Excellent | Worth a Detour
Fat Boy’s Bar B Que Ranch
Review by: Michael Stern
Camp stew is Alabama’s take on Brunswick stew, often containing several meats (traditionally, game) and whatever vegetables are available. Unlike most Brunswick stew, camp stew also often includes disks of okra, the Gulf-Coast favorite vegetable that adds crunch as well as gumbo thickness to the brew. It’s an old culinary tradition around here, but — at least in restaurants — mostly forgotten.
It has not been forgotten at Fat Boy’s Bar B Que Ranch, where camp stew is just one item on a full, old-fashioned rustic BBQ menu that also includes pork, beef brisket, smoked sausage, chicken, ribs, and turkey. The pork is fine, well accompanied by Fat Boy’s sweet and modestly spicy sauce; ribs are good, too: big ones with moist, tender meat that barely wants any sauce. I especially love Fat Boy’s chicken, which packs deeply smoky campfire flavor. Sausage is spicy; turkey is fairly bland (dietetic-tasting). The only real disappointment among Fat Boy’s meats is brisket, which is tender but lacks the red-meat oomph of BBQ beef at its best.
Alternatives to a BBQ plate or sandwich include BBQ salad and BBQ-stuffed potatoes. Side dishes are such standards as baked beans, potato salad, French fries, and onion rings. Camp Stew is listed as a side dish, too.
While banana pudding isn’t all that interesting (fairly dense) and peach cobbler is nothing special (more pastry than fruit). Fat Boy’s fried pies can be outstanding, enveloped in crust that wants to flake as soon as it is touched by fork or finger. The pies are so fragile that they are virtually impossible to pick up and eat out of hand, as they tend to disintegrate, leaving the eater with handful of warm blackberry, apple, or cherry filling.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|