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Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
The evening rush had ended (it was 7:30 PM on a snowy Friday), and we asked a question of the middle aged man dressed in an apron and Fat Jack’s t-shirt who walked out to bus tables. We were surprised when he sat down and launched a 20 minute riff about the restaurant business, Morrisville PA, and the secrets to good BBQ. Turns out we’d lucked into speaking with Glenn Gross, founder of Fat Jacks, and a “celebrity” chef, who has appeared on BBQ Pitmaster’s, and is a regular guest on Fox 29 in Philly.
Fat Jack’s opened in Morrisville about a month ago (Nov 25, 2017), the 5th location in this local chain (3rd in the Philly area). Clearly Glen is on-hand a lot making sure Morrisville is successful.
The food is excellent, particularly if you like your BBQ charred, as we do. As Glenn pointed out, ALL of the food uses premium ingredients and is cooked to order (obviously not smoked to order, that takes up to 18 hours), but if you order brisket, it’s sliced and heated to order; a corn cob is grilled to order. So it can take 20 minutes for your food to arrive, and Glenn recommends calling in ahead of time to cut down on the waiting time.
We showed up in a party of 3, and we all ordered different combinations, sampling a pretty good range of the menu. My wife ordered the “healthiest” meal on the menu: half a chicken with greens and grilled corn on the cob. She gave the chicken top marks as it combined subtle charring with moist meat.
The two guys in our party ordered a much higher fat content. I would particularly recommend the ribs: which were very smoky and succulent, and the “Burnt Ends”. These are the charred ends of of the beef brisket. The regular brisket is a subtly charred, but if you like it smoky, get this version.
As Glenn pointed out in his exegesis on BBQ, it divides into two camps: those who like sauce and those who don’t. Glenn is in the “sauce camp”, so your food arrives well sauced. You can supplement it with bottles on the table, though we didn’t find it necessary.
The sides were good to excellent: we particularly liked the grilled corn and the mac & cheese. I thought my coleslaw only OK, with too much dressing for too little filling. A minor quibble, given the overall excellence of the fare.
Glenn claims that the burgers are excellent, based on a custom patty made especially for Fat Jacks that includes dry-aged fat. We can’t wait to try one. Currently Fat Jacks runs a lunch special in Morrisville only that is a sandwich with drink for $5.99.
Decor is pleasant enough: you order at the counter and the staff brings it to your table. Most of the business is take out.