Restaurant Review: Fat Sal’s Deli

Hours: Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: 956 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109
Recommended: Fat Jerry

Fat Sal’s is Pacific Beach’s own New York-style deli, co-owned by Joshua Stone, Salvatore “Fat Sal” Capek and Jerry Ferrara (most famous for playing “Turtle” in HBO’s “Entourage”). Open every day from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Fat Sal’s is the place to go to refuel after a long day of biking, working or at 2 a.m. when you’ve got a severe case of the “drunchies.”

As a vegetarian who tries to eat fairly healthy, I never thought a restaurant with the name “Fat” in its title would top my list of go-to eateries, but the menu does accommodate vegetarians, carnivores and health nuts alike. Fat Sal’s’ main attraction is its meat-heavy sandwiches, so I brought along my friend, Muir College sophomore Martha Gutierrez, as my onsite carnivore.

Martha tried the most popular sandwich on the menu, the Fat Jerry ($8.95), which is made on extra-wide hero bread and is stuffed with cheese steak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, fried eggs, fries, ketchup and mayonnaise. Although the combination seemed outlandish, after a couple of bites, Martha gave it a thumbs up.

I was pleasantly surprised by the vegetarian offerings: Fat Sal’s serves a veggie burger ($3.25) made in-house with fresh veggies and grains, layered with thin slices of onion, lettuce and pickles and topped with homemade mayonnaise. The staff is very attentive, making sure we had plenty of sandwiches to try. We also tried Strawberry Sprite ($2.25) and enjoyed free refills from their infamous freestyle soda machine, which offers more than 120 different soda flavors at the press of a button.

After trying an array of sandwiches, it was time for the shakes. The staff brought out four of their five Fat Shakes ($5.95). The most unique creation was the coffee ice cream shake, which had dark chocolate and pretzels crumbled on top. The strawberry milkshake — a creamy combination of strawberries, graham cracker crumbs and a whole slice of N.Y. cheesecake — is also not to be missed.

The layout of the restaurant is open and modern, with a front patio that overlooks Garnet Avenue, an indoor seating area and a large, covered patio seating area lined with flat screen TVs. Two and a half blocks away from the beach and surrounded by bars, Fat Sal’s’ location is optimal for hanging out after a day at the beach or after a long night of bar hopping in PB.

With fun menu items like Pepperoni Pizza Fries ($5.95) and a soundtrack of Kendrick Lamar and Biggie Smalls, Fat Sal’s is definitely geared toward college students and young adults.

Fat Sal’s is the place to go after you’ve worked up a big appetite; it is comfortable and affordable for the massive amount of food you get. Though PB may seem like a trek, it’s only a 15-minute drive from campus and there is plenty of street parking. On Monday nights there is even more of a reason to go. “We just started Monday College Night, where students with a UCSD student I.D. get a free order of fries and a soda with the purchase of a sandwich,” Stone said.

The craftsmanship that goes into each item, the care from the staff and the over the top menu gives the place a fun environment and provides an eating experience you can’t get from your average sandwich shop.

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