Walter Mencken 4 p.m., Dec. 14
Fat Sandwiches at Fat Sal's Deli
Pacific Beach sub shop puts a little bit of everything between bread.
Rumors of Fat Sal’s Deli (956 Garnet Avenue, 855-682-4373) percolated up to me some time ago, but my perambulations kept me away for far too long. Looking at the menu, I constructed an ideal of the “fat sandwiches.” In my head, the sandwiches were of an impossible size and loaded with burgers, cheesesteaks, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, fries, onion rings, and any other greasy foods the deli workers could fry and stuff between two slices of bread.
In reality, the fat sandwiches ($8.95) were much more manageable. The eponymous “Fat Sal” gave Carnitas’ Snack Shack’s poutine a run for it’s money, at least in terms of meat and gravy overload. A significant base of roast beef hid beneath a fistful of soggy fries, some onion rings, and a few mozzarella sticks. Mayonnaise and gravy drenched the entire creation.
For a “Fat Anthony,” they took a normal Italian sub (salami, lettuce, dressing, etc.) and jammed chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, fries, and marinara sauce in.
I know. That sounds like a disgusting overload. Nobody said the fat sandwiches were pretty. They're not. But the fact of the matter is that they put a little of everything in these sandwiches. They are excessive, but not overly so. Except for the “Big Fat Fatty,” that is. The $50, 27-inch monstrosity challenges foolhardy diners to eat the whole thing in forty minutes. Finish it and you get to dream up a new fat sandwich for the menu.
Anybody in search of a less opulent sandwich (although, why??) can pick from a series of “normal” hoagies, heroes, wraps, and burgers at reasonable ($4-$7) prices.
Other nice touches include a spacious patio and long hours. The deli stays open until 4AM some nights, so the “Fat Mona,” which has bacon, sausage, and eggs on it, starts to look pretty good about then. To drink, Fat Sal’s has the ultimate soda fountain, which employs a touch screen and allows custom flavoring of Coke products. Lime/vanilla Coke? Why not? Adventurous gluttons might go for a “fat shake” ($5.95 and “don’t even think about trying to use a straw over here!!”), which might include peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, peanuts, and sea salt in addition to the ice cream.