My parents would probably tell you that I went too far in life on a diet of foods commonly found on a kids’ menu. For far too long I was the chicken fingers kid, and even nowadays, I can’t help myself around a plate of mozzarella sticks. So I figured there was no better place to start a blog about the disgusting foods I eat than at La Vera in South Orange, NJ with their Fat Daddy sandwich.
The Fat Daddy is clogged arteries on bread: chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, french fries, ketchup and mayonnaise. This is no club sandwich, this is the real deal.
I’d never been to La Vera before. Years ago, it was recommended to me by a friend who worked with me at my Hebrew School, making this an ironically “not kosher” dish. My friend, Chris, and I walked in from a cold winter rain to a cozy shop decorated with Christmas lights. I was refreshed by what sounded like a reggae compilation album and a TV showing the local news. I approached the counter where I was told the specials were on the wall to the right and that I could use a menu for reference, but that was unnecessary. I knew what i wanted. “One fat daddy, please!”
“Oh and a water to wash it down with. Thanks.”
The sandwich was smaller than I expected – a pleasant surprise. With food so unhealthy, one doesn’t want to push too hard. There were no frills, you get exactly what you order. I could describe each ingredient separately, but why bother?
I will say, I was pleasantly surprised by the bread. All too often, a great sandwich is ruined by boring, stale bread, and from the naked eye, this bread looked to be generic pizza place bread – I hate a chewy roll. However, the bread was actually just right and made the sandwich a more pleasant experience.
Halfway through the sandwich, I realized the reality of the situation. What I thought was going to be a glorious combination of bar food turned out to be exactly what it was – a bunch of fried food on bread. Most of the flavor came from the ketchup, which wasn’t bad, but kind of underwhelming. As I bit into the second half, all I could hear was the voice of my parents telling me, “This isn’t real food, Jordan.”
I finished the sandwich. I felt like I’d just buried a body, but in an anti-climactic way. I knew exactly how grossly unhealthy what I just ate was, and I didn’t feel like one of the guys from Epic Meal Time (sick reference bro) nor did I feel like my insides were imploding. I just felt fine. Pretty disappointing. I’ve always felt that if there’s no catharsis, it really isn’t a meal.
My grade for this meal is a solid B- and a definitely not kosher.
La Vera is located on 329 Valley St, South Orange, NJ.