Fat Cats Restaurant 
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  10/30/10          http://coolplacestoeat.com/fatcats.html

We were trying to go to Sokolowski’s for lunch. We weren’t very bright and didn’t check the hours. Not open for another five hours…hungry now. Hey we’re in Tremont…Lolita is right up the street! Lolita…not open for another five hours. In the couple of blocks between we passed Fat Cat’s which I was certain I had heard of somewhere. So after spinning around the goofy streets trying to get back to it we pulled up front. It really doesn’t look like much from the street, not much at all. That all changes once you walk through the door. Colors that I haven’t seen since the Cuban restaurant in Florida, art from locals, a large bar on the right and what appear to be tables in three small rooms. Our server was top notch. I wish I could bring her around to other places to show them what exactly would avoid me complaining about service here. Quick, detailed information about the menu and the place, seriously attentive and able to convey her interest in our experience, she should be training thousands. The menu matches the interior not the street front.



Olive Tapanade Served with Bread, Gratis

Wonderfully odd pairings, everything familiar but with interesting twists, we actually started grinning like idiots reading the menu. We started with the lamb and goat cheese empanadas and tomato jam. We split three entrees and took full boxes home. The house man-n-cheese is made with chorizo, chicken, apple, cheddar, cream and onion. Steph ordered the pulled pork sandwich with the Moroccan spiced pork and curry Napa cabbage slaw. I ordered the Duck Pho with vermicelli, scallion, Napa cabbage, mustard greens, butternut squash, jalapeno, and a poached egg in chicken broth. Our server brought us a yeasty and high protein bread served with an olive tapenade. With a splash of balsamic in the oil we were off to a pungent and tangy start. The empanadas arrived and I took a bite of the first doughy pocket and was disappointed, there was lamb, you could taste the tang of the goat cheese but it was pretty boring. I grabbed a nibble of the green on the plate and it was dressed with some type of vinaigrette. Hang on, I get it, eaten with the leaves it all started to come together. Once you added the sweet tomato jam which is sweet with a gently warming spiciness I really enjoyed the flaky nuggets.

Lamb & Goat Cheese Empanadas, Great All Together

Mac n Cheese, Oddly Sweet but Good

Pho, Pretty Standard

The Pho was what I would expect of any Pho, I haven’t had hundreds of them but this bowl appeared pretty standard which made it my least favorite. Everything else we tried on the menu had a unique and delicious twist to it, making me wonder what they might have done with the Vietnamese soup given their obvious creativity. The mac-n-cheese worried me…apple?!?...really? In the mac-n-cheese? It turned out to be in interesting component with just a hint of sweetness, anymore would have turned me off to the dish completely. Altogether the childhood treat was rich and had a satisfying cheesiness and heft. The pulled pork sandwich was the superstar of the lunch. The curry laden slaw was a first for me, beautiful and unique with warm deep flavor. The pork was profoundly dusted with Moroccan spice blending the awesomeness of pork with spices like cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, and various peppers. Sandwiched between a luxuriantly soft roll these flavors jumped to their feet and sang the national anthem of Yumania. This is precisely what was missing in the bowl of Pho…both ingenious and delicious. If you manage to venture into the Tremont district of Cleveland and have a sense of adventure; to this point in my opinion you are likely to be handsomely rewarded.

Unique and Delicious Pulled Pork Sandwich




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