A Cow-Town Classic

Walking into one of three Fred’s Texas Cafes is like going back to college. At Fred’s TCU, flip flops and university flags hang from the ceiling over pool tables and televisions.

A chalky surfboard displays the day’s specials (chicken fried steak on this occasion). Next to it, a mirrored back bar is stocked with spirits and silver taps, the latter of which dispense ice cold beer into frosty mugs.

Inside the lively Fred's TCU, college flags and televisions create a festive ambiance.
Inside the lively Fred’s TCU, college flags and televisions create a festive ambiance.

On pretty days, the street-facing garage doors open, making this Fort Worth institution the spot to be on game day (or any day for that matter.) The Original Fred’s, located on Currie Street, has live music almost every evening.

Fred’s has been open since 1978 when Gari and JD Chandler bought Ken’s Café then changed its name to Fred’s. Today, the popular establishment is run by their son, Terry Chandler, otherwise known as the “Outlaw Chef.”

Texas Cafe chef and proprietor, Terry Chandler, grills burgers in the kitchen.
Texas Cafe chef and proprietor, Terry Chandler, grills burgers in the kitchen. (In this picture, shop commercial griddles, commercial charbroilers, and turners)

Terry grew up learning to cook by live fire and was influenced by his grill-master father and his chuck-wagon-cooking uncle. He has cooked everywhere from the Zapata Ranch in Colorado to the Pitchfork cattle ranches in West Texas. These diverse culinary experiences proved formative for Chandler, who is known for serving up some of the best Southwestern, rustic cuisine in Fort Worth, or “Cow-Town” as it’s called in these parts.


“I mean, everything back there comes from (Mission) and I’m not entertaining plans of ever changing.”


Today, Terry and his team are keeping the Cow-Town tradition alive at Fred’s through their beef-centric menu, serving specialty burgers, hearty ribeyes, and chicken fried steaks.

“My favorite thing in the whole world to cook is beef in any shape, form, and fashion,” he said. “All you need is some fire and a little salt.” And, of course, a healthy serving of talent and passion.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Chef Terry over the years on his kitchen and vision for Fred’s. Whether it’s his walk-in or reach-in refrigeration or the pots, pans, and smallwares that bring his dishes to the table, Terry is a true partner with a genuine enthusiasm for all the people and tools that help make his operation possible. “I mean, everything back there comes from (Mission) and I’m not entertaining plans of ever changing,” he said.

A line up of dishes and devoted Fred’s employees working in the back of the house.
A line up of dishes and devoted Fred’s employees working in the back of the house. (In this picture, shop refrigerated prep tables, bun pan racks, condiment shakers, to-go containers, and wall-mount shelving.)

Can you guess what his most used piece of equipment is? A Vollrath French Fry Cutter!

Fred’s is known for their hand-cut fries, which Terry and his team make with the help of our Vollrath commercial cutter. Once the potatoes are cut, they are fried, topped with swiss and cheddar cheeses, grilled onions, crispy bacon, jalapeños, and taco meat, then served hot to hungry customers. They’re a not-to-miss side dish that should be mandatory for all new patrons.

Order up! Plated burgers are ready for serving.
Order up! Plated burgers are ready for serving.

Additionally, Terry has his own historic wagon, the “Ought Zero,” which dates back to the late 1800s. From this wagon, Terry will cook and cater parties of all sizes. Terry is a dynamic restaurateur and spirited chef whose character and talent have solidified him as a Cow-Town Classic.

Some related product and equipment categories that Mission Restaurant Supply carries include:

Don’t forget the hand-cut fries at Fred’s Texas Café – they’re a customer favorite cut fresh every day.
Don’t forget the hand-cut fries at Fred’s Texas Café – they’re a customer favorite cut fresh every day.

Visit Fred’s Texas Café on your next visit to Fort Worth. (fredstexascafe.com)

Fred’s Original
915 Currie St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
817-332-0083

Fred’s TCU
3509 Bluebonnet Circle
Fort Worth, TX 76109
817-916-4650

Fred’s North
2730 Western Center
Fort Worth, TX 76131
817-232-0111

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