This past Sunday, I had an insatiable urge for one of my favorite pre and post football game treats (and really anytime I feel the need for some artery-clogging deliciousness). A fat sandwich. Now most of you might be totally confused but my fellow Rutgers alumni and New Jersey natives know the glorious greasy goodness that is a Fat sandwich. Since I’m now living in Seattle, a trip to the infamous Grease Trucks wasn’t in the cards but I wasn’t about to let that stop me.
Before I get to my pitiful attempt at satisfying my Fat Darrell craving, let me help you understand the amazingness that is the Grease Trucks. The Grease Trucks are a group of food trucks located in a parking lot along College Avenue on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University who have been feeding Rutgers and the surrounding areas since the early 19080s. Situated between Vorhees Mall (main classroom area on College Ave) and the unofficial ‘Frat Row’ and a block away from the main strip of bars in the area, they’re perfectly located for a quick fix between classes or to soak up the booze in your belly after a night out. The sad thing is, the Grease Truck’s days may be numbered due to construction projects popping up in the area.
Now what makes the Grease Trucks so special? Fat sandwiches of course. A plethora of often deep fried items like fries, chicken fingers, burgers, gyro meat, cheese steaks, bacon, mozzarella sticks… all held together with an Italian roll (or hoagie roll for my Philadelphians). It’s basically a meal shoved into a roll… and it’s amazing! If you don’t believe me, take it from greasy spoon connoisseur Adam Richman from Man vs. Food.
Fast forward to Sunday morning, all I could think about was planning the menu to accompany my lazy day of football. With a distance close to 3,000 miles separating me from the Grease Trucks, I knew the only way to satisfy my craving would be to attempt to make my Fat Darrell, the #1 rated sandwich by Maxim Magazine in 2004. I popped into a nearby Whole Foods and grabbed a fresh ciabatta roll, frozen Alexia mozzarella sticks, frozen Applegate organic chicken strips, then french fries and marinara sauce from the Whole Foods hot food bar. Now Whole Foods gives this sandwich another dimension with organic and baked ingredients, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the real thing is even tastier (and a whole lot cheaper to make). Did it satisfy my craving? Sure… but it also reminded me of a few other places to try in the area that might be up to the challenge of satisfying my greasy-spoon craving.
Are there any iconic take-out places in the Seattle area like this? If you have any great places you’d like me to talk about here, please let me know by commenting!