It’s been three months since Fat Shallot embarked on a road trip to New Orleans and fans have anxiously awaited their return. Returning to the Windy City a week before the Chicago River turns green for St. Patrick’s Day, there’s no downtime in the loop whatsoever as Sarah Weitz takes orders at the window and her husband Sam slings out BLTs, grilled cheese paninis and gourmet French fries.
A few years ago, husband and wife duo Sarah Weitz and Sam Barron both started their culinary journeys at Kendall College in Chicago. After completion, the couple moved to Europe and then found their way back to U.S., but in the South. “Sarah and I moved to Spain where I took an internship,” said Sam Barron. “We moved to New Orleans for a year and decided to come back to Chicago once they passed a law that allowed cooking onboard trucks. It was a good time to strike out on our own.”
As of this year, Fat Shallot has been on the streets for two years and like most of their buddies, their gourmet food has given them the honor of being featured on Chicago’s Best.
Long time customers may weep due to the fact that the trademark salami sandwich, that helped make Fat Shallot famous, is no longer on the menu. Who wouldn’t miss grilled salami, house BBQ sauce, pickled red onions and a fried egg on a pretzel bun?! Nonetheless the current menu items are just as mouthwatering.
Enter the Truffle BLT that is served on Challah Toast with tomato, arugula, avocado, and a house made truffle aioli, that can also be accompanied by an order of fresh cut Truffle Fries.
Another prizewinner? The Grilled Cheese that is served on slices of sourdough with melted Muenster cheese, sautéed spinach, and caramelized onions. It is noted that bacon is optional, but naturally bacon is never optional…it’s a must.
Sarah is leaning over while taking orders and making sure that each customer has her undivided attention. When she steps back it’s clear that she is pregnant with what she calls a “baby shallot.”
A new addition to the family comes in pairs with Sam and Sarah, because along with a baby, they plan on rolling out the Fat Shallot spawn this May. So what will be the clever name of truck number two? The Fat Pickle.
“It’s going to be deli-focused,” said Sarah Weitz. “What we learned from the first food truck is that we’re a city truck and people need to come and get their food quickly.”
Because of the modeling of a kitchen inside the truck and the high demand for their food, it was hard for the Fat Shallot to produce sandwiches such as the Reuben, that hasn’t been on the menu since the truck opened.
“There were a couple sandwiches at the beginning that we loved, but we couldn’t do them because of our limitations,” said Sam Barron. “Now we’re reintroducing classic deli and not so much gourmet sandwiches.
This time around, the Fat Pickle will have its own customized kitchen designed by Sarah and Sam themselves. The reason for this is to be able to carry out a couple of different sandwich creations.
The name “Fat Shallot” comes from Chicago’s nickname back in the twenties when it was called “The Big Onion,” but Sam Barron won’t dish out the background story behind The Fat Pickle.
Towards the end of Spring, not only will the fan base of the Fat Shallot continue to grow, but so will the family. We look forward to doing a follow-up with Sam and Sarah once the Fat Pickle makes its debut.
Look for the Fat Pickle around May and expect Roaming Hunger to be there when it rolls out.
-Chicago Area Guest Contributor, Dana Lee