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NJ Vocabulary: The Fat Sandwich

Ahhh, the fat sandwich. With a name like that, you probably already know what you’re in for, but just in case, we’re here to explain it to you. Fair warning, this article is about to make you very, very hungry and we can promise this particular delicacy doesn’t quite fit in with your healthy diet.

Fat SandwichNoun. A type of sandwich made from a combination of greasy foods like chicken fingers, gyro meat, mozzarella sticks, french fries, etc. in a bun.

Example: “I’m hungry. Let’s go hit the grease trucks for some fat sandwiches.”

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The Fat Sandwich is Born

To discuss the history and evolution of the fat sandwich, we have to start at its birthplace – Rutgers University.

Legend has it that in the 1970s a hungry (and possibly inebriated) college student invented the fat sandwich late one night when he was looking for a snack. In order to satisfy his craving, he went to the grease trucks and asked them to put a sandwich together with all of his favorite foods.

fat sandwich

Other folks claim it was a local restaurant that came up with the idea for the fat sandwich. Either way, it appeared on the fast food scene in the late ‘70s and has remained a fixture ever since.

The original fat sandwich was the “Fat Cat,” made up of a double cheeseburger, fries, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup, all on a bun. Also on the early grease truck menus were the “Fat Moon,” the “Fat Koko” and the “Fat Sam.”

For the breakfast food lovers, the Fat Moon offered chicken fingers plus bacon, eggs, fries, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup…an interesting combination. The Fat Koko had pizza steak, fries and mozzarella sticks, while the Fat Sam had cheesesteak, grilled chicken, fries, lettuce, tomato and sauces.

Drooling yet?

The Legend Lives On

Of the first four fat sandwiches, the Fat Cat remained the most popular until the “Fat Darrell” came along in 1997.

It was back in the late 1990s when Rutgers student Darrell Butler was hungry and broke. He went to the RU Hungry? grease truck and asked the server to make him a sandwich with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce and fries. After hearing his delicious order, the next ten people in line ordered the same.

fat sandwich

It instantly became known as the Fat Darrell and remains the best selling sandwich on campus to this day. The sandwich even gained RU Hungry? some well-deserved fame. The Fat Darrell was voted the number one sandwich in the country by Maxim magazine in 2004.

If you’re really feeling brave, you can take the “Eat 5 in 45” challenge at RU Hungry?. Finish five fat sandwiches in 45 minutes and you’ll get a sandwich named after you put on the menu.

Even Man vs. Food host Adam Richman couldn’t do it and he’s a professional competitive eater!

And while I’ll probably never win the 5 in 45 challenge, that doesn’t mean I can’t daydream about what would be in the “Fat Lindsay.” I’d start with a hamburger, then maybe some fries, a pickle or two, blue cheese crumbles, bacon…

All Photos: © RU Hungry / Facebook