In Lowkey & Local, staff writer Evan Marrow searches for hidden gems in Midcoast Maine’s food scene, highlighting the best, most overlooked food in the area.
As the chill of the Maine winter subsides, a familiar ray of warmth once again illuminates the side of Bath Road. This week Fatboy Drive In awakened from its hibernation to once again serve delicious drive-in eats as it has done since 1955. So of course, I had to go on their 2019 opening day, to hear the familiar sizzle of the griddle that I have painstakingly longed for.
“But why go to Fatboy when there is already a Five Guys near Bowdoin?” my ignorant roommate frequently asks. Variety is a key distinguishing factor of the historic restaurant. From hotdogs and frappes to lobster rolls, Fatboy wields a menu of affordably priced options that embody the essence of both a classic New England drive-in and a Maine seafood shack. Their BLT with onion rings is advertised as the “house special,” but classics such as burgers and fries are solid as well.
When a hot dog is served with the bun hugged by a paper holder, it is generally a sign of a quality frank, as this presentation is a practice maintained by old school spots. The bun is buttered and grilled to a perfect golden brown that retains its original softness while adding a hint of crunch that enhances its texture. The hot dog itself has a nice snap to it as well, harmonizing with the classic condiments of relish, onions and mustard, or any condiments you prefer, to deliver a delicious bite.
Coined as one of their famous menu items, the onion rings live up to their “crisp” title as they are labeled on the menu. The thin layer of batter that encompasses the onions allows for more flavor as the breading of the exterior does not overwhelm the presence of the interior onion. They are also coated with a fine layer of salt that contributes to the flavor profile without being a McDonald’s french fries amount.
Another staple of Fatboy’s are their “Thick Western Frappes.” The consistency of their frappes is thick enough that it has a rich flavor, yet it’s not too viscous so that it isn’t a workout for your jaw while you drink it.
With its close location to Bowdoin, just a 3 minute drive down Bath Road, there is no excuse not to go to the acclaimed Brunswick establishment, that Bowdoin students, throughout the generations, have come to love.