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 at Fatso’s Last Stand, we felt in touch with our inner Fatso.
This stand aims to make more of the common burger and hot dog experience by using top-quality ingredients. This is apparent from a soda fountain that is full of house branded pop instead Coke or Pepsi products.
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. The burgers are thick, charbroiled, and dressed with vibrant ripe tomatoes and lettuce. Skin-on fries are bronze and sprinkled with fragrant seasoning salt. Fatso burgers are indeed very good, but it’s one of those rare burger places where the alternatives are even more appealing than the main attraction.
Fried shrimp is our first choice here. 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 reminds us of some of our favorite coastal fish houses, transporting us from a grey day in Chicago.
If you’re driving through town, you should eat as many Chicago dogs as you can stomach, and the version at Fatso’s is worth making your hit-list. It starts with the all-important Vienna Beef frank, but instead of getting steamed or broiled, it is split and charred until the casing is blackened. While Fatso isn’t the first to char a Chicago dog, they have perfected it. 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 relish Green River emerald, instead using a more natural product. Die-hard purists might begrudge Fatso for charring the dogs and not dyeing the relish, but he’s only making us fatter and happier.