Tuesday, September 25, 2012

20 Sept 12 - Fatpour Tap Works

Hey, blogspot readers, barhopping around town with SouthSide continues as she makes her way (after her other "secret" job) to the Wicker Park/Bucktown/West Town/Ukrainian Village area. Tonight, she's visiting a new sports bar that just opened featuring a familiar face for some beer and football (just kidding on the beer part) And, OH MY GOSH - Brian "B-Rock Da Fender" Bender (former Hot Sauce Committee, The Branded, A Birdsong Valentine member) actually wearing a real button down shirt too! It was scary seeing him all grown up and business-like as General Manager, blogspot readers. This reviewer recommends checking out this new neighborhood bar . And you really can't miss it because it's the only establishment without an outdoor sign* announcing its name but so far that gimmick seems be working because when SouthSide arrived around 10p Thursday night, the place was jumping. That's very good for a cool pre-Autumn night too, blogspot readers. Fatpour Tap Works seemed to be the place for watching New York Giants trounce on Carolina Panthers or simply hanging out with friends after a long day at the office. It was quite a scene for a pre-weekend day.

On the outside, this bi-level building establishment looks rather small even with an outdoor patio area (there are heated warmers to keep the chill off you). Yet looks can be quite deceiving, blogspot readers, until you're inside Fatpour itself. The every inch of this bar space (on the first and second floor) is put to good use ...there's plenty of seating at the bars on both floors but if you're with friends - check out the booths which have the taps on the table ready to pour your favorite beer. There are also table seating for four and SouthSide highly suggests sitting close to the enclosed keg room ...great spot for people watching and checking out the kegs and kitchen area. Also sports fans, you're never without a view of the game and/or highlights since you're surrounded with flat screens. And if the keg room wasn't where it's located, you would easily have a perfect 360 degree view of each screen on both floors. Tonight, this reviewer was a little daring and decided to sample Fatpour's sangria. The verdict? Nice, cool and refreshing with a powerful kick from the alcohol. Making his rounds as General Manager, Brian  disclosed to SouthSide that Fatpour has 150 bottles/cans of beer as well as 50 kegs inside the keg room. Looking at the menu, he pointed out that each beer/wine etc is arranged by style ie - Wheat to Pilsners/Lagers and Ales (both pale and amber) ...even Belgian too! Plus they have ciders, stouts and wines (reds, whites and sparkling). Brian highly recommends sampling Fatpour's Fish Bowl which comes with a sparklers. Maybe ...during SouthSide's birthday next year.

After ordering her drink, SouthSide had the difficult task wondering what to eat! The food selection was vast and offered a wide variety of yummy eats from starters to sides and soups and then the entrees. That's where her server - Lauren, assisted this reviewer in what to choose from the menu. The first thing that caught her eye was BBQ chicken wings and she wasn't disappointed by her choice either. In fact, SouthSide had to remove her rings off her left hand. They were that lip-smacking smothered within the tangy sauce with the right amount of kick in the after taste at the back of your throat ...the sauce you could smell even before the plate arrived to the table. And the sauce wasn't store bought either - homemade from scratch kind of sauce (great on the veggies too). The wings were cooked just the way she likes them - crispy skin on the outside and moist and tender meat in the inside. Lauren suggested she try Fatpour's mac-n-cheese ...and guess what, blogspot readers, it's simply to die for. The small portion this reviewer tried tasted as if her own mom was in the kitchen making it ...melt in your mouth taste from the creamy cheese sauce over the noodles. In a nutshell, SouthSide was in food heaven tonight. And lastly before the kitchen closed for the night, this reviewer tried the "create your own pizza" selection even though Brian highly recommends his favorite - Notorious B.I.G. - this monster of a pizza features bacon, pork butt, prosciutto, pepperoni, sausage, onion, and tomato sauce. The basic "guy" food groups prepared on this pie. However, SouthSide opted for her own creation pepperoni, sausage, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese (she did ask for black olives but they didn't have that item). She enjoyed the fresh dough crust cooked nicely for a crispy bottom and chewy taste with the toppings. After taking leftover pizza home, there was none for SouthSide since the pizza goblin had it for breakfast before school the next day.

Other menu options, blogspot readers, include Grilled Lamb (quite upscale entree item for a neighborhood sports bar but will have to sample the next time she returns) and Pork Chops as well as sandwiches such as Pulled Pork and Mango Chicken Salad and sides from fresh fruit to sweet fries, tots and more. And if you have any room left in your stomach, there's also a dessert list for you - Framboise Float, Skillet Cookie and Caramelized Plantains to entice your sweet tooth. On weekends (Saturdays and Sundays only), Fatpour has a brunch menu featuring items like Stuffed French Toast and Chi-town Skillet to other tasty entrees from 11a to 3p. Then, there's the daily specials to whet your after work appetite, blogspot readers. On Mondays, it's Fat Day, Tuesdays - $2 Tacos and $3 Mexican beers, Wednesdays - $4 select 12oz bottles, Thursdays - it was "skinny" Day and Fridays - from 3p to 6p, it's 1/2 off appetitizers, $20 Fish Bowls and $5 PBR and select shots. During the weekend, the Fatpour specials are $7 Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar and $5 Beermosas and of course, brunch. Be sure to say "hi" to Lauren and tip her well as well as the hardworking Fatpour staff, bartenders, and servers. From what SouthSide on Thursday, Brian and the co-owners hired a a solid team of people including the chef and kitchen staff (from which you can watch them working on your food orders too).

As far as sports goes at Fatpour - unofficially it's a Chicago sports bar in which they support ALL Chicago teams including the 1st place White Sox (kinda rare on the Northside). According to Brian, officially the bar is a University of Wisconsin, (the hated) Green Bay Parkers and Phladelphia Eagles bar, blogspot readers.

The verdict: overall, SouthSide's not really a barfly but she wouldn't mind going to Fatpour Tap Works to hang out with friends and/or bands after a show or day at the other "office". She was thoroughly surprised how much serious thought went into this establishment ...it's in a prime Division Street location to capture the bustling Wicker Pack/Westown/Bucktown/Ukrainian Village night life and scene (especially during the weekends). It's an upscale but not too much make it be or have that River North bar atmosphere - more like a regular Joe and Jane to meet, hook up, and dine within moderately priced food items. This reviewer loved the friendly hip charm which attracts a wide range of genders, sports fans, races, and age demographics without the drunken college kid appeal. Plus, on Fridays and Saturdays - check out the live DJ spinning current pop hits and mixes upstairs.

For more information about this establishment, visit http://www.fatpourchicago.com.

Until next time, support your local bar scene,

*currently there's a sign now

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