Hours: Lunch: Wednesday-Friday; dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
Saturday & Sunday brunch
Macanese-style cuisine from chefs Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo.
I don't have a habit of expressing gratitude for European colonialism, but I would like to thank the Portuguese for Fat Rice, the Logan Square spot from Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, formerly the underground dining team known as X-Marx. Here they're drawing on the fusion of Portuguese and Chinese foods found in Macao, which results in dishes such as the restaurant's namesake arroz gordo, a casserole with roast pork, crispy chicken thighs, Portuguese sausage, prawns, clams, olives, chiles, pickled peppers, and tea-infused hard-boiled eggs, all atop rice fused to the bottom like the soccarat on a paella. The menu begins with a number of small dishes in the vein of Korean panchan—the kimchi-like sour chile cabbage, for example, or sliced pig ear with shredded papaya salad. A heaping bowl of catfish, tofu, Thai eggplant, and pork belly is marinated in a powerfully funky shrimp paste that mellows with cooking but deepens in flavor; Portuguese chicken, a simmering cauldron of bird and mussels, bubbles in a bright but mild Indian-style coconut curry. Starters veer from bacalhau de vovo, a creamy Portuguese brandade, to a discus of eggy pot stickers, while other conglomerations buzz with the electricity of Sichuan peppercorns. The salada gordo—a heaping garbage salad of Iberico ham, eggs, Parrano cheese, anchovies, more pickled pepper, and fatty croutons—is every bit as wonderfully excessive as the arroz gordo, and the same can be said of the "fat rice noodle"—thick, cylindrical, incomparably chewy house-made chee cheong fun, named for the pig intestines they resemble. I'm rarely as excited by a new place as I am by Fat Rice, but far from Logan Square's latest flavor of the day, it feels like a crowded street-food stall that's been around for ages—and for good reason. Conlon and Lo have since added a bakery, the Bakery at Fat Rice, and a bar, the Ladies' Room (see separate listings). Read the full review >>
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