Still, it’s a fairly long day from the Knoxville area to Charleston… When we needed to take a break and grab something to eat, we pulled off of I-26 in Spartanburg South Carolina. We checked out the usual fast food and sit-down chains and then Laurie spotted FATZ… We’d never heard of this restaurant before and we do like trying something new when possible.
I don't know why, but I stuck with one of life’s basic foods…a cheeseburger. We had promised ourselves that we would order burgers the way they would normally come…so we’d have more representative photos. But, once again, habit took control and I ordered the burger minus the lettuce, tomato, red onion and, unintentionally, also the dill pickle chips. This was my cheeseburger…and I had mayo on the side. The buns at FATZ are buttered and toasted and the beef is never frozen…always a plus! I'd rate the burger as very good…juicy and flavorful.
There were a total of 7 different burgers on the menu, plus a turkey burger. In addition, there are 7 other sandwiches available plus 3 different soups and 8 salads ranging from a dinner salad to entrée salads.
(Note: There are also 10 Lite Items on the menu for the health conscious diner. In addition, all fried foods are fried in 100% canola oil)
I ordered a side salad to accompany my cheeseburger. I didn't eat the French fries as carbs tend to put me asleep while I'm driving. (I did try one and it was a decent fry) The salad was larger than expected and as Laurie wasn't crazy about her slaw, we shared the salad. In addition to the greens, the salad comes with shredded carrots, cucumbers, jack and cheddar cheese, warm applewood smoked bacon and vine-ripened cherry tomatoes. Then I smothered it with FATZ own bleu cheese dressing.
Every time I order a salad like this, I can’t help but think about two of the guys I worked with during my career. Pete would freak out if they brought him a salad with croutons on it and John swore that he’d never eat moldy cheese! My mind works in strange and mysterious ways…I haven’t worked with Pete in 25 years…
This was what Laurie spotted on the menu that she wanted to try… This is FATZ Calabash Chicken. She ordered the aforementioned cole slaw with it as a side and although she didn't care for it, I thought it was decent and I ate part of it.
The Calabash Chicken is described as chicken ‘tenders’ marinated for 24-hours, then hand breaded to order. Honey mustard sauce is provided for dipping. While I’ve never come to grips with terms such as ‘tenders’ or ‘strips’ or even ‘boneless’ chicken wings for that matter, Laurie and I both agreed that FATZ Calabash Chicken was a very tasty winner! While we’ve had better fried chicken, this would rank right up there and between the marinade and the batter they use, plus the dipping sauce, the taste was unique in a good way.
Other items on the menu include 11 different appetizers, 5 steak, rib and chop items with 4 different toppings, 9 seafood entrees, (including shrimp and grits as well as parmesan encrusted basa), 7 chicken dishes and fifty (50) lunch combos for only $5.99 each.Admittedly, we’ve only been to FATZ once…but based on this first try, we’ll be back and we’d recommend FATZ to other travelers pending our next meal and commentary. Service was prompt and, as shown above, the ambiance was friendly and warm. We’re not sure about the name "FATZ" in this increasingly diet focused environment… It certainly runs counter to current culture.
FATZ is a regional chain of 48 restaurants based out of Taylor’s South Carolina. The parent company is Café Enterprises, Inc. FATZ restaurants may be found in South Carolina, North Carolina, western Virginia, northeastern Tennessee and north Georgia. For more information, check it out at www.fatz.com.