The last couple of Saturdays my wife and I have had the opportunity of searching out lunch/dinner spots that feature sunny patios. After what was a fairly long winter, there’s nothing like sitting out, catching some rays, enjoying a beer or two, and eating some good food. The only question is, where are the best “sunny” patios in the city? Yes, there are plenty of patios, but I’m talking about ones that fulfill the following criteria:
1. Full afternoon/evening sun – not completely shaded by trees, or obscured by buildings
2. Open on Saturdays (and Sundays preferably)
4. A good menu with tasty food
5. Decent service
I’m not talking about rocket science here. I’m simply looking for simple amenities in order to enjoy weekends in the summertime. After searching long and hard, we found that one of our absolute favorite places to enjoy the sun and drinks/food is Fat Bob’s Smokehouse on Virginia Place in Allentown. Fat Bob’s has all of the above. It has plenty of sun (and lots of shade for those who prefer it). The food at Fat Bob’s is quite good these days. From hearty salads to delicious sides to low and slow hickory smoked BBQ, the food at Fat Bob’s is worth the trip.
The last two times that we went, we bumped into the owners who are “all hands on deck” at this BBQ joint. Managing Partner Tim McIntyre gave us the lowdown on the direction that they are going with their beer selections – they are in the process of adding twelve more taps bringing the total up to 24! The beer list includes blondes & whites, cervezas, hops, fruit flavored, wheats, lagers, darks, ales and there’s even a “Made in NY” category. During our last visit, Patrick Ryan (Owner) brought us up to speed on the food, saying that they have been busy concentrating on the “slow and steady wins the race” method, which is apparent in the success of the food and the incredible smell that wafts over the patio and the neighborhood.
A number of our BBQ-loving friends have been telling us to try Fat Bob’s due to what could be considered a day of reckoning in the local BBQ world – the arrival of Dinosaur. Combined with our patio criteria, we have tried (between the two of us), myriad favorites that range from the wings to the salmon to the delicious onion rings to the dreamy baked beans. My wife has become a fan of the wings (smoked and grilled), which she has now put her own twist on. Instead of ordering her wings BBQ-style, she has been substituting Buffalo wing sauce, still cooked on the grill.
As for me, well I don’t eat meat so I have heavily indulged in just about all of the sides, my favorites being the baked beans, the onion rings, and I’m also a fan of their salads and the giant stuffed pepper. Fat Bob’s also excels in their brand sauce category, with a number of different bottles that range from sweet to spicy (six total).
Hanging out in the sun at Fat Bob’s, listening to sounds of BB King, sipping on a Tecate or an Imperial with a lime, while eating grilled wings and sampling the sides… now what could be better than that? Oh yeah, the rest of the low and slow BBQ offerings!
If I had any suggestion for Fat Bob’s it would only be to add some greenery to the patio and some more BBQ memorabilia to spice up the surroundings. The turn of the century brick structures are very appealing, but a couple of old beer signs would go a long way.
In our search for the things that make us happy in the summertime, Fat Bob’s wins a gold metal. Thanks be to the sunny patio, and the good music, yummy food and cold beers. When Saturday afternoon comes a callin’, we now know where to find the necessary ingredients to make our day.
Open seven days a week!
Mon – Wed: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Thu: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30 am – 12:00 am
Sun: 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm