Monday, July 20, 2009
Better'n Whitt's (part two)
There's a small brick building less than a mile from my house that's housed many a b'iness over the last ten years. None of 'em -- check-cashers, antique-sellers, plumbers -- could make a go of it for very long. Indeed, I seem to recall that the antique store lasted for less than six months.
Well, something new has gone into the small brick building near my home ... a barbeque joint. A big pink pig appeared on top of the place about two months ago, and then there was a lot of fixin'-up activity going on for the next three or four weeks. I kept wondering what was up with the big pig, and then ... a "Fat Boy's BBQ, Coming Soon!" sign appeared in the window. "Someone up there likes me," I thought.
I drive by Fat Boy's every evening on my way home from work. From the day it opened, I've not not seen at least a half-dozen folks queuing-up for 'que in the restaurant. I was going to wait until after my yearly barbeque pilgrimage to McEwen, which takes place this weekend, to visit Fat Boy's. I was passing the place this evening with my car window's cracked -- thanks to the global warming that's left Nashville's mid-July temps hovering in the high-70s/low-80s! -- when I got a big whiff of hickory smoke. I immediately turned around.
First thing I noticed about Fat Boy's BBQ was the conspicuous lack of fat boys. There were two very cute girls working behind the counter and tending tables, and there were two average-sized guys doing kitchen stuff. Maybe the "fat boy" thing is a joke, I don't know. What I do know is:
I like to keep it simple when I visit a barbeque joint for the first time. If I'm dinin' in, I order a simple 'que sammich; if I'm takin' out, I order a pound o' 'que. I don't want to be dazzled with fancy beans or slaw or tater salad (or fancy desserts) ... I just want juicy, smoke-infused 'que. Indeed.
Well, Fat Boy's pork is juicy all right. It pains me to say it, but Fat Boy's might just serve up juicier 'que than Martin's. Might. Now, I'm going to go back to Fat Boy's soon to make sure that the excitement of having a quality barbeque joint just 'round the corner from my house didn't prejudice my initial impression.
I know for a fact that Fat Boy's 'que isn't entirely cooked over hardwood (i.e., hickory, apple, etc.) The charcoal bags near the smokers were a dead giveaway. That said, there's a subtle flavor infused in each bite of Fat Boy's 'que that lets one know that it didn't just slow-cook over charcoal, there's a good deal of woody flavor in that meat (but maybe not as much as in the meat served at Martin's, Neely's, Mary's, etc.).
Fat Boy's serves up some mighty fine 'que, with a a great sauce -- available in hot or mild -- that's equal parts tomato and vinegar. It's infinitely better than Whitt's. That's all you need to know.
Fat Boy's BBQ
2733 Murfreesboro Road
Antioch, TN 37013