March 18, 2014

Four Things to Order at The Fat Ham and One to Skip

Oyster Slider
Kevin Sbraga first gained acclaim as a Top Chef winner and then for his namesake restaurant Sbraga, a 2011 Scarpetta Award honoree for best new restaurant.

Now Chef Sbraga has expanded with a more low key space called the The Fat Ham, which is focused on southern country cooking and traditions.

We loved the concept and enjoyed the food just as much. Here are four things you should order at The Fat Ham.

1. The Fat Apple cocktail. We recognized the bartender from his days at Pub & Kitchen. He’s the really tall guy, super friendly and knows his drinks. We took his recommendation for The Fat Apple - great, simple, whiskey drink. The kind you could have five of on a nice day. The Fat Ham also serves its own twist on the Moscow Mule in those famous copper mugs. (side note: I've had Moscow Mules at two other local bars since not served in the copper mug and it just isn't the same.)

2. Southern Hummus. If there was a “hummus” to give Zahav a run for its money this would be it. Mixing boiled peanuts with the traditional chickpeas gave it just enough distinction and the grilled bread served with it was excellent. You’ll want to lick the wooden bowl clean!

3. Oyster Sliders. These giant oysters were perfectly fried into a crunchy bite, while the coleslaw and gribiche was a tasty condiment. The real kicker, though, was the yeast roll – fluffy, buttery and quite simply perfect. Order one per person and see the photos below for other good apps/sides.

4. Hot Chicken. "Hot" in this case means to the touch and more significantly to taste. You’ll get a minor forehead sweat but also just enough sweetness to keep you diving back in for more, and taking advantage of the white bread, house-made ranch and pickles underneath. Just like the oysters, the chicken is perfectly fried. This version certainly rivals Resurrection and Federal Donuts. I’d love to see Fed Nuts come up with a spicy take like this one. Loved it. At $13 it’s an above average deal.

Hot Chicken!

One disappointment was the chocolate chip cookie skillet. From the sound of it (a hot skillet full of just-baked cookie dough) we thought this was going to be another highlight. The result tasted fine but was thinner and harder than expectations. Perhaps another scoop of ice cream and softer dough would have done the trick.

The Fat Ham is located near WXPN and World Cafe Live on Walnut Street, just before the heart of UPenn's campus in University City. Keep in mind that the space is uber small so try to get a reservation or go as a pair and sneak a spot at the bar. We’d advise against a big dinner party, as we saw one group waiting a good bit to get seated. It just doesn't have the volume seats needed to turnover quickly enough for a large group.

Have you been to The Fat Ham? What would you recommend?

Grilled Trout w/ brussels sprouts, pecan butter
Baked macaroni & cheese with BBQ potato chip crust

Hummus in a wooden bowl
Chocolate chip cookie skillet

The Fat Ham on Urbanspoon


Jules said...

This place looks great! I'd love to try that hummus.

Unknown said...

I got almost all of the same things (subbing hot chicken with some sauteed mustard greens).

The food was good. I did not like the service, or the portion sizes.