Fat Daddy’s Market and Grill – Raleigh, NC

Fat Daddy’s is a Raleigh institution and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. They had a second location off Falls of Neuse Road that was closer to where I lived growing up. While that location is long gone, the one on Glenwood Avenue near Crabtree Valley Mall is thriving. It’s similar to the national Fuddruckers chain, but has a distinctively southern menu, not to mention a unique atmosphere including a separate bar complete with several pool tables and live music on the weekends. Here is a closer look at the restaurant…

Since 1985 Fat Daddy’s Market & Grill has been a Raleigh staple serving up an array of sandwiches and all of the fixings. But if you think it’s just any old burger joint, you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you take a closer look.

The Food
Don’t get it confused, the burger is Fat Daddy’s specialty. Its third and half-pound burgers are cooked to order and placed on a toasted bun fresh from their in-house bakery. Although the buns are light and fluffy they’re almost too big for the third-pound burger, so go with the half-pound if you can manage it. You won’t be disappointed.

Chicken sandwiches come grilled or fried, and hot dogs, smoked sausages, veggie burgers, ribeye steak, fish, and another half-dozen sandwiches are also available. If you want to add things like cheese slices, bacon or chili to a sandwich, it’ll cost you a little extra. But adding common toppings, condiments and even nacho cheese won’t, because they’re all laid out for you on the complimentary toppings bar. What says comfort food like being able to make your sandwich exactly how you want it?

Fat Daddy’s has a several side items that you wouldn’t see at a typical burger joint. The fries and fried okra are solid, and the hand-breaded onion rings are excellent. Side salads and hash browns are also options. Check Fat Daddy’s Facebook page, which doubles for their Web site, for weekly food specials, restaurant events and the full menu.

The Atmosphere
The atmosphere is open and cheery with a lot of seating inside and a few more tables on the patio. Order your food from the line when you walk in, and they’ll call you up to the pick-up counter when it’s ready. The downstairs is separate, but Fat Daddy’s runs it as a bar complete with televisions, pool tables, Foosball tournaments, a popular Karaoke night and even live music on the weekends. You can order off the full menu downstairs and it will be brought to you at the bar.

The Extras
Bread isn’t the only thing Fat Daddy’s bakes in the restaurant, and this is where the “Market” in Fat Daddy’s begins. Brownies, tarts, cookies and muffins are available for purchase, as well as those sandwich buns and rolls. It also has several selections of ice cream for dessert, and a wide selection of import and microbrew beers.

Monday night is kid’s night, so take the whole family in for special deals on food and perhaps even some children’s entertainment.

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