We arrived early for dinner one evening, so the crowds weren't
bad, but within an hour there was a short waiting period for seating.
Our waitress was cheerful and service was good, but a little slow.
This was our first time for dinner here, so we concentrated on the
dinner menu rather than the sandwiches for which Fat Albert's is
A good starter was what the menu called simply, "crab stuffed mushrooms"($6.25),
but what turned out to be a large casserole filled with the mushrooms
on a bed of pasta and topped with crunchy vegetables and melted
cheese. The kids were brought their dinners from the Kid's Corner
menu - hot dog, hamburger and chicken strips ($2.50 each). Our dinners
came with either soup or salad, a choice of potatoes (skins, fries
or baked) and fresh bread.
The hearty eater was present this evening and was thrilled to see
one of his favorite things on the menu - chicken fried steak smothered
with cream gravy($7.95). Considering himself somewhat of an expert
on this culinary artery-clogger, he said it was right up there at
the top of the list. Despite the former, Fat Albert's also offers
"heart smart" choices.
Another choice was the Sausalito scampi ($11.95), a good combination
of stir-fried shrimp and chicken in a garlic butter sauce served
over rice. Sandwiches are availabke at lunch and dinner, and years
ago I had the French Hen sandwich ($5.95), a treat then as now.
It still consists of deep-fried chicken strips covered with melted
cheese and topped with tomato, sprouts and hollandaise sauce. A
fresh carnation is tucked away somewhere on all of the entree plates
- a classy touch. The menu lists several salads and soup- and -salad
combinations in the $3.75 to $5.95 range.
Croissants are filled with everthing from turkey to crab salad
and are served with fries, coleslaw, potato skins, soup or salad.
Voted the "best in Weld County" is the avocado club melt ($5.95),
a triple-decker on sour dough bread filled with cheese, bacon, and
turkey. Something that boggled our minds years ago, and still does,
is the Belly Buster, a gigantic one-pound hamburger served on a
frisbee-sized bun with a mountain of fries ($8.95).
Claiming that one should "eat dessert first - life is unpredictable,"
Fat Albert's does a first-rate job with their award-winning homemade
pies and other weets. A slice of towering banana cream pie and a
piece of rich, moist carrot cake were both excellent.
Fat Albert's has been around for 10 years, and hopefully it will
still be around for 10 more.
Roger and Susan Albert have been owners and managers of Fat Albert's
since it's opening in 1982. In the beginning Sue and the couple's
partners ran the restaurant while Roger held down a job with the
Greeley Police Department. By 1984 the couple bought out their partners
and Roger came to the restaurant to work full time.
By the mid-1980s the tough early years were over (years when the
total weekly profit often barely reached $500) and Roger and Sue
decided to open Charlie's downtown, a noble experiment that survived
until 1989 and has been much lamented ever since.
Since 1989 Roger and Sue have concentrated on making Fat Albert's
better, expanding the menu, hiring more staff, changing some dishes.
The soups are all homemade, Sue makes all the pies, and a par-time
baler makes the fresh cinnamon rolls and danish pastries.
Roger and Sue employ 52 employees (most part-time), including a
full-time manager, three part-time managers, and five full-time
cooks. After a decade of hard work, not only is the restaurant a
success but Roger and Sue are now enjoying 50-hour weeks instead
of the very long hours they had to put in every week in the early