My sister and I tried Fat Dan's Deli here in Indy at 54th and College yesterday for lunch, http://www.fatdansdeli.com/index.php. The deli is intended to be a Chicago-style deli and pub serving Chicago food and craft beers and wine. They have a "No Bull. No Chain. No Gimmicks" tag line. The Chicago theme was evident by the Cubs and Bears flags flying outside the restaurant.
The menu is written on large chalkboards on the wall (or a printed version is available if you need it). The atmosphere on the inside of the deli was clean and fairly simple and there is outdoor seating, which I love! Upon arrival, the waitress told us to have a seat anywhere, so we grabbed a table outside and the waitress came out and took our order. The menu is somewhat vast - burgers, pork, deli sandwiches, Chicago beef and side dishes. They also have beer and wine, but we didn't partake since we were on our lunch break!
We decided to split "The Chicago Dog", the "Not-so-Fat Black Bean Burger" and the "Best fries in the universe". I felt "The Chicago Dog" was appropriate for the theme, and we both like a good veggie burger. Our food was delivered to our table pretty quick by the friendly waitress.
"The Chicago Dog" was good, pretty standard - hot dog, bun, relish, mustard and a pickle spear on top. The "Not-so-Fat Black Bean Burger", on the other hand, was a bit more original, in a good way. A compact patty of beans and veggies on a toasted, buttery bun - the bun really set the sandwich a part from other veggie burgers. The overall taste and texture was perfect! The "Best fries in the universe" did not really live up to their name though they were good. The fries were a mixture of cut and sliced potatoes, quite unique, and they made for a nice presentation.
Our food was delivered on a paper mat - two individually wrapped main courses with a mountain of fries in between. Again, the presentation was unique and, in my opinion, a fun way to serve the food. We set outside enjoying the hustle and bustle of Broad Ripple, the tasty food and good conversation!
Here is how this experience stacks up based on my 1-4 rating system - 4 being the best:
The food was really good, especially the "Not-so-Fat Black Bean Burger". The fries were unconventional - the mixture of cut and sliced potatoes was like nothing I have seen before. The hot dog was pretty typical.
While we didn't see much of the inside of the deli, the outside seating was nice and the location was convenient. It was a casual environment without the bells and whistles which is the intended nature of the laid back deli.
The price was ok. The hot dog was cheap, $4.75 and the fries were $3.75 for that huge portion. The sandwich was $7.75, so a little high. Overall, we ate for $12 a person including tip. The only issue was that we thought we were ordering a $9.50 special which included the burger, fries and drink but found out when we got our bill that our particular burger was not part of the special.
I thought the presentation of the food and some of the menu items were unique. The Chicago-style deli in general is fairly unique as well.
service was prompt, friendly and courteous.
Overall Average: 3
The overall score is above average thanks to the uniqueness. The experience was great. I am really happy that we tried this new place.
I would recommend Fat Dan's Deli for a quick lunch during the work week or a Saturday so you can try their beers - they featured Goose Island, a Chicago-style craft beer, on their signage which is a good one! There is nothing fancy about the décor of this place which allows more focus to be put on the food and drink as it should be. I think I will add this deli to one of my regular lunch spots, the menu has so many good options that I can't wait to try!