Fatso’s Last Stand | Better Burgers & Red Hots, Chicago Style

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

Who’s Fatso?

Fatso may be a real person, or (s)he may just be a caricature of a glutton. Perhaps fatso is just an idea. Perhaps there is a little bit of Fatso in all of us. After lunch of better burgers & red hots at Fatso’s Last Stand, we felt in touch with our inner Fatso.

A Cut Above

This stand aims to make more of the common burger and hot dog experience by using top-quality ingredients. A soda fountain that is full of house-branded pop instead Coke or Pepsi products makes this clear. While the dining area and counter service operation superficially resembles fast food, Fatso Burgers and fries are more like what you get from a sit-down restaurant. Thick, charbroiled burgers come dressed with vibrant ripe tomatoes and lettuce. Fragrant seasoning salt brightens bronze, skin-on fries.

Better Burgers & Red Hots

Fatso burgers lead the menu, but in this burger place, the alternatives hold even more appeal. Hot dogs, for example. Fatso’s uses the all-important Vienna Beef frank. But rather than steaming or broiling it, they split it and char-cook it until its casing turns black. Other Chicago dog houses char their red hots, but Fatso’s has perfected the process. The poppy seed bun and dressings are true to tradition with a dill pickle spear, slices of tomato, and celery salt atop. But they don’t dye the piccalilli Green River emerald. They use a more natural-looking relish. Die-hard purists might begrudge Fatso for charring the dogs and not dyeing the relish, but he’s only making us fatter and happier.

Superb Shrimp

Better burgers & red hots should not be ignored, but but we like Fatso’s fried shrimp best of all. They are plump butterflied and panko-breaded beauties fried golden crisp, available with cocktail sauce, spicy cocktail or buffalo sauce. Spicy cocktail is the best. The shrimp dipped in this tangy concoction remind us of some of our favorite coastal fish houses.

What To Eat

Fatso Burger w/ Cheese

Char-dog with Fries

Fried Shrimp


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