I was a very bad boy today and played hooky from work.
We had a storm last night in Phoenix and it was hot, muggy and just awful outside. What a better reason to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning? But I had to eat lunch and by the time I got the laundry started and the house tidied up, it was lunch time.
I hopped online and saw that my friend Bear was on and invited him to lunch. He was quick to say yes, but let it in my hands to decide our cuisine. "How would BBQ be, Bear?" I asked. He was quite pleased and said he would be here at 12:30 PM and we would head off to Fat Slim's BBQ Joint.
We got to the little place in a strip mall at 40th Street and Camelback in the Arcadia District in Phoenix. This strip mall has been there for ages and the stores and restaurants change all the time. Fat Slim's used to be World of Noodles or something like that. The store is framed by an awning and a few tables and chairs sit outside. Blues music is pumped outside.
We entered and the place is darkened a bit to keep the heat out. The menus are printed on the back of license plates from the South and are hanging on the wall. Grab a menu, walk to the register, order and head to a table. You can also grab a free bowl of peanuts to pass the time.
I ordered the chopped brisket sandwich with a side of coleslaw and also a side of fries. Also, a drink was added. Bear wanted a lot of food. He is a growing man and loves his BBQ, so he got the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) platter and selected the pulled pork, the sliced brisket and the St. Louis Ribs. His meal came with slaw and beans and a piece of white bread.
While we were getting our sodas, we also picked up a six-pack of their BBQ sauces. How is works is that they have bottles of five different kinds of BBQ sauce and then a bottle of ketchup in a paper six-pack holder. This way you have all your condiments at the ready. The five sauces are very different. There is the Liquid Candy which is a sweet, tomato-based sauce. The Drunk and Dirty sauce is tomato based with beer and cilantro. The Texas Snake Eyes is also tomato based and has jalepenos. The Carolina Red was ketchup based with a sweet and sour tang to it. The Georgia Sauce is mustard based.
We waited a few minutes and our orders arrived piping hot. I put some of the Liquid Candy and Texas Snake Eyes on my chopped brisket sandwich. I took my first bite and a smile hit my face. The brisket was tender and moist. It was a good sized scoop on a soft onion roll. Perfect for a luncheon. The cole slaw was also quite good. It was cabbage, some red cabbage, a few carrots all drizzled with a light creamy dressing and chunks of blue cheese. Very, very tasty. The only downer was the "bucket" of fries. They were presented in this small bucket. It was cute and the fries were hot and salty, but the punch they should have had didn't last past the first few as the fries in the bottom of the bucket were soft and mushy.
Bear was in hog heaven, so to speak. He first tried the pulled pork. His eyes lit up with the first bite. The pork was perfectly cooked, moist, and had a nice little edge of fat on it for the taste. Bear said the only thing that would make the pork better would be some sort of hickory flavor added. Next up were the ribs. He likes these very much as well. They were tender and the meat was cooked well and only needed a small tug to release from the bones. He finished up the meat with the sliced brisket. Bear said the meat was dry. This was in sharp contrast to the chopped brisket I had.
Bear also tried the meats in all of the sauces and decided that the Liquid Candy and the Texas Snake Eyes were the best of the five. I also tasted each and had to agree with Bear on this. Bear also liked the cole slaw with blue cheese, but gave me his container of beans. I really didn't like them as the beans were not thoroughly cooked. The taste was good with a hint of smoke, but the texture was awful.
So, Bear and I sat around the joint having another round of soda and talking about work, which I was obviously avoiding. Bear gave the restaurant a big thumbs up and I would have to agree. For anyone with a BBQ fix, this place is a nice place to satisfy the craving. Plus, you can't beat the $0.99 Pabst Blue Ribbon beers (they have wine for those who prefer it).
My sandwich was $6.67 which included the slaw. The fries were $1.87 extra. Bear's platter was $12.93. With the drinks, our total bill with tax was $26.25. We both felt it was a fair deal for the food and the atmosphere.
Fat Slim's BBQ Joint
3961 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018