Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fat Dan's Deli

"Wow...I need more napkins and a shower!"  Not necessarily a good sign when you're out enjoying a family dinner, but in this case it's only the beginning.  FLOE had an opportunity to go out on one of the hottest Saturday's of the year for dinner.  Libby was off so it felt like a great day to venture up to Broadripple!  We really should live around there, but you know how it is...economy, etc. etc.  Back to our story...we were super psyched as we had decided to finally sample Fat Dan's!!! So many awesome reviews and now it was our turn.

We must reiterate, it was hot out.  Hades hot.  Slatherin' in the nethers hot.  And Fat Dan's A/C was either non-existent or had just given up in the kitchen heat.  No problem.  We were there for the food, no matter the consequences.

As you walk in, the first thing you notice is the non-chalant atmosphere.  You could be in any hole in the wall in any big city.  Low key, small space, but a lot of personality.  Definitely the spot to go to after a night of drinking with friends.  There is a chalk board menu and an order-at-the-counter set up.  Perfect for street eats with a seat.  Sadly, we found that they were out of several things; the cole slaw, ribs, and wings...hmmm.  FLOE knew they had to try some form of barbecue and the Italian Beef...so we got the I.B. dipped with sweet and hot peppers. You can get it in any number of different ways including double dipped or with cheese whiz.  Rib tips and their house made fries were a must.  We can't forget the draft Upland Wheats...especially good on this sweltering day.

So, we cop a squat at a table near the picture window and spend some time examining the scene.  Stella was oddly calm and observant as she sat on Libby's lap.  No folks, this is not the kind of place that caters to wee ones.  Again, not a problem. Ozzy noticed some games around(a large old-school arcade racing game, Connect 4 and what looked like a chess game box) and immediately wanted to know if they were for kids...uh, could be, but our guess is it was for the bigger kids. ;)  So, he settled on Daddy's iphone.  Out of seemingly nowhere, a nearby patron got our attention and asked if we were FLOEats Indy...uh...yes.  In the literal heat of the moment, we hope we came across as thankful of their compliments as we were.  It was somewhat shocking to be noticed.  Thank you, young reader, whomever you are.  We truly appreciate your support.

Did we mention it was hot?  ;)  The food arrived with a parchment paper matt for the table.  No plates here. On top of it was placed a huge Italian Beef that looked the part...tons of peppers piled high and the kind of maneuvering that doesn't allow for any type of clean or polite eating...this was a "MANwich."  Just get ready to get sloppy.

So tender...so much flavor...and more heat...It was hot before the food got there...now the beads of sweat were forming and suddenly FLOE was beginning to feel a religious experience coming on.  What is it about eating spicy, hot food in an equally sauna like environment?  Libby kept thinking how being this uncomfortable was really adding to the experience.  You were earning the goodness that was going in.  It was cleansing, real.  Not the commercialized comfort we are exposed to and grow to expect on every dining experience.  This was the real thing.  Fat Dan was pulling no punches.  This is what it costs in 90 degree weather to have a great sandwich...Man-up...or Woman-up in this case. ;)

If the Italian Beef weren't enough, the rib tips just gave more.  More flavors, tons of different textures between the char and the fatty super tender bits...so tender in fact that Stella, with only two bottom teeth, was able to enjoy her first bit of pork ever.  Such a comfort to know that in our twilight years, when we're down to dentures, we'll still be able to enjoy some rib tips!

Lastly, the fries.  Not that they are the bottom of the barrel by any means.  They were great.  Hot, skin on, fresh cut potatoes...excellent frying well seasoned.  As good as they were, they really paled in comparison to the whole meat experience.  Kind of like when you go to Fogo de Chao and they have that killer salad bar, probably the best we've ever had, but you don't want to waste an inch of space when you know the meat love that is to come.  Yeah, this is yet another carnivores paradise.

Oh, and if it isn't crystal clear...Even though you weren't there this day, we love you, Dan.





http://www.fatdansdeli.com/

Wrap Up
Price-$$, $10 per meal...more than the average fast food, but more than worth it.
Atmosphere-****, Normally sweating while we eat wouldn't get such a high rating, but in this case, it just added.  The two staff were as warm as the kitchen.  Upbeat and truly happy to serve great eats!
Service-****, Self order and fast.  Exactly how it should be for a great Italian Beef.

Overall
Fred - A+, Perfect beer selection an Italian Beef JUST like I remember from Chi-town!
Libby - A+, Solid and delicious meats and potatoes.  It was the kind of experience that will stand out in my memory.  Don't change a thing.  Keep making it and they will come.
Ozzy- B, Lots of visual entertainment and tasty fries.
Estelle-B, Although Stella wasn't as comfy as she could be, she was diggin the pork and fries!

Fat Dan's Chicago-Style Deli on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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