5222 Portage Rd,
Portage Michigan 49002United States
Located off of I-94, Fat Tony's combines a neighborhood bar feel with a family-friendly approach to service and some refreshing menu options.
We stopped at Fat Tony's for lunch on our way to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, which is about a mile down the road, and found we were in for a pleasant surprise. Earlier this year, Michigan banned smoking from its restaurants and bars, and a hint of smoke still clings to the interior here. But the guy working as host, server and bartender was quick to greet us with a smile, make eye contact and lead us to a booth facing a line of TVs tuned to CNN, Fox News, and the various ESPN channels. A quick look around revealed the lunchtime crowd was a mix of professionals out on their lunch hour and one family in addition to ours. The $4.99 lunchtime menu offers some nice variety and plenty of food for the price. We chose a Tomato-Provolone Sandwich made with ciabatta bread, extra virgin olive oil, fresh baby spinach and roasted red peppers. The menu does not allow for substitutions, and it comes with French fries covered with a crunchy coating on the outside (like the ones served at Schu's in St. Joseph, if you've had those). The 4-ounce hamburger came cooked medium and served with fries (also $4.99). The day's special was a chicken salad sandwich served on ciabatta flatbread with a choice of side for $5.99, and evening specials included $2 Miller Lites with 39-cent wings. A children's menu offered standard fare, including Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which our server brought out early to soothe a grumbling tummy. In all, a much better alternative to the Taco Bell and McDonald's down the street. Fat Tony's should do itself a favor and put a sign for the business near exit 78.