fat sal’s deli / pacific beach – san diego, ca

Jake and I visited Fat Sal’s when they first opened. Jake is a huge fan of Entourage and he was pretty excited to see a venture where one of the co-owners (Jerry Ferrara) was from that show. Honestly though, that first visit we had was not too impressive: semi-cold sandwiches (which were supposed to be hot), smooshed sandwiches and funky flavors kind of made us wonder about the place. Then I went to the Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk and had a sample of the Fat Jerry sandwich and it was good enough then to peak my interest again. When we were invited to come and check out the deli, I happily said yes just so we could try out a few more things and give this place another shot.

After one snafu with an appointment we tried again and finally got to sample more of the food!


Their tagline “We’re makin’ sandwiches over here” cracks me up for whatever reason. I can just hear it being said in that New York accent.


This is the back patio, where there’s extra seating with chairs closer to the ground. Up in the front they have those “up high” chairs that I hate since, as a short person, they are hard to scramble into.


They also have a number of TV’s back here for your sports viewing needs.


 [onion rings – $3.95]

We started off by getting a few appetizers. When Jake and I first started dating, he claimed to not like onions at all. Really, it’s just that he doesn’t really care for raw onions on things (me – I love it). Luckily he was never adverse to onion rings – I mean, who could be adverse to crunchy fried golden deliciousness? The version here at Fat Sal’s is pretty good. It’s got the thick panko-y looking crust on the outside. The onion managed to stay inside the ring instead of slipping out with your first bite. All good signs in my opinion.


[meat luv’rz pizza rolls – pepperoni, ground beef, sweet italian sausage, provolone & mozzarella stuffed into a crispy spring roll wrapper with marinara – $4.95]

At Fal Sal’s they have this crazy appetizer that like a fusion of Asian and Italian: a pizza egg roll. They stuff pizza ingredients into a spring roll wrapped and then fry it all up. 

Ours were a little overcooked… and can I say? A little overstuffed. I’ve gotten to the point where when something has “too much” it becomes kind of overwhelming to me. I’d prefer just a “pizza roll” and not a “meat luv’rz” roll – scaling back on the amount of stuff here would have done a little bit of good as it just had too much going on. I loved the idea – just wasn’t crazy about the actual flavors going on here. I’d also rather have seen the marinara used as a dipping sauce rather than inside the roll. But maybe that’s just me. 


[buffalo chicken cheese fries – chopped chicken fingers, melted cheese and mozzarella, buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese dressing – $5.95]

Jake really wanted this and he really loved it. He loved the combination of flavors with the buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese dressing (made in house). It’s kind of like carne asada fries… but you know, with buffalo wings instead. It was too spicy for me so I kind of avoided it, but the couple of bites I had were decent. It was just hard to avoid the spicy sauce. Jake is a serious sauce lover, so this made his little sauce lovin’ heart sing. 


[fat cookout sandwich – cheeseburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, potato chips, pickles, ketchup, mustard on a hero – $8.95]

The thing here is these “FAT” sandwiches that all have an insane amount of ingredients that make you go “Will that all really fit into ONE sandwich? Seriously?” It seriously does all fit and I give major props to the owners and chef for coming up with these insane sandwich ideas. You surely will not find sandwiches like this anywhere else!


[inside the fat cookout]

Jake and I agreed on getting the Fat Cookout. When Jake took a bite he said, “Well, this really does taste like a whole picnic… put together in one sandwich.” And it’s so true. Imagine you’re at a summer BBQ – this sandwich is like that WHOLE BBQ all smooshed together in one sandwich. Now, as a person who tends to like to eat her food separately (weird, I know) this sandwich kind of weirded me out. It was like too much all together and my brain couldn’t process it all. Side dish, crunchy chips, main items, and condiments all together living in harmony? OH NOOOOooooo!

So yeah. I thought this sandwich was hella weird. Too much for me. Sorry.


[fat texas bbq sandwich – bbq pastrami brisket, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, grilled onions, melted cheddar and mozzarella, fries, mayo, honey bbq on a garlic hero – $8.95]

On the other hand, the Fat Texas BBQ didn’t weird me out at all – mostly since I found it to be perfectly delicious.

With this sandwich though, the inside stuff was not as all smooshed together – it was kind of like “I eat on the left side and I get french fries, I eat over on the right, I get the meat, in the middle I get a little bit mixed together”. My brain accepted this sandwich more. And well, it just tasted really good, too. I really liked the honey bbq sauce and the meats with the cheeses all made sense to me. I probably maybe still would like the fries on the outside of my sandwich, but otherwise I like the mashup here. Good job for not completely weirding me out, Fat Sal’s.


If perhaps you’re one of those crazy people that like insane food challenges, may I present to you the “Big Fat Fatty”?

I wish I could just see one of these and look at it. And not eat it, because I think maybe my heart would explode. But I would totally cheer someone else on.

Would I come back to Fat Sal’s? I believe the answer is yes. But I would maybe order something a little less crazy-like and be all un-interesting and stuff. They also have some crazy good sounding milkshakes (ie: chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, roasted peanuts and sea salt – what!) and some delicious sounding signature heros, like the Glorious Grilled Chicken (grilled chicken, bacon, melted provolone, grilled onions, mayo and honey bbq sauce). It’s not all crazy sandwiches here either as they also offer a variety of wraps as well as salads. We’ll be back to check out more of their menu for sure!

Disclaimer: We were invited to dine at Fat Sal’s on behalf of Autumn Communications. The food featured here was complimentary and I was not paid for this review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

Fat Sal’s Deli
956 Garnet Avenue
San Diego, CA 92109
(855) OVA-HERE

Fat Sal's on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “fat sal’s deli / pacific beach – san diego, ca

  1. There’s something about perfectly fried onion rings that just makes me happy ya know. With a side of ranch too.

    The sandwiches look crazy – i’m not sure if I would dig all that stuff in one sandwich. Too much for me too.

    Is it normally called a Hero?

    1. Yes they call them hero’s. Crazy east coast terms 🙂 whenever we go again I want to try a “normal” sandwich. They make all their own sauces so I think those should be good!

  2. I’ve heard of this place but haven’t gone yet. Some of their combos sound kinda way over the top though. like, stoner food or let’s see what we can cram all into one sandwich. but, hey, I would totally eat those onion rings!

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