Our weekends, as should everyone else’s, closely adhere to the saying “First we eat, then we do everything else.” * To kick off this past snowy Saturday, we met friends for brunch at one of our favorite Tremont spots: Fat Cats. We could go on and on listing reasons why this small restaurant is such a gem: locally sourced ingredients, solid background beats, local art showcased on the walls, the city skyline just across the river, reasonable prices, friendly staff and so much more make it one of the best places to dine in our area.
*Quote by M. F. K. Fisher, one of the first food writers in the US and she was a female, no less.
The music was definitely on point for a lovely, yet chilly, weekend afternoon in the Rock and Roll capital of the world. Our wonderful dishes were garnished with key classic rock and oldies tunes, adding that extra layer of enjoyment to our meal. Greats like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Doors (to name a few) graced our ears as we dug in. So without further ado, let’s get that playlist from our Fat Cats adventure rocking before we showcase some of the dishes we devoured.
When we first arrived, our friendly waitress brought her starving table (us) the delicious bread and olive tapenade in oil for dipping pictured below. Some of us needed more than the heater and grooves to warm up, so we ordered these stellar coffee drinks with: Rising Star Coffee, Godiva dark, brandy and a nutmeg dusted orange peel.
We’ll each give a review of our personal order, but before we do, we want to showcase another dish at the table: Jose’s Cincinnati Chili (black beans, chorizo, chèvre, grilled jalapeño and poached eggs). Fortunately, Amanda’s brother ordered it and was nice enough to give us a few bites. We encourage you to persuade your sibling/friend to order this and then share it with you.
Amanda’s Account of “Eggs Norwegian”
I have been to Fat Cats once before and it was glorious on so many levels, making it very difficult to turn down the invite. This is definitely my kind of place and a good fit for various occasions, much like the music they were playing. My dish was their unique twist on the brunch favorite, Eggs Benedict; featuring cold smoked salmon, crostini, two poached eggs, braised greens, hollandaise and potatoes. Everything was perfectly cooked, the plating was beautiful and the textures all complimented each other. The creamy hollandaise, hearty eggs and salmon and crunchy crostini paired perfectly with John Bonham’s drums and Jim Morrison’s powerful vocals. When I needed a quick break from those rich, yet delicious bites, I took a forkful of the braised greens to refresh my palate. Potatoes are something I crave with a lot of different meals, especially breakfast foods and/or if eggs are involved, so I was pretty pleased they were included with this already great dish. If I could change anything I would have added capers since they go so well with smoked salmon and their briny bursts of flavor would have cut through the heavy nature of the dish. Either way, Fat Cats left me impressed yet again and I’m sure we will be back soon.
Adrienne’s Account of “The Augusto’s Fried Chicken Sandwich”
Long time listener (to people gushing over Fat Cats), first time visitor. The music playing was classic rock, so there were certainly no complaints here in that regard. I’ve always enjoyed The Stones, but that enjoyment turned to love when Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire combined She’s a Rainbow with Ruby Tuesday for Kristen Wiig’s SNL send off. It gets me a little verklempt every time. But on to the food at Fat Cats. Oh the food. I got the Augusto’s Fried Chicken Sandwich with slaw and siracha aioli. The slaw was awesome because it was more than just cabbage, which it did have, but also cucumbers, onion and carrots. The siracha aioli had a little kick to cut through the deep-fried chicken. The menu description said I was supposed to get house potato chips, but they accidentally gave me sweet potato fries instead. Best decision I didn’t make. The fries were battered and served with homemade ketchup that was actually more similar to a marinara than ketchup. Overall, I think the simplicity of a chicken sandwich perfectly summarizes Fat Cats because it’s an understated dish but with an interesting twist much like the building is nothing to write home about from the outside, but inside it has so much character.
Everyone seemed beyond satisfied, as usual, with their meals and Fat Cats experience. On the way out, we decided to check out the great view of Cleveland’s skyline and even the industrial flats, which reminded us not only of the hardworking foundation of the Rustbelt, but also its current culinary revitalization.
Well there you have it. Fat Cats is hands down amazing. Go there, eat and be happy.