Fat Sandwich Company: Are you hungry yet?

The Big Fat Ugly consists of 20 ingredients-take the challenge, and try to finish it in under 15 minutes. Photo courtesy of ibetyouwont.com.

Who doesn’t like a sandwich piled high with all of their favorite toppings? Even though the sandwich originated with 18th century English aristocrats, these sandwiches are all college and all American.

The Fat Sandwich concept came to two college kids that wanted to continue their college days through a restaurant. Cole Lewko of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Adam Pearlman of New Brunswick, New Jersey are the founders of Fat Sandwich Company. They got the idea from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where grease is guaranteed.

“Grease Trucks” are a group of trucks that are set up in a parking lot on College Avenue at Rutgers and they serve what has come to be known as “fat sandwiches.”

So what exactly makes up a Fat Sandwich? Anything you can think of.

Starting with your typical sub roll, these Grease Trucks started making sandwiches that college kids could build themselves with a variety of toppings, including burgers, cheese, chicken fingers, French fries, mozzarella sticks, gyro meat, bacon, etc.

They were meant to be available whenever they needed them –hence the late night hours – and come with enough food to fill a college student’s stomach for hours without emptying their wallets. These Grease Trucks have grown in popularity since starting in the 1980s and have gained national attention from magazines like Maxim and Sports Illustrated, and are frequently featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel. The “Fat Darrell,” created by a student named Darrell Butler, is made up of chicken
fingers, mozzarella sticks, French fries, lettuce, tomato and marinara sauce, and was given the title of “top sandwich in the nation” by Maxim Magazine in 2004.

Lewko and Pearlman knew this was the way to stay connected to their college years. Grease Trucks were staying in Jersey, but they wanted to bring fat sandwiches to college kids across the nation through an all new franchise. After traveling to campuses all over the country, they were able to start their venture. Their first stop was in Norman, Oklahoma for the University of Oklahoma campus. The twosome did most of the work themselves, including manual labor of building the restaurant. After all of their efforts, and money, put into their first location, they began work on their second in 2008, serving the Champaign-Urbana campus at the University of Illinois.

Taking on the Big Fat Ugly Challenge

They have had a total of three locations that they have started – the third being in Madison, Wisconsin– but unfortunately for the business ventures, their first and third locations didn’t do as well as they would have liked, but their restaurant in Champaign is thriving. Illini Nation is in love with the Fat Sandwich, and this Illinois staple isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

This student haven caters to those in need of some greasy-goodness to fill up their bellies. The menu is complete with all of the fixings for a monster meal – all topped with a heaping helping of French fries –and they even have an eating challenge for those truly tingling taste buds: The Big Fat Ugly.

This challenge is made up of 20 ingredients, 15 minutes and a sandwich as big as a regulation college football. Multiple cheeseburgers, pork roll, sausage, gyro meat, mozzarella sticks, and hash browns are just a few of the ingredients you’ll find stuffed between two rolls. This $25 sandwich is yours free with a complimentary T-shirt if you complete the challenge, but few try to test the ferocity of the Ugly. Unless of course you’re craving a midnight snack after hitting up the frat parties and could use an extra five and a half pounds of food in your stomach.

Cheers! Oh, and good luck.

Love to get your hands on a Fat Sandwich? Check out their website to get a taste.

About: Lexi Shurilla

Sports and writing are two of my passions, and mixing them together with being a die-hard Illini fan only begins to describe me. I am now a University of Illinois Alum with a degree in News-Editorial Journalism after graduating in May 2012. Promoting my school is something I do best, and my enthusiasm and loyalty shine brightly.