I have never been so happy to be in DeKalb, IL. I got up early because of the snow storm last night, but I never thought it would be as bad as it was. The roads were awful between Lansing and Kalamazoo. I didn’t think I’d ever make it to where I needed to go.
It was slow going, but I did finally make it. My four and a half hour trip took closer to six. By the time I got to DeKalb, I was exhausted and my day was just starting. I was working at Northern Illinois University where the NIU Huskies were taking on the Southern Illinois University Salukis in men’s basketball. Just before four o’clock, we were released for lunch. No one knew where to go or what was even around. Lucky I did some research before leaving Mid-Michigan.
Fatty’s Pub is located on Lincoln Highway not far from the Convocation Center and Huskie Stadium. We piled into a couple cars and set out looking. I put the address in my GPS, but by the time it found the satellites, we were turning into the parking lot. The building sits pretty close to the road, so you have to go down a little alley to the back. The parking lot and main entrance are located behind the building.
There were four guys in my group. We hit the pub just before it started to get packed for Huskie’s pregame. When you walk in, you enter the bar area. There are some tables pushed up against the wall. We took a pub table near the back of the bar. There’s also another room with more tables and games, but we weren’t there to drink the night away.
The waitress saw us and came over with menus. You’d be surprised how hard it is for four guys to clearly convey what they wanted. The waitress started with drinks. I ordered a Pepsi. The next guy asked if it was Pepsi or Coke. The waitress wrote down Pepsi and moved on, but he wanted a Mt. Dew. He grunted his way through making the change. After just hearing the speech about Pepsi or Coke, the third guy asked for a Cherry Coke. The very patient waitress explained again that they have Pepsi, but she could add grenadine to his Pepsi to make it cherry. He declined and just went with a regular. By the time she got to the fourth guy, he had figured it out and ordered a Pepsi.
Since we were all working, our bills were going to be separate and we conveyed that to our waitress when she came back to order. Again, we might as well have grunted our way through ordering. I started off with a sandwich called the “Ryne Sandburger.” Yup, they use Cub names for their food. The “Sandburger” is a 1/2 lb hamburger served on a buttered, toasted bun. For another buck, I added a slice of Cheddar cheese. The sandwich comes with choice of fries or potato salad and choice of cole slaw or beans. I jumped on the fries but declined the slaw or beans. The burger was really good. It was fresh meat. It was still juicy. It was everything I look for in a burger. The fries were a little soggy, but still helped satisfy my hunger.
The second guy couldn’t even figure out all the fancy names. He just said he wanted a cheeseburger. The waitress pointed out it was the same burger I ordered and that cheese would be extra. He said that was fine. He also ordered an appetizer of mozzarella sticks. He didn’t share, but they looked nice and gooey. He didn’t say anything about his sandwich and I didn’t ask.
Guy number three ordered The Fat Boy. I was tempted by this sandwich, but needed that much grease before a game. The burger comes with two 1/3 lb Angus beef patties that are layered with Cheddar and American cheese, grilled onions, and Fatty’s special sauce. He ordered the burgers medium-rare which is pretty brave. I order medium knowing that I’m just as likely to get a medium burger as I am a medium rare. He loved the burger. When he got done, he said it was one of the best burgers he’s ever eaten.
Fourth guy had a little trouble figuring out the menu. He sat there for ten minutes looking for chicken and couldn’t find it. When he asked the waitress, she told him to turn to the back page of the menu. There were a number of chicken dishes. He ordered light just getting the classic chicken sandwich. The grilled chicken breast is served with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a buttered split top roll. He didn’t say anything about his sandwich either.
When it came time to pay, the waitress remembered our request for separate checks and came over with our bills. They were all around $10 except for the guy who got the mozzarella sticks. His was over $17.
Fatty’s Pub & Grille was a good find. We had quite a bit of time for lunch and it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere where we could still carry conversation and enjoy some top notch food. Fatty’s is a great pre or post game stop when you’re in DeKalb.