Mar 19, 2021 | OPINION | By Hank Bedingfield | Photo by Kate Nixon
Eating out is life or death. Restaurants are being chocked off by an indefinite pandemic, and pallets across the country are growing bored and restless. A night out is the only cure. In the face of a tasteless fatigue, it’s time to push back. I’ll ramble around the ‘Springs and find which restaurants are worth the risk and which aren’t. Dining-in or taking-out, I’ll be hungry, and I’ll write about it.
528 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Lunch and Dinner
Closes at 11 p.m. (1 a.m. on weekends)
Take-out, Dine-in and Delivery Only
Fat Sully’s captures everything there is to love about Colorado Springs: greasy food, cheap drinks and a rugged, go-out-and-find-it, brick-walled culture. It’s quick, delicious, surprisingly cheap — and everyone knows it. If you haven’t been already, you’re either a first-year, a first-class idiot, or an agoraphobic — in which case I’d feel genuinely sorry for you.
This place is a beautiful, surreal daydream — too good to be true, time and time again. The crowd is as diverse as the city, a bizarre rainbow of cheaply-dyed hair and strange piercings next to the clean-cut tiredness of military fatigues — but with one catch. These people eat and drink religiously. Pizza, beer and everything in between are worshiped. The exposed brick and iron, hesh wall art, and mammoth hardwood bar form a cathedral, and Fat Sully’s, on any given night, is an idol worth that devotion.
To practice properly, stop by at happy hour — that’s 3-6 p.m. daily, and 10 p.m. to closing Sunday through Thursday. To go with a $3.75 slice, Fat Sully’s offers $2 PBRs, $3 wells, and $4 beers. If that doesn’t get you moving, or at least dialing the restaurant right now, just stop reading; I don’t think you and I would get along.
Even more dangerous, in a cruel and savage blessing, they’re serving a $5 PBR and Jim Beam combo, “all day every day.” I have no idea how they can afford to offer this or what their endgame could possibly be — other than a red-blooded, all-out endorsement of public drunkenness — but this is one of those times you shut up and stop asking questions.
With that settled, let’s get into the food. When they say “Big-Ass Pizza” they mean it, so take it as a warning. We’re talking about New York-style pizza bigger than your face. They keep it simple: slices are $3.95, and toppings are a little extra. The cheese pizza is amazing, maybe better than whatever you’d customize. The cheese itself is perfectly stringy, moist and firm. The sauce is fresh and the crust is thin and crisp. Nothing to complain about.
Toppings taste fresh and I’ve yet to have one I don’t like — apart from the crude combination of banana peppers, Canadian bacon, and artichoke hearts where I can only blame my own misguided creativity. But even that wasn’t half bad.
Pies are built for maximum satisfaction. They turn a rowdy rabble of drunken, near-rioters to pacified apostles in minutes. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday night, an ill-advised Wednesday binge, or a soon-to-be-forgotten Friday night bacchanal, take my advice and order the pizza.
The appetizers are a little more hit-or-miss. The wings are good but need more sauce — choose the Sully Fries instead. Cheese, gravy, bacon, and green onions make these intensely satisfying, though they probably take years off your life in sheer fat.
In a strange twist, Fat Sully’s also sells a loaded smash burger. It’s fair to be skeptical, but don’t let that get in the way. The house-made pickles and garlic butter on a brioche bun are in perfect opposition.
Fat Sully’s is an institution and there is good reason. If you haven’t been, go, and if you have, then you know what I’m talking about. This is food that’ll induce near-hysteria and cultish obsession. Get in on the action. Enjoy the maddening bliss. Fat Sully’s is an exercise in hedonism. Curse moderation; live a little, and eat and drink the way you should.