Mystery Diner: Freddy’s a nice addition to Crystal Lake’s burger offerings

Freddy’s, famous for its frozen custard and steakburgers, has made its way to McHenry County.

This wasn’t our first visit to a Freddy’s restaurant. We’ve feasted on the chain’s burgers, hot dogs and frozen custard at a number of locales. The new Crystal Lake location, one of three businesses in a Northwest Highway strip mall, is smaller than most standalone Freddy’s, but has all of the restaurant’s features and red-and-white trimmings. It’s a place our sons used to like to go following baseball games. Being affordable and having a menu to please all of our appetites, Freddy’s was a popular choice for our family.

And the smells emanating from the flattop grills are amazing.

This being our first visit to the new restaurant, we switched up from our usual menu choices, opting for a Crispy Chicken Combo with cheese fries ($8.79), Double Cheeseburger Combo with onion rings ($8.99) and a Chicago Dog ($4.19).

The Crispy Chicken sandwich features chicken breast with a coating true to its name. It crunched with each bite and was tasty. Freddy’s fries are thin potato strings and are very good. Freddy’s doesn’t just give you a cup of cheese dip with its cheese fries, it drizzles cheese sauce over the fries and rarely was a fry missed.

Usually, we choose the patty melt at Freddy’s. This time, we selected the Double Cheeseburger. And like the Crispy Chicken, the burger was draped with two long strips of pickle. This was daunting, but we were fooled. The pickles complemented the sandwiches well. The onion rings were some of the best we’ve had. The coating beautifully encapsulated a good-sized piece of onion.

On to the Chicago Dog. Freddy’s admits this is its spin on the Chicago Dog, so it’s not authentic, though it is made with a Vienna Beef hot dog. It’s topped with relish, mustard, onion, hot peppers and celery salt, and, of course, there’s no ketchup. It tasted like the real thing, but was in a grilled bun. We had to remove some of the celery salt. Let’s chalk that up to the new location working out some of the kinks.

You must cap a visit to Freddy’s with a dessert. Again, we tried something new. We chose the Mini Hot Fudge Sundae with a chocolate and vanilla swirl ($3.39) and a Hawaiian Concrete ($4.89). Both tasted fine, but the execution needed work. The sundae of frozen custard ringed in hot fudge would benefit from nuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top. As for the concrete, it was mixed a little zealously to more of a milkshake consistency.

Overall, Freddy’s is a nice addition to Crystal Lake’s burger offerings. And for those just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, the frozen custard offerings should be an enticing summer treat.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

WHERE: 5500 Northwest Highway, Suite A, Crystal Lake

PHONE: 779-220-2345