2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastBreakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Dinner ThursdayNo Dinner FridayNo Dinner Saturday

Fat Spoon Cafe

Mandeville: 68480 Highway 59. 985-809-2929. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
The Fat Spoon–aside from its less-than-alluring name–is everything one hopes to find in a local neighborhood breakfast-and-lunch place. The owners actively disdain the widespread practice of cutting open cloned plastic bags of food and warming the contents. Almost everything is made in house–including such troublesome items as soups, red beans and rice, roast beef, and hand-made burgers.

WHAT’S GOOD
While most of the menu is very familiar, there’s enough originality to make a meal here refreshingly different. The daily special lunches and the more complex egg dishes show this off particularly well. And someone should have thought of beignet sticks a long time ago. (They’re the size of French fries, but taste just like normal beignets.)

BACKSTORY
Attorney Sonny Garcia and his daughter Lisa Schwing opened The Fat Spoon in mid-2011, in the strip-mall space originally built a few years earlier for the extinct Zydeco Cafe. In the pre-food-court 1970s, Davis operated a few light-bite restaurants in shopping malls called The Red Caboose.

DINING ROOM
One big room, with walls painted with the logo and slogans and a bar along one of them. It’s furnished more richly that the typical neighborhood place, with tables and chairs more handsome than in a restaurant with twice these prices.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
BREAKFAST
Omelettes
»Cajun Spoon (crawfish, sausage, onions, mushrooms, Swiss)
Fat Spoon (bacon, ham, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheddar)
Crabby Spoon (crabmeat, spinach, cream cheese, Swiss)
LA Spoon (shrimp, bell pepper, onion, pepper jack, green onions)
»Cowboy (ham, bell pepper, onions, cheddar)
Greek (bell pepper, spinach, olives, feta)
Cheese
Not omelettes
»Standard breakfast combos
»Eggs and meat pie (pork or beef)
»Chicken wings and waffles
Eggs Florentine (scrambled, spinach-artichoke topping)
Eggs Benedict
»Eggs Sardou
»Eggs NOLA (Benedict plus fried tomato and mushrooms)
Fat Spoon Stackers (fried potatoes, chicken-fried steak or pulled pork or corned beef, eggs, cheese, peppers, onions, country gravy)
»Waffles
Sweet potato waffles
Breakfast sandwich (eggs, sausage or bacon, cheddar)
Biscuit and country gravy
Grits with debris
»Beignet Sticks
LUNCH
Starters
»Onion rings
Southwest egg rolls
Chicken tenders
»Fat Spoon salad (romaine, grilled chicken, avocado, craisins, walnuts, feta, blackberry vinaigrette)
House salad
Chicken salad
Caesar salad (options: chicken or shrimp)
»Cobb salad
Sandwiches
»Fried shrimp poor boy
Cochon de lait poor boy
»Roast beef poor boy
Grilled chicken on kaiser
Chicken salad
»Reuben
»Cuban
Pulled pork, ham and Swiss poor boy
Meatball poor boy
Italian sausage poor boy
Ham poor boy
Turkey poor boy
»Hamburger poor boy
Turkey or veggie saute on grilled wheatberry bread
»Hamburgers (many variations)
Sliders (three mini-burgers)
Entrees
»Daily special platters

FOR BEST RESULTS
The breakfasts are solid throughout, even to details like the coarse-ground grits. The Monday red beans are outstanding, and can be had with a very good link hot sausage.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
No oysters? Why no oysters? (Maybe they run as specials.) The restaurant has been closed on Saturdays, but plans to open then starting March 1, 2012.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch
  • Open Monday lunch
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The problem with the suburbs–especially newer ones–is that the neighborhoods are hostile to neighborhood cafes. Casual restaurants with inexpensive local food are pushed out onto the arterial roads, which gives them a different dynamic than if they were on backstreet corners. The hottest place to look for such restaurant in West St. Tammany Parish is LA 59. During the past several years, the mix of residential neighborhoods, commercial and industrial development, and a couple of very large secondary schools have created enough traffic for many restaurants serving poor boys, burgers, blue-plate specials, and seafood. Quite a few also serve breakfast. The Fat Spoon is an excellent new example of the genre.


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