I headed to Freighthouse Square today in search of lunch on the cheap. In the last month, three new restaurants have opened at Freighthouse and signs indicate two more restaurants will open soon. Freighthouse always seems a revolving door of restaurants. Sometimes disappointing, sometimes hidden gems – what you get at Freighthouse always is a mixed bag.
My dining partner and I stopped in at the newly opened Cyber Pasta, located just off the main food court at the mall. It’s an order-at-the-counter place with a pasta concept merged with coffee (serving Pura Vida free trade coffee) and free wifi. The restaurant offers mix-and-match pasta and sauces. Diners can pair penne, spaghetti, fettuccine, tortellini or linguine with seven sauces that range from marina to alfredo to a sesame ginger. Any pairing is $4.99.
We split the spicy pomodoro penne pasta ($4.99). The counter worker told us the sauce was of the prefab variety, but doctored. We were surprised and impressed with the addition of sauteed and still slightly crunchy fresh broccoli, cauliflower, squash, red peppers and onions, as well as shredded parmesan and chopped parsley. Fine dining it’s not, but for a filling $5 lunch, it hit the spot.
We also ordered the pizza. It was bargain priced at $5.99, but with a very thick and crumbly crust and sauce that tasted from a can, we only ate a slice each. Far tastier pizza can be found at the well-priced $8.79 lunch buffet up the hill at The Rock.
Cyber Pasta: 430 E. 25th St., inside Freighthouse Square. 253-507-5480 or www.cyberpasta.net. Hours 5 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.
In other Freighthouse restaurant news, here’s a look at what’s open or opening soon:
M&J’s Lumpia: This new restaurant serves Filipino style food. The house special pancit combo ($6.50) came with a side salad (straight out of a bag), a soda, steamed white rice and pancit, a savory Filipino rice noodle dish that is a Filipino restaurant staple. Upgrade your rice to bacon fried rice for a buck. On our visit, the restaurant owner was giving free samples of the rice, which I found greasy, but flavorful from meaty chunks of bacon. The chicken adobo combo ($6.95) –with rice, salad and a drink –was tangy from a vinegar-punched marinade. The chicken was prepared with party style chicken wings instead of the thighs I’m used to seeing with adobo. The lumpia came fried golden brown, but both the lumpia wrapper and ground hamburger mixture inside were greasy. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. 253-301-4785
Fam’s Southern Fried Chicken: This Southern style fried chicken restaurant opened Saturday. Located on the far end of the food court, the restaurant specializes in fried chicken and Southern style sides – dirty rice, collard greens and cornbread. I’ll head back soon for a cheap lunch report.
Coming soon at Freighthouse:
Lekker Belgian Waffles: This small restaurant will be located where T&D Sushi formerly operated.
Bochino’s Fine Sausage: Another small space located next to the Asian barbecue restaurant.
And one more piece of Freighthouse-related news. Celebrity Cake studios recently opened a cake tasting showroom at the Landmark convention center. They will continue to operate the bakery at Freighthouse Square.