Hours: Monday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Sunday.
Atmosphere: Small storefront-type restaurant decorated with Bolivian crafts.
Price range: From $3 to $5 for dinners; $1 to $2.85 for appetizers; $1.25 for desserts.
Credit cards: None.
Special facilities: Beer and wine license; no boosters or high chairs; one step up making wheelchair access more difficult.
Freddy's is a tiny Mount Pleasant storefront establishment -- with charming Bolivian wall hangings but motel-like tables and chairs -- that serves a mixture of good Bolivian food and French fare.
On the menu, for example, are salad nicoise ($3.25) and papa huancaina, potatoes Bolivian style.
Freddy Ramirez, the owner, worked at several of Washington's French restaurants where he learned to make the French dishes. He learned well, but the reason to try his restaurant is the Bolivian food.
Freddy's, one of two recently opened Bolivian restaurants in Washington, does not boast a booster seat or high chair, but our two-and-a-half-year-old was happily placed on a telephone book. And her grandmother, used to fancier fare, was delighted with the informality and the novelty of such a good ethnic restaurant.
We tried three appetizers. The cold gazpacho $1) seemed rather bland. In contrast, the papa huancaina ($1.35), a boiled potato covered with a hot peanut sauce, was quite delicious. (We also learned that to a Bolivian, a meal without potatoes is no meal.)
The third appetizer we tried was a fine pate de campagne with homemade, lemony mayonnaise and nicely garnished with hard-boiled eggs, black olives and tomatoes on shredded iceberg lettuce. It was served with French bread and margarine. At $2.85, the pate seemed a bit high in price for the restaurant.
The restaurant only has seven tables and the wait to be seated sometimes can be lengthy, particularly on weekends. Also, at such a small restaurant it was surprising to find a beer and wine license. Wine is available by the carafe 4.25) or glass.
For the main course, we tried three Bolivian dishes. Sagta de pollo ($2.50), chicken Bolivian style in a tomato sauce with the typical spices of hot pepper and cumin, was very good and not too hot for our daughter to enjoy.
A second entree, beef tongue ($3.95), was tender and tasty, covered with the same sauce as the chicken. The falso conejo ($3.95), breaded beef Bolivian style, was not of the schnitzel variety but much softer, less bready and covered with a peppery tomato sauce.
With all the entrees came the same potato and good flaky white rice. To the American palate, green vegetables were lacking with the entrees. There was a selection of salads, however, which we did not try.
For dessert, there was chocolate mousse, which was quite good though not great; creme caramel, which seemed a bit overcooked; and peach melba, which was quite good except for the canned whipped cream. Each was $1.25.
Our bill for four came to $26.50 without tip -- not bad for appetizers, main course, wine, dessert and beverage in the heart of Washington.