After September, the Outer Banks quiets down. Seasonal places close. But there’s one spot everyone still relies on: Fatty’s Eatery. Here, the summer spirit lives on, from sand on the floor to an ice cream parlor at the end of the building. We arrive on a windy December morning, just in time for breakfast.
In addition to such house favorites as biscuits and gravy, there’s an entire “Batter Bar” section. Here, you can choose your “vessel” — a Belgian waffle or French toast — then proceed with options like the apple crisp (self explanatory), ‘Merica (strawberries, whipped cream, blueberries), and Fisherman’s (sausage gravy, hash browns, fried eggs, and bacon).
We order at the counter with the chipper gal who seems to be running the entire place single-handedly, and she assures us that the food won’t take too long. So, we fill our styrofoam cups with self-serve coffee and head into the dining room to take a seat. Here, one wall is completely covered with single-sheet memes that serve as a pleasant way to pass the time giggling while you wait for your food. The other wall is a mermaid-like mural with little “Fatty” ducks everywhere.
Chicken and waffles is simple and tastes delicious. The boneless piece of chicken is thin and crisp, with a thick coating of fried batter that’s heavy on the pepper and well-salted. With a drizzle of maple syrup to cut the salt and a bite of the fluffy Belgian waffle, it’s a venerable waistline-killer.
The Auffle Waffle is more complicated. Belgian waffles sandwich two sausage patties, two slices of bacon, eggs, and cheese. Such stick-to-your-ribs comfort is a righteous way to start a cloudy winter day on the Outer Banks.
Fatty’s family breakfast is scrambled eggs, bacon, and homefries all mixed together, seasoned, and topped with American cheese. There’s nothing special here, but if you need a comforting American meal, this could be your new favorite.