You can have your King Cake, your paczkis or your beignets next week, but I want a little more on Fat Tuesday.
Tuesday is Mardi Gras’ traditional last day of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
It has its traditional fare, but I have some other suggestions. And these suggestions will make your Fat Tuesday the fattest it can be here in the Summit City.
The morning meal is one of the easiest places you can fatten up, with eggs, bacon and ham being prime ingredients.
An indulgent sweet start to you day, how about some angel food cake French toast, which you can find at Spyro’s Pancake House, 4410 Bluffton Road and 6455 W. Jefferson Blvd. The cake is coated in egg and fried until brown and you can make it even fatter with the restaurant’s indulgent turtle “Griddle Topper” of pecans and chocolate and caramel sauce.
You may also want to try one of Spyro’s monster five-egg omelets or frittatas, which can also be found at Keliah’s Pancake House. And for good measure, both places have versions topped with sausage gravy. Keliah’s also has a gooey chocolate-covered crepe that comes with a scoop of ice cream.
And it wouldn’t be right to not mention Fort Wayne’s traditional breakfast favorite garbage plates – eggs, fried potatoes, diced onions, peppers and sometimes mushrooms all mixed together and topped with cheese and gravy. Countless restaurants offer them, but the best are at Cindy’s Diner, 830 S. Harrison St.; Klemm’s Kafe, 1429 N. Wells St.; and Klemm’s Candlelight Café, 1207 E. State Blvd.
To find suitable fatty options for the midday meal, I turned to the deep fryer.
Breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches are an Indiana staple, and there are several places with sizable, delicious versions. My favorite breaded and deep-fried slabs of pork can be found at the Alley Sports Bar, 1455 Goshen Ave.; Laycoff’s Bar & Grill, 3530 N. Clinton St.; and Black Dog Pub, 6230 Covington Rd.
Laycoff’s also takes the cheeseburger to a new fattening level. The delicious breaded cheeseburger is a third-pound patty with American, Swiss or mozzarella cheese that is breaded on site the same way the tenderloin is and then splashed into a deep fryer until crisp.
If you are in the mood for a little midday Mexican, how about trying a Killer Burrito from El Burrito Colonial, 3422 N. Clinton St. This giant burrito comes filled with pork carnitas or steak, lettuce, tomatoes, beans and cheese. It is topped with nacho cheese and red or green sauce, then buried under a mound of french fries.
Italian is the best way to go to get a fatty dinner.
Nothing is worse in terms of fat and calories than Alfredo sauce, and there are some really sinful versions all over town. But the pasta dish I find to be the most decadent is the Cavetelli con Quattro Formaggi at the Casa restaurant chain. This pasta is coated in a heavy cream sauce with Parmesan, provolone, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheeses.
A Fort Wayne favorite, the sausage roll, is also a great way to indulge. Pizza dough wrapped around a ton of ground sausage and mozzarella cheese with just a little sauce is what this delight consists of, and most of them are huge.
The best on this day would come from, again, Laycoff’s. I am not picking on the place – the folks there just know how to make great bad-for-you food. The Laycoff’s roll is, indeed, enormous but unlike others, it is slathered with garlic butter. And I will let you in on a little secret: Laycoff’s will also up the fatty ante with that deep fryer with the rolls, too. Mini rolls that are cooked in the oil instead of baked are available occasionally as daily specials, but I was told you can pretty much get them anytime.
For pure girth, however, the biggest sausage roll I have found is at Toscani Pizzeria, 120 W. Wayne St. A half roll is more than enough for me, and a whole could easily feed a small family.
If it is a pizza you want, head to Oley’s, 10910 U.S. 24 W. and 1427 Coliseum Blvd. N., and try a Big 10. Oley’s specializes in thick, deep-dish, double-crust pies with cheese between the two crusts, sauce, toppings and more cheese on top. The Big 10 is a 16-inch deluxe double-crust pie with two meats and four vegetable toppings. Its precooked weight is nearly 10 pounds.
Snacks and dessert
To fill the gaps during or to close out your fatty day with something sweet, here are a few suggestions:
Fresh pork rinds, Chop’s Wine Bar, 6421 W. Jefferson Blvd. These crispy pieces of pig fat arrive still sizzling and are lightly dusted with a salty, mildly spicy seasoning. They are pork-fat heaven.
Awesome Dog, Dawson’s Famous Coney Dogs, 10020 Lima Road #C. Gotta have a hot dog, right? This is not just a great hot dog, it is a great hot dog topped with barbecued pulled pork.
DeBrand sundae, DeBrand Fine Chocolates, 10105 Auburn Park Drive, 5608 Coldwater Road, 4110 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite D1. This sundae of vanilla ice cream topped with one or two sauces – milk chocolate, dark chocolate, tart raspberry, creamy caramel and peanut butter – and toasted pecans and/or almonds. But what makes it truly sinful is that it is served in a bowl made of DeBrand chocolate.
Mad Anthony Sundae, Atz’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 3235 N. Anthony Blvd. and 211 E. Tillman Road. A legendary Fort Wayne dessert, this goblet of good stuff includes six scoops of ice cream and 10 toppings.
Best and the worst
Lastly, I will share with you a dessert that embodies everything Fat Tuesday was intended to stand for.
But you may need to sit down before reading how bad it is for you.
The bread pudding at the Lucky Moose, 622 E. Dupont Road, is insane. The reason? According to owner Mark Melchi, a 15-serving pan of the stuff with its bourbon sauce uses 36 eggs, 3 pounds of butter, 10 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of bourbon, a gallon of milk and 45 slices of Texas toast.
That is nearly 2 1/2 eggs and more than 3 ounces of butter per serving. Input that recipe in one of those online calorie counters and you get somewhere around 1,700 calories, 89 grams of fat (137 percent of the recommended daily allowance) and 729 milligrams of cholesterol (243 percent of daily allowance) per serving.
“That can’t be all bad for a town that is No. 2 in the country,” said a laughing Melchi, citing a December report in Prevention magazine naming Fort Wayne as the second most artery-clogging city in America.
“We are just trying to make Fort Wayne No. 1 in something.”
Fat Tuesday indeed.