We ate at Fat Willy's last night. Don't count me as a fan of the place. The best thing I can say, it smelled really, really good. But aroma's can be decieving.
It's been noted that Fat Willy's can get really crowded, and it is not necessarily their fault that the one table for six was occupied when we arrived. But, the fact that hanging coats blocked the view of my dining companions put me in a sour mood. Not much on the plate improved it. OK, to make matters worse, when we finally moved to the lone six top, the friendly staff that we thought was helping us with the move, tossed away one of our orders.
I only sampled the ribs, opting for the much cheaper pulled pork sandwich. The one rib I tried, I found possessing a sufficient smoke flavor, but also that slickness of meat that indicates some heavy pre-cook. I guess if I was not inudated with wafting Q, I would have stomached these ribs, but they way the place smelled and the way the ribs looked, very "real", I just expected more.
And I got way less with the pulled pork. I believe Will mentioned that the sandwich was served on texas toast. No. It was that same crappy, good for Italian beef and nothing else, Gonnala. Grilled to accentuate its chewyness. I want my pulled pork on a cushy, soft bun milled with the softest of flour. I asked for my meat sauceless. I got the willies when they said, no can do.
What you get is a bunch of meat that has been steam-soaking in a combination of drippings and sauce. This produces a watery mess that leaches most of the wood flavor from the meat. Even worse, the meat was not pulled at all, that is meat so tender it pulls away into feather chunks. This was stringy and a bit tough, evidence of little time in the smoker. I did like the micro-minced slaw on the sandwich, and I wished I knew it was there before ordering a side of slaw--the side slaw by the way is much worse, sweet and overloaded with celery salt, than the stuff on the sandwich.
Don't ask too much about the, even the breast was pink, barbequed chicken. Also, let's skip the rather poor service before the rib tossing.
I've grown rather frustrated with Chicago Q, and Fat Willy's is not going to do much to change my mind. (Although is is still world's better than that "pulled pork" tried on Western Ave.)