Fat Man’s Cafe

Hamburgers | Meat-and-Three
excellent
Worth a detour
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Keith McLendon (Roadfood.com’s Chickenplucker) knows more than anyone about great places to eat in Georgia, especially in the Augusta area, so when he praised the lunch he had at Fat Man’s Cafe as “outstanding,” it automatically made my hit list. It is a unique location with fascinating history, located in the maintenance building of the old Enterprise Mill, which started in 1848 as a flour mill, went through many industrial lives, died in 1983, and was reborn in the 1990s as a mixed-use venue for office space, lofts, and retail stores.

Fat Man’s Cafe has its own history dating back to the 1940s when “Fat Man” Usry opened a restaurant / grocery store on Laney Walker Boulevard that also became a beloved Christmas tree shop. Today run by Fat Man’s Son, Brad, and grandson, Havird, the cafe is a charming enterprise that specializes in classic Dixie fare from smothered chicken to grilled pimento cheese sandwiches to banana pudding for dessert.

The list of vegetables is long and inviting, some its highlights being creamy, onion-sweetened squash casserole crowned with chewy cheese, sweet potato casserole, fried pickles, and field peas. Both collard greens and mac ‘n’ cheese are agreeably mild — more comfort-food than kick-ass — and sweet potato fries are big and hunky. The last time I ate here, fried okra was whole pods, their fresh-vegetable crunch enveloped in a crisp, salty coat. It is possible to have a vegetable-only meal (four of them) with biscuit or cornbread for under $8, but it would be a shame to miss Fat Man’s superb fried chicken, made according to a recipe of long-time employee Miss Pearl. If you like beef of the comfort-food variety, pot roast is a must, served in a gravy-topped heap of big-flavored chunks and shreds on a bed of rice.

As for dessert, when I first ate here, I whined that the banana pudding wasn’t as good as everything else. That has changed. What host Havird Usry calls “banana pudding 2.0” is buttery, from-scratch pudding leavened with a cloud of topping and sheaved with cookies and slices of ripe banana. It’s glorious!

What to Eat
Fat Man’s Cafe, Bacon Cheesy Fat Burger
Bacon Cheesy Fat Burger
Must-Try
Bacon Cheesy Fat Burger with the works. Pimento cheese is available in lieu of regular American.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Pulled Bar-B-Que Pork
Pulled Bar-B-Que Pork
Must-Try
Pulled pork is a scrumptious tangle of lean shreds and nuggets that radiate smoke perfume and glow with pork flavor.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken
Must-Try
When teeth crunch through the judiciously seasoned crust of this chicken thigh, juices flow.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding
Must-Try
Banana pudding is a marvel of creamy indulgence swirled with a cloud of whipped topping.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Fried Okra
Fried Okra
Must-Try
Whole fried okra retains just-right al dente vegetable crunch beneath its crisp, salty coat.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Squash Casserole
Squash Casserole
Must-Try
Creamy, onion-sweetened squash casserole is crowned with chewy cheese.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Pot Roast
Pot Roast
Must-Try
Falling-apart tender pot roast on rice, squash casserole, fried whole okra, dressing with gravy, and cornbread.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is sweet and spicy enough that it could pass as a crustless sweet potato pie.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are thick. crisp-edge logs that strike a nice balance of sweet and salty.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
The mac 'n' cheese is mild-tempered; you can request as as much chewy skin as you like.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Fried Pickles
Fried Pickles
Crisp-fried dill pickle chips pack powerful salty punch inside their lush crust.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Collard greens are soft and oily supporting players for such entrees as pot roast, pulled pork, or smothered chicken.
Fat Man’s Cafe, Steamed Cabbage
Steamed Cabbage
Steamed cabbage is as tender as food can be and tenderly flavored, too. Cruciferous comfort food!
Directions and Hours
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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