Taco Tuesdays: Fred’s Mexican Cafe in Huntington Beach

Hello UC Irvine. Paul Backus here with ‘Paul’s Picks.’ I’m going to be passing along some information on some of my favorite deals I’ve found on food, hang-out spots and stuff during my time in Southern California.
I like to go out on the town, or, for that matter, out of town pretty regularly and I’m usually just about broke, so I’ve managed to find some pretty good deals over the years. Whether you’re looking for a new mid-week hangout or a cheap place to visit over Spring Break, if you’re stuck in Irvine this column will have something for you.
Paul’s Pick for this week is Fred’s Mexican Cafe in Huntington Beach. Fred’s sits on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, and has a clear view of the Huntington Pier from the outside deck area. The best time to go is during Taco Tuesdays.
Taco Tuesdays is a wonderful phenomenon occurring at Mexican restaurants everywhere in Irvine and surrounding cities. Fred’s version of this deal is probably the best pick for a group wanting a real night out with some time to kill. The tacos are $2 each, and two to three tacos should be sufficient to satisfy the appetite of the average male.
Fred’s has a fairly low-key party atmosphere. It’s not quite as OC-trendy as some of its neighbors like Sharky’s or Hurricane’s, opting for more rock than hip-hop played at a level low enough that people can still carry on conversations.
Fred’s does have some of the components common to most coastal restaurants, including an almost all-female serving staff and greeters dressed in wife-beaters that, in this case, say ‘Kiss My Taco Tuesday’ and seem scientifically engineered with cleavage in mind. There are a couple of pool tables in the corner by the bar and plenty of seating for diners.
Expect to wait about 20 minutes to an hour for a booth. The estimated waiting time is usually pretty accurate, so you’ll know if you have time to check out Main Street for a little while or maybe just grab a beer at the bar if you’re old enough. Upon being seated, you’ll get fairly addicting chips and salsa while you place your order and wait for your food.
Fred’s offers chicken, fish, calamari and carnitas tacos for two bucks on Tuesdays. You can also get a steak or shrimp taco for a dollar more. These tacos are pretty big and I’m usually good with two.
And that’s Fred’s in a nutshell. Stay tuned for future deals on food, as well as fairly cheap local travel destinations or whatever else I think people should know about.