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Fried egg with that? Fatburger opens at casino

Hungry for a big, fat juicy one? No problem, Fatburger is here.

The Southern California cult favorite opened last week in the new food court in the expanding Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights. The chain was started in Los Angeles in 1952 by Lovie Yancy, who was committed to making burgers from fresh lean ground beef grilled to order. The restaurant claims many celebrities and professional athletes among its fans and franchise owners.

“They don’t use anything frozen so each order takes about six to eight minutes because they make it from scratch,” says Aimee Hubbard, business development adviser for the Kalispel Tribe, which operates the casino.

Fatburger offers the usual condiments for its one-third- and half-pound burgers, plus chili, bacon and fried egg. Then there’s the famous half-pound XXXL Fatburger.

Fat doesn’t even begin to describe it.

If all of that sounds like too much, there’s always the smaller Baby Fat. Round out your meal with Fat Fries (steak fries), Skinny Fries or handmade onion rings. Fatburger also offers hand-dipped premium ice cream shakes.

If you’re squeamish about having someone use the f-word to describe dinner, take heed: Cashiers shout out orders to cooks at the grill. It’s something customers are still getting used to, Hubbard says. “People just start laughing. They don’t know what to think of it,” she says.

The franchise completes the “burger joint” feel with ’50s-style décor and classic R&B, rock and soul music, according to the Fatburger Web site. Managers and shift leaders in Airway Heights trained at the Fatburger franchise in Las Vegas.

Hubbard says, “It’s a new venture, going into the franchise world for the tribe, but we’re really excited about it.”

The casino’s new food court also includes the Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen and an espresso shop. Eighty people were hired for the new food court stores.

The Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen serves old-world pizza, homemade pasta and salads. The restaurant has a sauté station where vegetables, shrimp and chicken are cooked to order to top pasta dishes, Hubbard says.

Cravens Coffee is roasting coffee blends named for the casino venues served at the espresso shop, including the Legends of Fire blend for the cigar bar; the Camus blend, named after the gaming club; and the Impulse Espresso blend for the casino’s nightclub.

The Northern Quest Resort and Casino is at 100 N. Hayford Road in Airway Heights. Reach the resort by calling (509) 242-7000 or toll free (888) 603-7051.

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