What We Think: El Fredo’s succeeds with sauce, not with service
4 mins read

What We Think: El Fredo’s succeeds with sauce, not with service

In What We Think, the Verve Team ventures out to try businesses, restaurants, products and trends so you don’t have to. This week we tested out Vermillion’s newest restaurant, El Fredo’s, a chain Italian eatery from Sioux City focusing on pizza, pasta, sandwiches and wings.

After Little Italy’s closed last year, Vermillion had no solely Italian restaurants: enter El Fredo’s.

With the limited number and types of restaurants in Vermillion, variety is not at a surplus. With that said, we decided whether or not Vermillion’s newest addition, El Fredo’s, compromises quantity for quality. 

Deciding to go to El Fredo’s on a Sunday night at 7 p.m. seemed like a safe choice at first, but proved to still take as long as a dinner on a Friday night.

Seated in the back corner of the restaurant, the blue and beige walls were not donned with any decoration or pictures nor did the tables have any either. The staff was very kind but seemed to struggle when it came to communication between the customers and the kitchen. After ordering drinks, a small cheese pizza and a side order of fettuccine alfredo, the waiter disappeared for 40 minutes.

There was another group seated behind us, coming in about 15 minutes after us, who got their pizza 10 minutes before us. Our waiter kindly explained he didn’t understand why the table behind us got their pizza first and that ours would be out shortly. Once the pizza and pasta came out, he didn’t have forks, napkins or plates ready for us. 

The pizza fresh out of the oven and was a hand-tossed thin crust. For those fans of thin crust pizza, this is definitely the place for you, but those who think thin crust tastes like crackers, we do not recommend it. The overall flavor of the pizza was good. As for cheese, there was just the right amount, but the real star of the show was the sauce. El Fredo’s slogan is “the secret is in the sauce” and they didn’t disappoint. A robust tomato flavor with accents of garlic and basil are the perfect match to a crisp, cheese pizza.

The pasta wasn’t so satisfying. A simple fettuccine alfredo is a staple in all Italian restaurants, but the sauce, noodles and overall flavor fell flat. The alfredo sauce didn’t have the iconic creamy flavor, rather it had a tangy aftertaste. The noodles were either not cooked through or were too soft to enjoy. The pasta overall was disappointing.

Our waiter didn’t return to our table again until he handed us the check, which was when we stated we wanted to order dessert. The waiter was visibly surprised and admitted he never had a customer order dessert.

We ordered a slice of tiramisu and a cannoli which were obviously frozen since they came out extremely cold. The desserts were surprisingly very good and would soothe any Italian dessert sweet tooth.

Overall, the dinner took an hour and a half even though there were only three other tables being served while we were there. The overall cost of two drinks, a small cheese pizza, a side order of pasta and two desserts came out to about $30, which is fairly steep compared to other options in Vermillion.

We suggest going to El Fredo’s for the pizza and dessert, but skip the pasta and prepare yourself for a long dinner. El Fredo’s is obviously still working out some of the kinks when it comes to being a well-functioning restaurant, however, it’s another dining option in Vermillion.