Review: Phat Brats (Melbourne, VIC)

320 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9419 5526

To celebrate the return of Breaking Bad on our plasma screens, this blog will be dedicated to all things deliciously New Mexican for the next week or so. Now I know nothing about the typical Albuquerquean diet – and surely they don’t all eat sugary cereals for breakfast – so I’ll be reviewing all the American and Mexican eateries I have sitting in my backlog folder. In other words, once I have cleared this list, you won’t see a single slider, burger or taco on this blog for a long time.



The first cab off the rank is Phat Brats, the brainwave of two local dudes. Phat Brats’ speciality is not bratty children with appalling diets, but hot dogs – or more specifically, bratwursts. Cute signage (who doesn’t love a dachshund?) and local ingredients are pretty much the eatery’s drawing cards but I guess its hip(sterish) Brunswick Street location doesn’t hurt either.

The menu is simple: hot dogs, chips and sides. From what I’ve heard, they used to also have dessert dogs but for some reason, they were not on the menu when I rocked up for a pre-footy game feed. They did, however, have a sign advertising a deal where students can get a hot dog of their choice plus a small serving of seasoned chips for only $10 on presentation of their student card. While I love cheap deals like any other Asian, my craving for cheesy fries (not part of the deal) was stronger that day so I forfeited the good value deal.

Beer-soaked bratwurst ($8.90)
Beer-soaked bratwurst ($8.90)

My bratwurst was, as its name suggests, soaked in local beer. I’m not sure how ‘local’ the beer was but regardless, it gave the bratwurst a slight sweetness. The brat paired beautifully with the sautéed onions while the sauerkraut, which I’m normally not crazy about, was thankfully mild. Meanwhile, Bavarian mustard and a piquant green pickle relish completed the regrettably small package.

While my hot dog was delicious, I did find it a bit small. If the dogs from Snag Stand or Dognation were Dobermans, then this was a friggin’ Pomeranian. I also thought the bread was pretty one dimensional. Now I wasn’t expecting organic bread or anything, but the bread was more Coles rather than local bakery. Was it worth the $8.90? If it was a little bigger OR if the bread was better, sure.

Cheesy fries ($6)
Cheesy fries ($6)

Meanwhile, the cheesy fries were better value for money. The cheese sauce was initially off-putting because it was the exact same bright yellow shade as the Gorman knit I’ve been sporting this autumn/winter, but it was awesome. Even better were the seasoned fries that were beautifully crunchy – if you love Schnitz chips, you’ll definitely love these.

If a beer-soaked bratwurst doesn’t appeal to you, there are kransky or chorizo dogs on the menu. For the more adventurous, there is also the battered fish po’ boy dog or the superfood dog, the latter of which contains sweet potato, quinoa and tamarind (yeah, nah).

So would I visit Phat Brats again? I think so. While I thought the hot dogs are small, I would definitely take advantage of the $10 student deal to get more bang for buck.

Question: Not so much a question… but please tell me that Pomeranians are cuter than Dobermans.

Phat Brats on Urbanspoon

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    1. Me too! I don’t normally get home until way after dark these days but I’m making an exception this afternoon for Breaking Bad – I can’t wait! 😀

  1. Am I the only one that’s gonna pick a Dobie over a silly fluffed up yappy Pom? Anyway, I prefer Snag Stand over Phat Brats. The brioche wins hands-down over dry, generic white bread.
    I have yet to try Dognation though. Somehow, now that there’s more than 1 branch, I’m less keen to check it out.

    1. You’re definitely not the only one – I’ve been having this debate with my other half all weekend and he, too, is in the Doberman camp!

      Oh there’s another Dognation?! Whenever a restaurant becomes a franchise, there does seem to be a decline in food quality. Then again, there are several Snag Stands around the country, including one in Doncaster (represent!), and they’re still pretty good!

  2. The word, ‘Pomeranian’ reminds me of the movie, ‘The Big Lobowski’. Very funny lines about a Pomeranian in that movie. I would love one of those hot dogs but I agree, for the price they should give you bread that’s better than supermarket quality or at least a longer dog xx

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