12.13.2004

Fat Belly's

Fat Belly's is on the corner of Market and Bow in Portsmouth, NH - former home of Steakout Takeout and Kontiki

I've been there a couple times now (they opened a bit over a month ago), and am fairly pleased with the food - generally bad for you, generally bar, with plenty of beers and big tvs to go with it. Ground level is nice bar set-up. Good mixture of tables and bar space, upstairs fun loungy bar and low loungy tables and cushy chairs. The decor is nicely cleaned up from its previous incarnations. Sleek but not slick.

Beers come in weird glasses. Personally, not a fan. Smaller size in tall thin glass, larger size in a stemmed bowl reminiscent of Belgian abbey beer glasses. Beer drinking should be simple, easy. It should not require coordination, as these glasses do.

Best food are the burgers. Big, juicy, great quality meat. Excellent toppings - the Fat Belly Burger has bacon, mushrooms, cheese - and plenty of fun choice add-ons.

The wings (and I am always on the look-out for wings (not tenders), being from New York and all) are good. Not great, but that says a lot in NH. The mediums have good flavor, but there was something else there, something not Buffalo. Boy says it was chipotle, I say some straight up black pepper flavor. Hot were too hot for us. Could have been crisper, so when we went back we ordered them crispy and then they were cooked to death. Sigh.

Chorizo burger fun. Slices of good quality chorizo.

Very yummy fries. Straight cut, with skin, deep brown and deeply salty.

Potato skins hallowed out enough so that the potato doesn't kill the fillings - cheezy, bacony, scalliony, plenty o' sour cream.

Onion rings a bit of a disappointment - real onions, home-made (according to the menu) but the batter is way way too thick. When we had them they were also overfried to a tooth numbing hardness. But the chipotle mayo is good and unique.

Overall, fairly good. My hopes were too high about the wings, though. The hunt is still on.

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