Pig out at Fatboys Southern Smokehouse
Fatboys Southern Smokehouse opened up in the Byward Market a matter of months after the already wildly successful SmoQue Shack opened its doors on York Street. With not one but two new barbecue restaurants in the area, it would be hard not to draw a comparison between them. Having already sampled the fare at the SmoQue Shack, I recently set out to see how Fatboys stacked up to the competition.
Fatboys’ restaurant is large and has a far more casual atmosphere than the SmoQue Shack. Every aspect of the place is meant to evoke thoughts of the Deep South, from the Kid Rock that blasts over the speakers to the red and white picnic tablecloths. If you consider cases of beer to be a key decor element, you’ll feel right at home at here.
My date and I began our meal with a heart-stopping combination of appetizers known as the Heavenly Fried Platter. It featured onion rings, deep-fried pickles and fried green tomatoes, all with their Alabama white barbecue sauce and a side of remoulade. The fried green tomatoes were the best of the three. Topped with a sprinkling of cheese, these green beauties were a great take on the Southern classic. The onion rings were crispy and the deep-fried pickles got a double dose of dill flavour from copious amounts of dried dill in their crispy batter coating. However, neither the white barbecue sauce nor the remoulade impressed.
The Kentucky Trio proved to be pretty substantial. My date and I opted for the pulled pork, the Competition Style chicken and the Memphis ribs. My favourite was easily the pulled pork, which tasted great with their medium-hot sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. Both the chicken and ribs were as dry as they were forgettable. The sides were not up to par either. The tangy coleslaw lacked balance, and the potato salad had an unpleasant crunch thanks to undercooked potatoes. On the other hand, the cornbread bites with maple butter were a delightful combination of moist cornbread and sweetened, creamy whipped butter.
If you plan on indulging in enough barbecue to bring on the meat sweats, I’d recommend hitting up the SmoQue Shack as opposed to Fatboys. The chicken and ribs at the SmoQue Shack are simply on another level. If Fatboys’ Competition Style chicken were actually in one, it would be the runner-up.
Fatboys Southern Smokehouse
34 Murray St.
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