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A Fat Sammies/Papa Roux Mashup

The mostly deserted curb next to a torn-up lot at 14th and Meridian didn’t seem a very promising spot for a lunchtime food truck. But soon enough, fans and Facebook followers of Fat Sammies Ciao Wagon started trickling in, hungry for a Sicilian lunch. This relative newcomer onto Indy’s growing food-truck scene prides itself on being a quality “taste” truck with Italian-style subs and sandwiches that won’t weigh you down when you head back to work.
But there definitely wasn’t anything skimpy about the meatball sandwich, this time seasoned with a signature “voudoux” dust and Creole seasoning “borrowed” from Cajun joint Papa Roux (8950 E. 10th St., 317-603-9861). Two giant and decidedly spicy meatballs came topped with sweet peppers and onions and a drizzle of that well-seasoned sauce—so rich and messy the thin flatbread we ordered it on didn’t have a chance. This was definitely knife-and-fork food—or a 20-napkin lunch.
More dainty were pancetta sliders on hearty little buns topped with a fragrant pesto spread and tangy pickled banana peppers. Tomato salad on the side of both sandwiches definitely had plenty of garden-fresh tomatoes, but it could have had a bit more vinegar or bite—or garlic? At $6 for each sandwich, Fat Sammies made for a fresh and affordable alternative to the mainly fast-food options north of downtown, and the friendly crew made sidewalk dining almost seem like home.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.