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A watering hole for urban warriors

Text, photos and video by VINCENT GO

BEING at Fred’s Revolucion is like going back to a time when the cold war was raging and revolutions were the in thing. It calls to mind a scene from the 1960s movie “M.A.S.H.” whose battle-weary soldiers guzzled up after a hectic day on the war front.

Only this time, the arena is the concrete jungle, and Fred’s customers are modern-day warriors who battle stressful workdays and maddening traffic, among other problems.

Fred’s Revolucion is owned by photojournalist Jose “Derek” Soriano who has covered his fair share of wars, activist Red Constantino who waged wars of his own, and their friend, business news editor Gina Abuyuan. Coincidentally, all three happen to have a grandfather named Fred, hence the restaurant’s name.

When the owners are behind the counter, a friendly Labrador named Gizzard welcomes customers and hangs out with them.

Fred’s chef is Soriano, who finds cooking more satisfying and rewarding than engaging in the current local political and media scene, and whose style of cooking is influenced by his numerous travels on assignment in different parts of the world.

Describing Fred’s cuisine, Abuyuan said, “Our food is cooked more for the taste, rather than the health.”

At Fred’s, customers chill and enjoy brews and food that don’t burn a hole in the pocket. Crowd favorites include dishes like the Split Banger and Mash, sausage that is sliced and served on top of mashed potatoes and gravy. Fred’s has its version of Fish and Chips—fish fillet and fries infused with crispy dilis. Bagnet Blachan is deep fried pork served with spicy bagoong dressing.

Fred’s also has weekly specials like the Chicken Chop on Mash, Chili Garlic Ribs, Smoked Boar and Salsa, Ho Chi Wings and the delicious but sinful Tres Amigos that could put the weak-hearted on the emergency room list.

Opened in August of 2011, Fred’s is one of the more popular establishments at Cubao X, the arcade that used to house the Marikina Shoe Expo. Fred’s has become a favorite hangout of artists, photographers, writers and other wacky characters this part of town.

“I like the crowd, the laid back atmosphere with the right amount of ambiance,”
said Wing, one Fred’s habitués.

Customers who have grown fond of the place have started pinning memorabilia on the wall such as old photos, currencies from around the world, posters, flags, hats, shirts, and the like.

Fred’s has also played host to the works of the country’s best photographers like Geric Cruz, Rick Rocamora, and Soriano himself.

Currently on display is the work of Gil Nartea, close-in photographer of President Beningo Simeon Aquino III. Nartea’s exhibit is called “Sa Tagumpay ng Rebolusyon,” a collection of his early works documenting the communist movement in the country.

Fred’s Revolucion is located at Shop 66 in Cubao X at the Araneta Center in Quezon City. The area is quiet during the day with only several galleries and old memorabilia shops open.

It starts to come alive around sunset and could get jam-packed during weekends. For those who want to be pampered, Fred’s on weekends won’t be your cup of tea—it’s for the city-weary who don’t mind not being waited on, and simply seek a respite from the urban war zone.

Habitues of Fred's Revolucion