Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad, and tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.
Food Quality: 4
Business Meeting: 4
Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Fat Man’s is one of those Augusta brands that has been around forever. When I moved to town, it was a place to eat and buy gifts, along with a costume shop upstairs. Now, it’s a trendy event and wedding venue with a lunch cafe attached. And because this column is all about eating, the cafe is where we’re headed today.
I was very excited as I saw the menu upon walking in. Southern soul food is featured, along with salads, sandwiches, and a case full of desserts. My excitement was more mixed after the meal, but we’ll get to that.
The first part of our experience was our very exuberant server, directing people where to go upon entering and immediately taking drink orders and delivering them to tables while you order at the counter. I enjoyed the clear directions, but it may be a bit over the top for some personal tastes.
I had to opt for the Real Meal with one meat and two sides. I chose hamburger steak, but of course, there’s fried chicken along with pot roast and barbecue. Sides include mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, but I went with squash casserole (typically one of my faves) and fried okra. My dining companion opted for the pot roast Philly and fries.
The food came out quickly and we were back at the office just one hour after we had left. The clientele leaned professional, which is unsurprising with its location between downtown office buildings and the downtown healthcare district, plus simply being located in Enterprise Mill – a historic Augusta locale – gives it a trendy, yet hyper-local feel.
When the food arrived, the fried okra was whole, which I’m not used to. However, the batter was tasty, and the okra had just the right crispness making this the feature of my meal. The hamburger steak was fine, but not great, as it was a bit overdone. However, the portion was plentiful.
I was most excited about the squash though, and it fell very flat. The onions in the casserole were basically raw, meaning their flavor did not get added to the dish and gave it a very bizarre texture. This was a disappointment that was hard to overcome. The banana pudding was also fine, but probably not worth the calories if I’m honest.
As for the sandwich, my friend said the pot roast was well done and the sandwich was flavorful. The fries he said were average, but our consensus on the meal is that we would give it another go, especially considering it’s the same ownership as Southern Salad downtown and Sno-Cap in North Augusta.
The cost is typical for what you’d find downtown; entrees run around 10 bucks and come with a side or two. Drinks are extra and a dessert will put you close to $15.
It’s not often that I don’t have a full-throated opinion about something, but Fat Man’s Cafe may be one of those places that’s not at the top of my list, but definitely not a place to which I would decline an invite. They’re prolific caterers in the area as well, so chances are you’ll run into their wares at some event sometime.
So while there are other Southern spots around town where I feel you can’t miss, Fat Man’s is a nice choice for a good meal, centrally located, in a very nice venue. Which is why I imagine this new iteration of an Augusta staple is such a hit.
Fat Man’s Cafe
1450 Greene St Suite 600
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