By Author Unknown | I am, without a doubt, one lucky foodie. As you may remember from our last encounter I had mentioned that girls night out is essential part of existence, at least for me. But never in my wildest dreams would I’ve thought that I would’ve been able to have 2 girls nights out in less than a month. What makes this particular night incredibly special is that this night includes my best friend in the entire world, a friendship lasting 17 years and enduring such things as terrible grade-school boyfriends, the excitement of finally being able to drive, the sadness of saying goodbye as we shipped off to different colleges and lives beyond, and the joyful fulfilling Maid-of-Honor and Godmother duties.
So when I got the call that she (aka Best Foodie Friend) and a 2 of her friends, “M” and “A”, where going to be traveling from DC to FL and asked if they could stop over for the night to visit, the “Oh-my-goodness-yes-of-COURSE-you-can!” was out of my mouth before my friend could finish her question. I was excited, to say the least. So, after their arrival and the fuss over my “growing-like-a-weed” child and the “Hey, did you hear” ‘s, we officially get down to business; where should we go to eat and celebrate this sure-to-be amazing reunion?
I wanted to show these girls something special. A place that was easy and care free, where we could laugh loudly, converse at length, toast and drink, and revel in great company with equally great food that tasted as if it were made with them in mind. I needed an establishment that was laid back, fun, and a great representation of Beaufort; a place that, as a quasi-local, made me proud to take them to.
In an instant, only one name lit up my mind like a light bulb; Fat Patties. Burgers and beer. And so, so much more.
Walking into Fat Patties and grabbing a booth, it’s easy to see why the surprisingly large parking lot was jammed full. Even on a rainy, monsoon-like Tuesday evening Beaufortonians from all walks of life were there. From families and young professionals popping in for a happy-hour beer, to young Marines and retiree’s alike, all settled into comfy seats and melted into the warmly-inviting atmosphere, ready to converse and laugh, watch the game, and quite simply… eat good food.
With menus in hand, we all stare at the enormous amount of opportunities before us. From cleverly named items like Notcho Ordinary Nachos and The Fuhgetabout It, to ingredient combinations that automatically trigger your salivary glands into action. No matter your style, your flavor, or what you stomach is currently dictating that you order, Fat Patties really has everything you could want in a burger and beyond. As you assess their assembly-line of various flavor profiles for a wide array of patties – grass fed beef with or without pork, turkey, shrimp and black bean – you almost comically wonder if they’ve made this decision difficult for you on purpose.
To start off our night and to compliment our beer, we order the Warm Pimento Cheese Beer Dip, complete with garlic toast and two styles of homemade chips. The dip itself is warm and succulent without burning the you-know-what out of your mouth. The reasonable temperature allows you taste all that lies within. Between the creamy sharpness of the cheddar cheese and the tangy notes from the various spices and the pimentos themselves, the dip is so indicative of the south and everything that you absolutely love about pimento cheese, with the bonus of the ingenious addition of beer that completely complements and enhances the cheesy goodness of the dip. The various vessels with which to dip are crispy delights in different styles; Buffalo-like potato chips, sea-salt tortilla chips, and garlic toast.
As we continue to vibrate off the good brew, great food and lighthearted and often loud-laughter inducing conversation, our main entrees arrive. You’re in luck, foodie followers, because between my friends and me, we have quite a diverse array of taste.
Best foodie friend has “The Boot” on a shrimp burger placed before her; a delectable tower of pleasantly alarming chili, sharp cheddar cheese and onions. The chili spices up your tongue but not so much that you are left gasping for water, and combined with the onions and cheese leave your taste buds happy and excited. But the most pleasant surprise of the dish is the shrimp burger itself. Both best foodie friend and I were expecting a dense patty with strange texture akin to public school mystery meat. What we were greeted with is a luscious shrimp cake, full of lump, wild-caught shrimp and little filler, and a slight kick on the end-note. When all the elements combine together in one bite it’s quite simply a pleasant flavor-punch under a bun.
Across the table from me, ‘M’ starts to dig into “The Over Easy” on a veggie burger. Consisting of a fried egg, swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms, the combination of flavors convey a richness of deep flavors with woody overtones and a sweet creamy finish. While the flavor profile of this particular burger is delightful the vessel it is served upon, the veggie burger, does not do it justice. The lack of any sort of contrasting texture is due to the fact that the veggie burger is very soft, as it should be. ‘M’ draws the same conclusions as I, and feels that if she had ordered this style on a Turkey burger, or even the veggie burger with different toppings, it would’ve been completely successful and satisfying. But both of us are quick to realize that all the flavors are there and harmonious, and most importantly…delicious.
It’s at this moment I realize that I’ve been terribly rude to my own burger before me, and get to chowing. As I’ve mentioned before I can be annoyingly indecisive about the food I order. However, burgers are definitely the exception. I know my toppings. I know my style of done-ness. I know which patty beckons my heart (well, my stomach). I tend to get the same ‘ole, tried and true combinations that I know satisfy my palette. However, tonight I decide to adhere to the “When In Rome” mindset and order one of the preordained burger styles and go with “The Frenchie”, consisting of brie, rosemary mustard and caramelized onions, if for no other reason than because I am in a current love affair with brie and I just have to know what rosemary mustard tastes like.
I must say, on the whole, it’s just to die for.
Atop of a juicy, meaty, wonderfully cooked grass-fed beef patty lies a generous slice of buttery-soft cheese that compliments the sweetness derived from the caramelized onions. The rosemary mustard is subtle and an absolute perfect pairing with the onions, so much so that it is almost difficult to differentiate between the two tastes without consuming each item separately. All the flavors in between the buns serve to highlight each other, sharing the spotlight with ease and taking this burger to the next level. Rounded out with a fluffy but not too thick bun, and The Frenchie leaves my taste buds tingling and easily quells my growling stomach.
Bringing a bit of equilibrium to our table of finely-topped burgers is a nice plate of shrimp taco’s for ‘A’. Fried, wild-caught shrimp that are so good they should be illegal, placed atop a creamy but restrained slaw that is nicely accentuated with lime and avocado. All of it topped off with a sweet mango sauce, that could be considered too sweet by some (and is too sweet for ‘A’), but for me, offers a perfect contrasting flavor to the fried-savoriness of the shrimp. If you were coming into Fat Patties and desired something light, then this dish would be a great choice.
As this table of foodie and friends finish their feast (alliteration notwithstanding), my gaze cannot help but drift to Fat Pattie’s Milkshake and Ice Cream menu. If the fact that all their Ice Cream is made fresh in-house wasn’t enough of an allure, the fact that one can take a favorite shake from their youth and turn it up a notch, adult style, is pulling me in like the catch-of-the-day. So many flavors, so little stomach space. But a particular flavor shines its highbeams in my direction and ignites my curiosity and a chorus of eager encouragement from my friends. So, perhaps inevitably, I give in to the peer pressure (youngsters, please don’t follow my example) and order the Maple Bacon Pancake Milkshake with vanilla vodka.
Probably the most adorable beverage to ever come in a mason jar, the Maple Bacon Pancake milkshake tastes like the best short stack of buttery, spongy, gooey pancakes that you’ve ever had. With enough hints of bacon to make it complimentary and not overpowering, the milkshake is not too overly sweet to be sickly, nor to savory to not feel like a dessert. The addition of the vanilla vodka, which has sounded absolutely disgusting to me in the past is, pleasantly, quite the opposite, turning out to simply compliment the pancake taste without picking up on the alcohol-taste from the vodka. The milkshake is an absolute delight to drink, so surprising in its deliciousness, and the perfect way to round out my meal.
Unfortunately, as with all good things, our evening comes to an end. But the fact that I was able to highlight my visitors visit to Beaufort with a meal from Fat Patties makes me feel… well, proud; pride in knowing that your favorite corner joint is full of personality, good ideas, and delicious food.
Fat Patties is one of those establishments that every town should aspire to have; one who’s one-of-a-kind character is always fully stocked, that exudes uniqueness without throwing it in your face, a place that makes it a point to put a plate of absolute flavor in front of their patrons, and who wants to ensure that everyone who walks through their doors will come back for seconds.
This foodie happily sips her milkshake and gives Fat Patties a 4 ½ out of 5 Forks.