Like the Obama administration, Fatburger has arrived in town after months of hype, a big-money investment, and the hope that out-of-town innovation would change our lives.
News Flash: It's a hamburger. A good burger with great toppings and a tidy half-wrapper. But Obama better have some better solutions than adding a fried egg to mortgage-backed securities.
Thanks to an anonymous comment at 10:45 am, I enjoyed a first-day Fatburger with fat fries. With a Comcast Sports Net cameraman on scene, it was hard to tamp down the expectations as I waited in line. Fatburger is, after all, the chain that literally has people in LA squeal when they talk about double-chili-cheese-burgers -- although
Mrs. HowChow swears by In-and-Out.
I kept down my expectations and snapped up my Fatburger. That's the 1/3 pound burger -- smaller than the half-pound Kingburger, larger than Baby Fat. You get a thin, rough patty and a pile of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles probably twice as thick as the meat. I liked what I ate. Real meat flavor. Fresh toppings. The half-wrapper must be old news in California, but it actually helped me keep the over-stuffed burger together. Next time, I'll order with chili because my LA connection sings its praises. I'll probably skip the fries, which were pretty much the same as the steak fries that Trader Joe's sells by the bag.
The Fatburger restaurant was actually fun. You order at a fast food counter, but the cook-to-order takes 8-10 minutes. So you sit at a table, and a runner brings out your tray. On the first day, the cashier called out the name of each sandwich that someone ordered. The cooks and folks in the open kitchen called it back, "Fatburger. . . . Kingburger." It's certainly a guy's joint. Loud with music. Filled with meat and fries. But the crowd was mixed. I mean, there were four women in 20 minutes. Five if you count the Comcast reporter. Two white-haired couples seemed quite happy even as I was cringing at the volume that the jukebox played "West End Girls."
Fatburger is definitely a great place to grab something if you're doing errands at Best Buy or Lowe's. I don't think it's a "night-out burger" like Victoria Gastropub, but then it isn't as expensive either. The three sizes of burgers should fit every appetite, plus you can order a Boca veggie burger, a turkey burger or even a grilled chicken sandwich. They even offer a "lettuce wedge" salad -- although I think I'm more likely to try to milkshake before I drive to a burger joint for my vegetarian meal.
Who else has visited Fatburger? What did you think? It was great fun to keep up on when this place would open. (It looks barely different than it did in September.) But now, the meat truly hits the road.
(Update: Check out the comment from Sam. He says the Fatburger doesn't taste like the one he had had before. He says they're cooking the meat longer. That's interesting. Anyone else have any experience with an LA Fatburger that they can compare?)
If you love burgers, you have to try Five Guys in Laurel or Hanover and check out the upcoming post about the Best Burgers in Howard County in the "What I Learned" series.
6630H Marie Curie Drive
Elkridge, MD 21075
NEAR: This in next to the Trader Joe's and the Perfect Pour in the Gateway Overlook Shopping Center. It's at the intersection of Rte 175 and Rte 108. Very convenient from I-95.