Pittsburgh’s South Side is home to a ridiculous number of great eateries, ranging from hibachi grills to thai restaurants, Irish pubs, and of course sandwich shops. However, a classic shop that often stands above the rest is the great FatHead’s Saloon. In Pittsburgh English, it’s basically synonymous with “Amazing sandwich shop.” The atmosphere alone is worth a trip. There’s always a crowd, the building is full of witty Pittsburgh humor, and the iconic Fat Head logo (seen in the bottom left of the photo above) is everywhere. Then there’s the food: the menu‘s as gigantic as their sandwiches. If you’ve got an idea for food between bread, chances are good Fat Head’s is making it.
One great concoction that caught my eye was called the “Artery Clogger”, and for good reason. Here’s what goes into said sandwich: “Two fried eggs topped with slices of tasty ham, crispy bacon, melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo.” And that mouth-watering description doesn’t even mention the fantastic bread these gnarly sandwiches are served on. While the size of the bun is jaw-dropping, the true feat here is the texture; the outside is toasted to perfection: not too much crunch, not too little. It’s just the right amount of crisp to make you notice it and immediately love it.
As for the filling, this is easily the most complete breakfast-style sandwich I’ve ever eaten. (I’m not gonna call it a breakfast sandwich because nobody needs a breakfast this big.) The two fried eggs are the true stars here, because when paired with the melted American cheese, they create a creamy, melty, all-around otherworldly taste, and that’s only one part of the sandwich. Piling perfectly sliced ham and crispy bacon gives it the meaty quality that you’re looking for without overshadowing the fantastic egg-and-cheese combination. And every good sandwich, even if it is a breakfast-style deal, needs to be topped off with the tasty trio of lettuce, tomato and onion. Plus, the extra mayo at the end makes for a great cold compliment to the warm, gooey duo of the egg and cheese.
There’s something about having a breakfast-style sandwich be this size and this complex that lends itself to other categories. It’s the perfect size for dinner, and the fact that the ingredients are lighter than the rest of the menu makes it so that you can get closer to finishing the sandwich without actually clogging your arteries.
For sandwich enthusiasts, Fat Head’s is a must visit. The staggering amount of options combined with the undoubted deliciousness of the sandwich you ultimately choose will leave you no choice but to come back for seconds, and when you do, you’ll be guaranteed another great time.