Fat Nancy’s is the name of a roadhouse in George Miller’s cinematic classic Mad Max. A sign out the front of the petrol station and restaurant reads, “If you can’t smell it, we ain’t got it!”

The same rule could be applied at Abbotsford’s Fat Nancy’s, which serves 12-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, German-style smoked cheese kransky and other American barbeque specialities. Apart from the four headline meats, there’s a smoked mushroom special and sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, fries and mac’n’cheese. You can build your own plate or invest in a combo like the Hillbilly (one meat and two salads) or the Boss Hog (four meats and three salads).

In the front room there’s a U-shaped bar that seats 20. The walls’ upper sections are charcoal grey, and the bottoms are decorated with lighter timber wainscotting. A handy beer ledge runs around the perimeter. Kitchsy movie posters and Americana folk art hang alongside one another, and Southern swamp blues play in the background. Walk on to find the surprisingly roomy beer garden, and a 1.5 tonne Silver Creek smoker (custom built in Melbourne), puffing away gently from twin chimneys.

The fridge is well stocked with cans of local beer, and there are four on tap, including Bodriggy from across the road and Garage Project from across the pond. Three white, three red and a sparkling wine are served by the glass. It’s the kind of place you can drop in for a quick beer and a catch-up with mates, or settle in for some food and maybe an NBA match on the telly.

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Updated: September 1st, 2023

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