Sunday, 18 December 2011

Fatboy's Southern Smokehouse, Ottawa mmmmmmeat

So, as previously stated I am a hard-core carni-vore.  Watching the construction of this joint over the past few months had me salivating with anticipation of a traditional southern BBQ joint in the heart of the Market.  
In Ottawa we are blessed with the annual Rib Fest that fills the streets of the business district with thick plumes of hickory goodness and a plethora of baby backs, wings, pulled pork and pools of smokey sauces, but sadly in never lasts long enough and quietly makes is way out of town to its next destination.
Walking down Murray St. on this cold afternoon while making our way to an inaugural visit to F.S.S. the unmistakable scent of hickory filled our lungs and seemed to remove the chill from our bones.  
The place is deceptively large, unexpected from the outside as the new restaurant had replaced a rather unassuming florist shop.  The interior is all "roadhouse" with motorcycle and beer promotions adorning the walls and bathrooms.  Thankfully there are not an overwhelming amount of distracting tv's hanging from the ceiling.  As a Harley rider myself I did find the bathroom sinks interesting, you'll have to go in to see what I mean.  
Service was quick, knowledgeable, polite and very pleasant.  
The menu was by comparison to other pub-ish/tex-mex types  simple, they seem to know their niche and are not going outside the concept with offerings from every corner of the earth.  
Every table had a good selection of three in house made sauces ranging from sweet BBQ, a whole grain mustard based and a "red neck" that had a really good, not blow your head off heat balanced with sweetness.  
We sampled four dishes in all (and one really good Belgian beer).  First, pulled BBQ pork poutine.  The pork, undeniably the super star here.  Smokey, warm, flavorful, moist and I can go on.  Resting on top quality cheese curds, well cooked fries and a house made gravy pulled together from the drippings of the meats slowly cooking in the smoker.  How do you go wrong with that? I'd also point out the American size portions, very generous.  
I ordered wings to try out the sauces.  The wings are served bare, they were well cooked and pleasantly non-greasy.  The sauces, I would have taken a bath in if they'd let me, delicious were all three.  They have an amazing product with these, I am not sure if they bottle it for sale or not, but hope so.
A beet salad served with the smoked chicken was divine. We agreed that this may have been the best chicken we've had (see pork description above). 
The last item we sampled was the fried green tomato app.  I make these myself at home in the summer and have had them down south too. I would say this was the only item we were not fond of.  The batter was too thick and the slice of tomato could have been more generous.  Batter to tomato ratio was about 75-25 so really could only taste batter.  I would suggest a more tempura style batter to lighten them up a bit.  On the positive side they were served with a zingy remoulade that was very good.
I am going back to F.S.S. as there was too much promise in the rest of the menu items not to try.  If you're in the mood for a southern smoky delicious hearty experience F.S.S. should be tried.  They are very new, less than two weeks I believe so I'd suggest going soon because once the word get's out I suspect "by reservation only" might be the only way to get a seat here.
34 Murray St. just off of Sussex.

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