This one is thanks to "Dee" who emailed me, and asked what I thought about Fredcel..... I had heard about them, but just in passing. I didn't realize they were located right off University on 38th street. The reason I hadn't seen them before is that I usually zoom by that intersection, and they are located a door or two down the street. But if you look for the bright yellow building, you can't miss them.
After breakfast at El Salvador Pupuseria y Restaurante, I walked on over. They were closed, but just the photo of the Sisig was enough to bring me back. I don't think I've ever been able to walk away from Sisig.
A few days later, I finally made my way to Fredcel, and walked through the door, tripping the "beeper". The interior is spartan, but clean. The tinsel around the pole made me smile.....it was cheesy, in a nice way.
The steam table held about 10 various offerings. A quiet, but nice young man helped us. I was again with MG, and we were picking up lunch for a couple of us. He was so quiet, that MG first thought he didn't speak Tagalog.....he did of course. The prices here are "bargain city". One item plus rice or pancit is $3.99, two items $4.99, a third item is $2 more.
On this day I decided on the Kaldereta Baka(Beef Kaldereta) and Sisig(my lucky day):
The portion size is not quite the ginormous Tita's Kitchenette-sized plate, but I've heard that prices have now gone over $6 at Tita's. And of course, we don't have to put up with the attitude.
The Kaldereta was interesting. The beef looked tough, but it was fairly tender, with a "fat cap". The flavor was a bit lacking in the tangy, tomato department, in addition it had a bell pepper flavor, without a hint of "heat". It was also too thin and watery. To me, it looked almost looked like a weak Beef Mechado, but I was told it was Kaldereta.
The Sisig was pretty good, at least to my taste. It had a nice bracing, puckery, vinegar flavor, a mild amount of heat, and the Lechon Kawale was still crisp. It was not greasy. A very pleasant version of Sisig.
Speaking of Lechon Kawale......I somehow managed to rationalize("this is going to be 2 meals, so don't worry"), and justify purchasing an order($2) of Lechon Kawale. Mainly because it was sitting there looking all golden and lovely. As Lechon Kawale goes, this was fair to good, crisp but not hard, the fat portions were nice and buttery, and the meat, though on the dry side was not too bad. It was a bit on the bland side, and the lechon sauce was nice, not too sweet, not too "livery".
I did end up sharing everything, which made me feel a bit better. Altogether not a bad meal.
Recently, the Missus was looking to ordering some lumpia for a party. Not wanting to drive all the way down to National City, I mentioned that the prices at Fredcel were pretty good - 100 lumpia/$30. In order to check out the lumpia, I made a Fredcel run.
Man the plate had a ton of rice on it! What really impressed me as I chomped on my lumpia(I needed a quick taste), was that I was given 6 lumpia! I ate one before deciding to take a photo. The lumpia was not bad, lots of filling, decent flavor, not oily, fairly crisp. Can't ask for much more. I'm not a big fan of the sweet and sour sauce though. It is a neon red, teeth hurting sweet concoction, that has hardened to almost a jelly like texture.
Even though I had arrived at 1130, there were only 4 items on the steam table; pork adobo(of course), the kaldereta, pinakbet(which in retrospect is what I should have ordered), and Menudo, which is what I ordered. The menudo was fairly bland, and was probably the least favorite item I've had from Fredcel.
Before we had checked out Fredcel, MG and I had wondered if people enjoyed this place simply because it was the only place that served Filipino food in the vicinity. But overall, the food was decent, and it's a good value to boot. And the Missus is ordering the lumpia from Fredcel for Her party........
Fredcel Lumpia & Catering
3876 38th Street
San Diego, CA 92105
Open - Mon-Sat 9am-9pm
Sun 9am - 7pm