Restaurant Reviews

The Fremont Diner

November 19, 2014

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Napa so we had to stop at one of our favorite spots, The Fremont Diner.

The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:

Orgasmic.
Great food, casual vibe and a relaxing location.

Hours
Mon – Wed 8 am – 3 pm
Thurs – Sun 8 am – 9 pm

The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:

Dennis and I have been here once before and we loved it! The menu was a bit different this time, but everything was delicious. The diner has a very rustic feel; there is an array of vintage knick knacks inside and the outside has picnic tables and an old trailer, turned bar. The first time we came we sat outside and it was great! I should warn you, when you first get there it, the area smells like you are in a barn, but that quickly fades. The outdoor seating is really nice because it’s open and there isn’t much obstructing your view of a great sunset. After we finished our meal, we took our dessert to the wooden bench and just enjoyed the quiet surroundings.

This time around we got there a little later and. although there were people eating outside, they had stopped seating any new parties. This worked out for the best because the wind was picking up, so we sat inside. There is a bar and tables surrounding the perimeter of the restaurant; we sat by the window. I like that the service has been great both times and the food comes out relatively quickly.

What we ate:

  • Brisket nachos ($9.99)
  • Catfish($12.99)
  • Nashville Chicken ($13.99)

Thoughts?

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The food was delicious! The nachos are a must. The chips are made in house and are perfectly crispy. They are served with smoked brisket, potlikker beans, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, and whiskey pickled jalapeños, all topped with Fremont hot sauce. I love the brisket because it sets the nachos apart from the usual meat options and gives it a smokey flavor. The marinade for the brisket gives the nachos a bit of a sweet taste, which is subtle but adds to the dynamic combination. The hot sauce and jalapeños definitely add a kick, so I recommend omitting them if you prefer the non-spicy lifestyle. I love cheese, so I appreciate that they don’t skimp on it, but it isn’t an overpowering component. The beans have a slight bite and have a very nice, deep flavor. The sour cream and guacamole help tie everything together. These nachos are truly delicious, a must order!

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This is our second time ordering the Nashville chicken and I enjoyed it much more the second time. The chicken is spicy and fried and comes with mac & cheese, white bread and pickles. I could do without the white bread, but the other sides are good. The last time we tried the chicken, we ordered as is. It was fried and “smothered” in hot sauce. I say smothered not because it was dunked and dripping, but because it almost seemed like part of the chicken. It looked as though it was brushed on afterward, but it tasted like it was cooked with the batter (it was red). The chicken was nice and moist, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the spice. It isn’t like any hot sauce I’ve tried before. Dennis seemed to really enjoy it, but I wasn’t completely sold. This time we ordered it “not spicy”; the waitress warned us that it would still have a mild spice just not as intense. I really liked it this time around! It was a notch above regular chicken, taste wise, but didn’t have an overpowering spice to it. It was just as moist and juicy as the first time and the outside was super crispy/ crunchy (which I LOVE).

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We tried the catfish for the first time and really liked it. This dish comes with Passmore Ranch catfish, collard greens, jalapeño cheddar hush puppies, pickled red onions & remoulade. They were out of collard greens for the night so they substituted it with cole slaw. The presentation isn’t great; the plate is taken up by the cole slaw, onions and hush puppies, so the fish pieces are laid on top of each other. Regardless of the presentation, the fish was great! It was flaky, fresh and, most importantly, didn’t smell fishy. The cole slaw was tasty, but I think the collard greens must complement the dish much better, so I am looking forward to trying them. The fish was spiced just enough without masking the fresh, natural flavor of the fish. It was lightly breaded and went extremely well with the remoulade (it had a sweet, relish-y taste). The pickled onions were great; they had just enough of that strong kick and went well with the catfish. My favorite addition was the hush puppies, they were delicious! The problem is the dish only comes with two and they don’t sell it as a side. Our waitress told us they are exclusively for the catfish, so they coordinate the amount of hush puppies with the number of expected catfish orders.

We didn’t make room for dessert this time, but I definitely recommend that you do. Last time we ordered a fresh apricot pie that was divine! I also noticed that they had some very unique flavored milkshakes which I must try next time (horchata and salted caramel were 2 that peaked my interest).

Side note: they serve breakfast, which I am dying to try! Everything looks amazing… check out the menu and try not to drool.

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