Last night I went to Fat Sam’s for the first time and given my experience, it certainly will not be the last.
1) The Food. My friend and I split the Big Dip appetizer, the MW Chicken Salad, and the Big Easy. The dip was excellent. The pita included was soft and fresh, but firm enough to hold the dip and despite it having jalapenos in the mix, they are very subtle. (I have to be cautious about spicy food due to health reasons. I wouldn’t have ordered it if my friend hadn’t assured me that this dip is VERY mild and much to my delight, she was correct. ) The chicken salad sandwich had the perfect ratio of dressing base to chicken, etc. mix. The chicken was high quality and the mixture was plentiful and very filling! I typically like chicken salad on croissants, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with the grain bread, but it was fantastic. The bread was nice and soft, but thick and dense enough to hold the generous amount of mixture. The Big Easy was slightly smaller, but still very filling. Not being sure how spicy the olive relish was, we asked for a sample for me to try before ordering this sandwich. Instead of spicy as in heat, think spicy as in very flavorful. This is a unique relish and all the ingredients blended very nicely together. I would not hesitate to order any of these sandwiches or the dip again. If you’re looking for a $5 fast food type sandwich, go to Subway. If you want a fantastic, high quality bistro sandwich with tasty kettle chips for just a little bit more ($8-10), you HAVE TO go to Fat Sam’s!
2) The drinks. They have a pretty good selection of sodas, but to my surprise they have about 10 white wines, 15 reds, and a good 25 beers to choose from.
3) The service. This has got to be the best service I’ve gotten in a long time. We were warmly greeted when we entered. My friend and I were there to catch up and wanted to linger a bit. (It wasn’t super busy, so we felt comfortable knowing we weren’t taking a table away from anyone.) Our waitress struck the right balance of checking on us, but not interrupting. We didn’t feel rushed or neglected. We were delighted to see that after mentioning we would like to split our sandwiches, she brought out our meals already split up for us. And finally the most important aspect of service to me…drink refills. (I can’t tell you how much I hate to finish my drink and have to wait several minutes for the waiter or waitress to notice we need refills…or even worse…wait patiently only to have to flag down the server and have to ASK for a refill. Sad to say I’ve noticed this happening more and more when I go out to eat.) Our waitress was completely on top of things. She automatically brought us new sodas every time our drinks were down to about 30%. Then as we were leaving, we were thanked for our patronage and told to have a great night. Definitely top notch service.
4) A couple of cautions. Their website and menu state that they are open on Sundays. I heard they just started closing on that day, so if in doubt, call ahead. Also, as with many downtown businesses, sometimes you’re stuck with where the plumbing is located, not necessarily where it’s convenient. The bathrooms are located upstairs, so if you have any mobility issues, you’ll want to plan accordingly.
So in a nutshell, if Fat Sam’s continues to have great food and service, we will be loyal customers and would not hesitate to recommend this place to anyone!
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