Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Can See Why the Cat is Fat

Where to start? With a rare Wednesday night off I stopped by work for a late lunch with my brother. Needing to find a good restaurant for dinner I asked my friend Sinead, who was bartending, if she’d been anywhere good recently. She was honest, “No, not really,” but recommended the Fat Cat in Quincy. She said to try and get there early and definitely try the buffalo nachos. We arrived too late for a seat at the bar, but the oversized bourbon and cognac bottles immediately grabbed my attention. After getting a table and digging into the nachos, or dogging as the missus puts it, I was hooked.

When we arrived at the Fat Cat, located at 24 Chestnut St. in Quincy, the bar, about 25 seats, was packed. With hunger being a serious motivator, we chose the short wait for a table over the who-knows-how-long wait for the bar. While waiting for a table I was thrilled to find out they carried Magners, which most non-Irish bars don’t carry. I am sure that most customers find the taste their looking for with over 35 beers to choose from. Their beer prices were more than reasonable ($3.50 domestic, $4 foreign), which carried over to the liquor, too. Their eight vodka/liqueur mixed martinis are only $8 a piece, and I received a more generous portion of Maker’s Mark on the rocks than I would pour myself.

With hunger only increasing we ordered buffalo nachos as quickly as possible from Joel, our server. As we scanned the entrees, two items immediately stuck out: the rest of the menu never had a chance. We have a thing for scallops so I didn’t need to read the description on the Scallops Au Gratin (seared scallops in a creamy cheese sauce, sweet potato mashed, sautéed green beans). Also, you don’t find a full rack of baby back ribs on too many Greater Boston area menus, so we couldn’t pass it up.

The nachos arrived, entrée orders were placed, and the dogging began. I am a man of many different buffalo creations, but this was the real deal. Served on an extra hot plate, I failed to experience a cold nacho. The sour cream, salsa, bacon bits, and crumbled bleu cheese were evenly distributed throughout and the tender pulled chicken was truly scrumptious. Usually half way into a plate of nachos you get tired of them, or they get cold and soggy. This, to our pleasant surprise and downfall, was not the case with Fat Cat nachos, no sir. We had to drag ourselves away, covering the plate with dirty napkins to cease the feast.

I didn’t want to get my entrée-portion excitement up too much because, after all, nachos are nachos. But when the nacho mess was removed and replaced with the scallop and rib dishes I knew one thing: I would not be a member of the clean plate club tonight. For $17 and $18, respectively, the scallop and rib plates were serious entrees. Nachos or not, it was a lot of food for one person. We had a $21 scallop dish from dbar last week and it couldn’t compete with the Fat Cat’s. Their scallops in a creamy cheese sauce and heaping side of sweet potato mashed really hit the spot. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone perfect but we couldn’t even make it halfway through the rack. Nor was a dent put into the coleslaw or BBQ-smothered fries; they, along with the scallops and mashed, are all hanging in the fridge until further notice.

About five to ten minutes into our entrees the proverbial wall was getting closer and closer. Bridget voiced her displeasure with her choice to wear a belt, but also said she’d have no qualms with coming back next week. I couldn’t have agreed more. My favorite beer carried by a restaurant with great food, too? This was a first for me. We decided to stay for another drink after dinner, perhaps out of necessity: neither of us could move. With the belt stretching I ordered a $12 Patron margarita for desert, and they were right on point, as Sinead suggested. When I mentioned only a dash of Rose’s Lime Juice Joel gave me a funny look. If a place doesn’t even carry Rose’s Lime then chances are the margaritas are pretty good as I almost choked on the real lime pulp they used.

Two things I learned that night: The Fat Cat may be a new favorite, but I don’t workout nearly enough to go more than once a week. Two, based on the quality and price, I am rather surprised the fat cats still fit on their perches.


The Fat Cat carries appetizers and nachos from $7-$10 as well as a wide selection of wings. The menu is predominately comfort food and all entrees are under $20, with an a la carte section as well. Their beer, wine, and cocktail lists are expansive and inexpensive too. For more information check their website, www.fatcatrestaurant.com, or give them a call at 617-471-4363.

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