly. I ordered the #9…Two Eggs, Country-Fried Steak topped with Sausage Gravy, Homefries, Toast & Jelly. There is no wow-factor. There are simple, sturdy, correctly-cooked breakfast staples. And there will be a lot of it. Steph’s ham was a quarter inch thick and at least 9 inches in diameter. The country fried steak was tender, tastily breaded and topped with classic sausage gravy. I ordered EOE and you couldn’t see them on the plate when they arrived. I’ve seen this in places when you screw up the eggs and hide them under something on the plate to avoid dragging a table. Mine were under a mountain of crusty and simple potatoes and rye toast. They were perfectly runny (yolk only) and the whites were set enough to perch them atop the homefries before releasing their oozing fattiness.

We had a bit of order envy as Steph saw the French toast and a side order of bacon seems to have a portion size of "handful". There were kids eating good looking chicken strips, large pancakes, all sorts of tried and true diner staples with serious heft. Fred’s is a serious diner, in a nice and nostalgic way.


You Get A Little Ham With The #2

Tender & Tasty Country Fried Steak

Now That There's Crusty Taters

Hidden Eggs Were Perfectly Done

I really enjoy places like this.




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