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Fat Boy's Bar-B-Que Ranch

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Prattville is a great little town.  At least it used to be little.  Back in the early ‘90s it was a great place to meet girls.  My buddy, Lee, and I would take his ’74 Stingray down there on a Saturday night and ride for hours, attracting plenty of attention.  If was a fun and cheap night out, when gas was less than $1/gallon and you could get five Arby’s roast beefs for $5.  We blasted lots of ‘80s rock, laughed our heads off, and met lots of cool people.  It holds a lot of nostalgia for me, so hearing about Fat Boy’s made it an easy decision to return.

From what I understand, Fat Boy’s is a classic story.  Man loves cooking barbecue at home, he shares it with his friends, friends say, “This is amazing! You should open a restaurant.”  So the man does and EUREKA!  A successful business in born and barbecue takes another bow.  These types of stories are a testament to barbecue being the food of the South.  I don’t know if there’s an official regional cuisine, but I’ll lobby for smoked pork all day long.

I first heard about Fat Boy’s from’s article on 50 barbecue restaurants you have to try.  I considered this a list I was going to conquer, so I set my sights on a trip to Prattville.  Having arrived, it’s obvious that “ranch” is descriptive of the property.  For being in the old part of town, the site is enormous.  A large gravel lot makes it easy to park once you pass under the giant metal sign welcoming you in.  The rustic design of the restaurant’s exterior further adds to the western feel and the anticipation of some cowboy chow.

Walking in can be a little awkward if there’s a crowd.  You make your way through a door on the right to order, then head back out that door to the dining room.  It’s an open, spacious area with basic tables and chairs to accompany any sized party.  Food service was quick, as I served my drink just in time for my plate to arrive.  The pork had a nice even color, no bark, and a soft texture.  It had a light smoke, a real gentle flavor from the cook, but was coated in some sort of marinade or drippings that added a peppery bite.  The sauce is a thick red, lightly spiced but vibrant.  There was a sweetness I couldn’t identify until I read the ingredients on the bottle…pineapple.  Once in the know I could taste it and I really loved it.  It added acidity and a natural sweetness without making the sauce heavy.  Lots of layered flavors in a truly original recipe.

The baked beans were soft and sweet with ground beef and maybe some sausage.  They‘re in a rich tomato base with sauteed onions that add just a bit of crunch and a peppery bite.  Every bite has a smooth flavor and finishes with spice that lingers on the tongue.  The onion rings are thin cut, battered, and have good onion flavor.  Mine came out a bit cool so may want to ask for them to be dropped fresh.

Operating a barbecue review site can be hazardous to your health.  There’s so much good stuff out there that you could really hurt yourself without some self-control.  For me, that meant not ordering the blackberry pie this particular day.  But when the couple next to had their pies delivered to the table, the hooks sank into me.  I had to get my own.  It’s like a hand pie, with the filling completely surrounded by a golden, flaky, crispy crust.  It’s served piping hot with a thick filling whose tartness is familiar to blackberries.  For my taste it could have done with a bit more sweetness, but I appreciate desserts that are other the underside of sweet rather than over.  It was the perfect little bite to cap off a lunch that delivered some surprises.


Order at counter

Sauce on table

Self-serve fountain Coke

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