Fat Dan's Deli in Carmel
Fat Dan's Chicago-style deli is serving up stone fired pizzas at their Carmel location. This place was recommended by Dustin Bow on Instagram. We overlooked it because it doesn't have pizza in the name so didn't come up in a Google search but I'm glad it's on our radar now.
We love trying new places at around 3pm when they are between crowds so that we have our pick of seating and can take a bunch of photos without looking like weirdos. It was a beautiful day but still a bit too chilly to sit outside.
Fat Dan's had a super friendly staff and great vibe. I had three drafts of Old Style and felt like I belonged, like a true Chicagoan. If I lived in Carmel this would be a great regular spot, all the fun atmosphere of a college sports bar without the college bar stale beer and mop water smell.
Our garlic breadsticks came out about the same time as our pizza and it looked like they fired them in the pizza oven as well. They were irregular shaped which is a good sign and probably home made from the same dough as the pizza crust rather than frozen sticks. They had a good crunch and chew and got us excited about the pizza because we figured the crust would be similar.
I got the Abe Froman pizza, named after the mythical sausage king of Chicago. The stone fired crust was chewy in a good way and held up to the weight of the toppings.
The sausage itself was the kind without fennel seeds (I think) and I didn't realize it had meatballs until I went back and looked at the website. It's house sausage, pepperoni, smoked bacon, and house meatballs.
I thought the name was super clever, but I guess a few places across the country also call their sausage pizza the Abe Froman. Still it's fun when the names have some charm. Pies come in one size and are pretty hearty. This is a great no nonsense somewhat fast-talking place that still feels welcoming to us sleepy suburban folk.