Embracing the Fat - Northern Quest Fatburger - inlander.com

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Embracing the Fat

Northern Quest
100 N. Hayford Rd.
Airway Heights, WA

Surrounded by the persistent music of slot machines, Travis, the Fatburger cashier on duty, calls out “Large fat, onion rings!” From the open grill, the fry cook flourishes a spatula and echoes at the top of his lungs, “Large fat, rings, yep!” In no time at all, a juicy, never-frozen burger and made-from-scratch onion rings are delivered tableside.

“It’s a really fun environment,” Travis grins, “and I like yelling out stuff.” And there is rarely a lack of customers at the Fatburger counter to chuckle at the contagious enthusiasm and savor the drool-inducing food.

Established in 1952, “The Last Great Hamburger Stand” arrived in the Inland Northwest in May 2009 when the Kalispel Tribe opened its Fatburger franchise in the food court of the Northern Quest Casino and Resort.

“The Fatburger culture includes fun and entertainment, a perfect fit for our entire property,” says Aimee Hubbard, director of franchise operations for the Kalispel Tribal Economic Authority.

But atmosphere isn’t the only thing Fatburger has going for it. With generous made-to-order burgers, toasted buns, hand-scooped ice cream shakes and reasonable prices (burgers from $2.75 for 2.5 oz. to $9.50 for 24 oz.), this popular Southern California chain deals in deliciousness.

Each 100-percent pure-lean-beef burger comes with traditional toppings like lettuce, tomatoes and onions. But why go traditional when you can order add-ons like cheddar cheese (50 cents), crispy bacon ($1), or even a hard-yolk fried egg ($1)? Sides vary from homemade onion rings ($3.25) to chili ($3), but many customers save by ordering a deal, which includes fat or skinny fries and a drink ($6.50-$9.75).

With a name like Fatburger (who named this place?), it’s a pleasant surprise to find the colorful menu board peppered with a few healthy options: the turkeyburger ($4.25), the Boca veggieburger ($4.25), and the chicken sandwich ($5.25). With 10 grams less fat than the Fatburger, the Turkeyburger is always the choice for local regular named Karen.

“It’s helped me lose weight,” she chuckles.

She can be found at Fatburger most weeks. “Especially on Tuesdays,” she confesses, “because you get a double punch on your Fatburger card.” In the business, that’s what you call adding value. (Michal Bennett)

Fatburger, located in the Northern Quest Resort & Casino food court, 100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit northernquest.com/dining/fatburger or call 481-2130.


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