UNION — On Sunday’s he’s behind the pulpit, but lunchtime Monday-Friday finds a local minister in front of a stove cooking hot dogs, chicken strips, BBQ, cheeseburgers and other tasty meals in a mobile kitchen trailer on the Old Buffalo Road.
Rev. Scott Cobb is not only the pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church, he’s also the owner of and head chef at Fat Sam’s. Cobb and his wife, Rhonda, opened Fat Sam’s in November, and since then the couple can be found there from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday cooking and serving a variety of lunchtime dinners to what Cobb said has been a steady stream of customers each day.
Even though it’s only been open since November, Cobb said Fat Sam’s enables him to indulge his love of cooking and his love of serving others by preparing food for them.
“It’s just a joy of mine, cooking for and serving others,” Cobb said Thursday. “For three years we had a food booth at the fair. That sparked an interest and through the years we’ve done a lot of cooking at the church.
“We built the mobile kitchen to do some festivals and one-day events, but it proved to be too much time so we decided to stay local,” he said. “That’s what brought us here to this point so far.”
In addition to the fair, Cobb said Uniquely Union was also a source of inspiration for his decision to open Fat Sam’s. He also thanked two local restauranteurs for their inspiration and friendship.
“Jay Allen from Midway BBQ and Jeff Littlejohn from Dairi-O were inspirations and have been good friends and supporters,” he said.
Cobb said the name, Fat Sam’s, was inspired by his father, Raymond, who also loved cooking.
“That was my father’s nickname and he loved to cook also,” Cobb said. “He was disabled and always cooked our meals at home. He was famous for his fried chicken.”
Cobb said he chose to place Fat Sam’s at 314 Old Buffalo Road, Union, because of the location, the level of traffic, and the ease of access to the site. He said its location has been an important factor in Fat Sam’s success.
An even more important factor, however, has been the food served at Fat Sam’s which emphasizes the freshness and quality of the ingredients used in the food and the speed with which they are prepared and served.
“Our slogan is ‘Real Food Fast,’” Cobb said. “The food is not frozen and it is prepared fresh on the site. Our meals are prepared fast from fresh foods.”
Cobb added that orders placed in-person and over the phone are both prepared fresh.
Those fresh, fast meals include the following specials:
• Philly Cheese Steak Basket
• Grilled Chicken Salad
• Hot Dog Basket (Two hot dogs)
• Chicken Strips Basket
• Chicken Nuggets Basket
• Cheeseburger Basket
• Big BBQ Sandwich Basket
• Chicken Fillet Sandwich Basket
Each basket also includes French Fries and a drink.
The Philly Cheese Steak Basket costs $7 while the others each cost $5. Cobb said that its Philly Cheese Steak has been Fat Sam’s most popular sandwich. He said that a number of people drive all the way across town to buy a Philly Cheese Steak and some order it almost every day.
Cobb pointed out that the current menu includes more items than the original menu did. The items added include the Grilled Chicken Salad, the Chicken Fillet Basket, and the Big BBQ Basket. He added that the BBQ sandwich served is unique to Fat Sam’s “because we use our own sauce.”
The combination of lunchtime meals made from fresh ingredients served up fast and its location has enabled Fat Sam’s to do a brisk business.
“It’s all we can handle,” Cobb said.
Cobb said he looks forward not only to the continued success of Fat Sam’s, but also to the contribution it can make to Union as a local business.
“The good thing is when local people have a business they are still in the community,” Cobb said. “They live here, they pay taxes here, and a lot of their money stays in the community.”
While Fat Sam’s keeps him and his wife busy, Cobb said it has not interfered with his duties as a minister. Cobb said the ministry remains his first calling and takes priority over Fat Sam’s.
“A lot of times I’m able to still be there for ministry needs,” Cobb said. “We just work around any situation that comes up because the ministry comes first.”
For more information about Fat Sam’s and/or to place an order call 864-426-0814.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.