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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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The Fat Shallot brings truffle BLTs, elevated sandwiches to Evanston

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Weitz
The Fat Shallot’s new location in Evanston will include its familiar food truck favorites.

Evanston residents will soon be able to enjoy dishes like a BLT decorated with truffle aioli when The Fat Shallot, a Chicago food truck-turned-restaurant, opens its doors at 2902 Central St.

The restaurant’s menu will include familiar food truck favorites like grilled cheeses, buffalo chicken sandwiches and fries. Hamburgers, loaded nachos and a bevy of new appetizers will also be available.

“We are food for everybody,” said Sarah Weitz, co-founder of The Fat Shallot. “But we (offer) the best version of that sandwich that you’ll ever get.” 

Hidden at the back of The Fat Shallot’s brick facade, their newly redone patio provides outdoor dining and plenty of yard games. Inside, there will be a claw machine, a jukebox, Pac-Man and other games.

The restaurant’s newest location will also feature a Wisconsin dive bar-inspired back bar. According to Weitz, drink options include gin-and-tonic and margarita slushies, along with beer and other cocktails.

“We feel like Central Street is really missing that fast casual sort of restaurant where people can order at the counter and then hang out,” Weitz said.

Weitz wanted to create a space where families with young children could feel comfortable going out to dinner. She and her husband, Sam Barron, the other founder of The Fat Shallot, have three children under eight.

Just as the restaurant’s outdoor space may appeal to families, The Fat Shallot’s prices could be a big draw for students, as their main dishes are all under $13. 

Medill sophomore Julia Benkendorf, who previously wrote for The Daily, feels that there aren’t enough affordable local restaurants for students. 

“I just think there need to be more accessible, cheap meals that are still really good, which is what I feel like The Fat Shallot is,” Benkendorf said. 

Weitz and Barron opened The Fat Shallot food truck in 2013. Barron, a chef who has worked at a three-star Michelin restaurant and other fine dining institutions, oversees the food and menu design while Weitz runs the front end, such as accounting, marketing and catering.

The Fat Shallot was inspired by their time backpacking across the world. Weitz said that everywhere they went, street food was always their favorite. After Chicago’s 2012 legalization of cooking onboard food trucks, the dream of The Fat Shallot was realized.

In addition to the original truck, The Fat Shallot has a restaurant in Lincoln Park, stalls at Merchandise Mart and Revival Food Hall and a summer outlet at Gillson Beach.

As Evanston residents, Weitz and Barron searched for three years for a local home for The Fat Shallot. 

“We really wanted to be close to Northwestern and we wanted to be downtown,” Weitz said.  “But the right property never opened because we were really keen on having an outdoor space.”

With the encouragement of the local community, they eventually settled on the Central St. location when the building’s former occupant, the Old Neighborhood Grill, closed. 

Grace Houser, catering and social media manager at The Fat Shallot, said they often get catering requests from the Evanston area. Gillson Beach regulars are excited about a year-round location of The Fat Shallot opening nearby.

“We do this because we love feeding people, and we love making people happy,” Weitz said. “It’s a place where we hope everybody feels comfortable and welcomed and has fun.”

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