Fat Maggie’s is small, but mighty

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One may not expect to be treated to such a sophisticated palette of flavors when approaching the front door of Fat Maggie’s. From the outside, it seems to be smaller than the Moc-Mart. And in some cases, smaller doesn’t always mean better.

However, once  you walk inside, you realize that size can be deceiving. Multiple tables line the dining area on the right of the restaurant while the kitchen graces the space that remains on the left.

Friendly staff greet you as wait to be seated at an array of old-fashioned wooden tables and chairs. Each table is paired with unique and different salt and pepper shakers such as citrus inspired shakers or even farm animal shakers. Lit by mini mason jars hung on the ceiling, the décor and overall layout of the restaurant adds to the intimate setting.

Every guest is encouraged to stay hydrated with the presence of old-fashioned water jugs left at the table for self-serving. Not only are the water jugs old-fashioned, Coke comes in the classic bottle that collectors fancy.

With the menu divided into sections: starters, meats, greens, sides, build your own ‘sammi’ and desserts, Fat Maggie’s provides you with plenty of options that will satisfy your every craving. The starters feature variety with options ranging from truffle fries to a brisket quesadilla.

Such menu items are not what one may have expected to find at this small eatery.

I find myself coming back just for the truffle fries and the delicious spicy ketchup that is served on the side.  When I think of truffle oil, I think of pressed white linens and china dinnerware.

Not exactly the scene for french fries, but I can’t imagine fries that taste as scrumptious, served any other way. The parmesan cheese that is sprinkled on top should only be described as “melt in your mouth good.”

The build your own ‘sammi’ option is made up of a list of meats, breads, cheeses, toppings and premium toppings that can be added at an additional cost. With everything from brisket to hot dogs, and pretzel bread to jalapeños, each ‘sammi’ is sure to be unique and flavorful. If you’re really up for trying something unusual, you can add a fried egg or macaroni and cheese to your ‘sammi’ as a premium topping.

A black chalk board facing the dining area displays current specials not featured on the menu as well as merchandise information, and pricing for loyal customers. There are even secret menu items that the wait staff reluctantly share based on availability. (Right now there’s blueberry soda.)

Portions are hearty and generous, expect to bring home leftovers. Having to order sides separately means you certainly get your money’s worth. I like to pair macaroni and cheese with just about anything and at first, I expected a simple scoop-sized serving.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when a small baking dish was filled with my favorite side item.

If you’ve saved room for dessert consider an ode to your childhood with a pudding “dirt” cup shown on the kid’s menu, or satisfy your sweet tooth with nutella cheesecake.

Delicious menu items aside, this restaurant feels like home. Open Monday through Saturday from 11a.m. to 9 p.m., Fat Maggie’s is located at 1037 Dixieland Mall Ln.