When you walk into Jack’s Wife Freda in New York City, a smiling waiter and the wafting smell of Middle Eastern, Israeli and American food greet you.
Once seated at one of the family-style dining tables, you look around. You smile at the strangers sitting beside you and begin to make small talk with your friends. Most people would think that sitting an elbow’s length away from a stranger would be weird and uncomfortable, but here it is quite the opposite.
The family atmosphere of Jack’s Wife Freda is just what you need when you are feeling nostalgic and want to reminisce about your childhood. It’s perfect for when you are missing the home-cooked meals that used to adorn your dining room table.
Jack’s Wife Freda is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant offers a vast array of plates. The meals cost an average of $20 and come with a side, such as a chopped salad or fries.
One of the more popular breakfast dishes at Jack’s Wife Freda is the Rosewater Waffle topped with Lebanese yogurt, mixed berries and honey syrup. This take on classic breakfast food is one that will make you never look at waffles the same way again.
Although yogurt may not sound appealing on a waffle to some, it is what makes this dish so unique.
The Rosewater Waffle meets your mouth with a tantalizing mixture of sweet and sour. This mixture causes you not only to savor every bite, but also to feel full without the heaviness of carbs weighing your stomach down.
The dish is ordered often because of its tremendous taste, and for its visual appeal. The vibrant berries and cream-colored yogurt, which contrasts with the yellow waffle itself, make passersby stop and admire it. The waffle is also a great excuse to take an artsy photo for your Instagram story.
Although the waffle is a very popular dish for breakfast, nothing compares to the Prego Roll at lunch. It is a Portuguese skirt steak sandwich with garlic butter. The minute this dish is put in front of you, your mouth will water.
You will devour this sandwich in less than five minutes. When you feel sad that you did not savor it enough, you will soon come to realize that the fries on your plate, and the aioli-based hot sauce beside them, are just as magnificent.
This aioli hot sauce is famous at Jack’s Wife Freda because of its smoothness. The texture contrasts with the kick of the ever-so-present hot sauce. Its almost ketchup-like feel doubles as the perfect spread for Jack’s Burger or the Prego Roll, and even to dip your fries in.
Some people have gone as far as to ask for some hot sauce in a to go box. Others have drunk the leftover sauce as if it were a smoothie. This is because these people know that they will never be able to recreate it.
Although the dinner menu at Jack’s Wife Freda includes some of the entrees from lunch, nothing compares to the Bloody Mary Mussels with fries. Although this entree is a little pricier at $24, it is worth it. You receive a generous portion of mussels soaked in a light tomato purée.
After you finish every mussel and you think you cannot eat another bite, you come to realize, yet again, that there are still fries on your plate. This leads to another enticing aspect of the Bloody Mary Mussels: dipping your fries into the leftover Bloody Mary sauce at the bottom of your dish.
Despite being full after dinner, people cannot seem to pass up the many enticing desserts after seeing the waiters bring them out for other customers.
A very popular dessert is the Flourless Chipotle Chocolate Cake with chocolate mousse. The cake, although flourless, is very light.
The chipotle and mousse combination deftly pronounces the undertones of the chocolate. The chocolate cake is so good that you will hear it calling you back for more.
Once you have signed your check and received a collectible postcard from Jack’s Wife Freda, you leave feeling as though you had a home-cooked meal.
If you fell in love with one of the amazing meals at Jack’s Wife Freda but cannot go there every weekend, do not worry. There is a cookbook with all their fantastic recipes available to buy.
A warning, though: it will never taste the same as when you are in the family-style feel of the restaurant.