Tucked away on a street corner across from the Regal City North movie theater in Chicago, Fat Willy’s Rib Shack is an unassuming grub stop that delivers big on fried and barbecued fare. From the warm, cozy scent of a wood smoker, to tables equipped with heavy duty rolls of paper towels, this comfort food lover’s retreat is nothing short of unadulterated finger-lickin’, lip-smackin’ bliss.
The very first item listed on the menu is the jalapeño corn fritter appetizer plate. Order it– I implore you. Served steaming-hot with the signature Willy sauce, these sweet and spicy fried balls are so flavorful that other [read: inferior] fried balls have no choice but to bow down in reverence.
It’s a no-brainer to order baby back ribs at a self-proclaimed rib shack, but I urge you to think INSIDE the bun (sorry, Taco Bell) as well. The pulled pork sandwich is among the juiciest you’ll ever try, and the stock FW burger comes with bacon (!), but perhaps most impressive is the catfish po’ boy. Each sandwich sports a fresh filet coated in a cornmeal crust and a heap of tangy vinegar slaw for crunch on a toasted bun. Slather a dollop of tartar sauce on the bun, squeeze some lemon juice on the fish, and dive in, sailor. Tip: mix some Willy sauce (leftover from the fritters– don’t let the waiter snag it from you) with the tartar sauce and dunk your steak fries in it.
If you gotta’ have dessert, ORDER THE SKILLET BROWNIE! You probably won’t be hungry for it after your belt-busting first and second courses, but by channeling your inner cow and designating a space inside you your “dessert stomach,” you’ll find the room necessary to proceed Made for a family of four, this $11.oo dessert features a gooey brownie baked in a skillet, about a pint’s worth of vanilla ice-cream covered in a treacherous facade of whipped cream, a dusting of chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of sticky caramel sauce. Caution: due to extreme altitudes, the air starts to get a bit thin as you reach the peak of this mountainous post-meal meal; feel free to pitch a tent at base camp while you acclimate yourself, or, you know, slip into a diabetic coma.
Check out the Fat Willy’s website for menus, specials, and more!