Kids, Pizza, And Fun

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris May 22, 2023 13:58 in Dining Diary

A few days ago I found myself with the evening off since Mary Leigh offered to take Tom to dinner. I started to go shopping, something I never do, then noticed there was not enough time for that. This realization occurred when I passed Fat Boy’s Pizza, a place I have been trying to get back to for a while anyway.

The phenom that is Fat Boy’s is pretty easy to figure out within minutes of arrival. Fat Boy’s isn’t really about pizza, and it isn’t really about fatness, although the size of the pizza slices leads your mind there. Fat Boy’s is about kids. Kids of all ages.

I first noticed this at the flagship location. The name makes me laugh out loud, so I was curious about the pizza. The place was popping out on all sides with families. Kids were running wild as parents conversed with each other. I quickly realized it was a good meeting place for families in the neighborhood after school and early evening.

In no time Fat Boy’s got fatter, taking over the space next door. And then I saw them come to the Northshore, strategically placed near the high schools this time. The gambit worked again, and soon they had expanded to a new area near Mandeville High School.

Here’s the thing though, Fat Boy is not good. It’s not bad, or so bad you can’t eat it. It’s just really really ordinary, which is good enough in concert with its other allures. It is a good hangout place for kids of all ages, even the ones growing into adulthood.  And it is fun. There are arcade games and claw machines and ample places for kids to gather with their friends. And to eat pizza. There seems to be plenty of that going on as well.

Fat Boy’s is fast-casual service, so when I went to the counter to order I realized they had Stromnoli there too. We were talking about Stromboli on The Food Show just that afternoon, so I had to get it. 

It came a little crispy around the edges because the crust is thin and it got toasted in the reheating. Fat Boy operates like all other pizza-by-the-slice places, where the pies are almost fully cooked, then sliced and reheated when a slice is ordered.

The Stromboli might have been the best thing there. It certainly was the star of what I ordered, which included a slice of The Fat Boy (supreme) and a slice of pepperoni. The pizza slice with everything ingredients filled the Stromboli too.

The Stromboli was served with the most ordinary red sauce imaginable. No surprise there. It’s the same red sauce that is the basis for nearly everything here. There is a white pizza here but just the idea seems hilarious. There are also ordinary salads, and a few other items appealing to the customer base: kids, their parents, and their friends.

The pepperoni isn’t really all that bad and is large in diameter. And there is no sign of buffalo milk mozzarella. This is good old basic mozzarella. I actually prefer that, though like everything else here it is the basic model with not a lot of flavor.

Just the sheer number of ingredients in the Fat Boy, or (supreme) practically guarantees it will taste more like something. And it does. Besides the meats of pepperoni and Italian Sausage, there are green peppers, black olives, and red onions on it. Fat Boy’s is quite generous with its cheese. Every bite has a blanket of melted mozzarella in it.

And of course, the slice itself is generous. Ridiculous even. The slogan “Size Matters” is clever and fun and accurate. That’s what it is about Fat Boy. It is clever and fun. And that is why every table in the place is filled every day. It certainly isn’t the food.

For reasons unrelated to food, I find Fat Boy's endlessly fascinating. It's because a first-time restaurateur came up with an idea so popular they can expand to now nine outposts in less than five years. Good for them!