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Restaurant review: Phat Wraps offers a cheap, ‘powerful punch’ of flavor

Misty Tull / Lantern photographer

I like my restaurant experiences to be uncomplicated and tasty. Nothing is more frustrating for me than a large menu, because I usually end up ordering something I don’t want.

Phat Wraps, located at 10 E. 12th Ave., just off High Street, keeps its menu simple, the ingredients fresh and the wraps tasty. I like that.

The menu is nothing but a protein order, as the main offerings are steak, chicken, spicy sausage, shrimp or a vegan soy patty.

The protein choice is cooked in front of the customer, with an option of adding cheese, and served on a grilled flatbread. And that’s it. The toppings are up to the customer.

I ordered the shrimp with Monterey Jack, per the chef’s suggestion, for $7.50. The shrimp was lightly and perfectly seasoned and mixed nicely with the fresh cilantro, spicy mayo and Phat Chili Sauce.

Around the front counter is a simple, chilled vegetable bar. The customer chooses what and how much to put atop their protein selection.

I loaded my wrap up with almost every topping: cucumber, tomato, green pepper, red onion, baby spinach, romaine lettuce, julienne-cut carrots, jalapenos, banana peppers and fresh cilantro. I skipped the fresh mint and the wilted, mystery leaf vegetable, though. Nothing is labeled, either, so study up on your veggies before you go.

The vegetables were very fresh and crunchy and meshed well with the softer texture of the seared shrimp.

Next, the fun begins. Phat Wraps is not stingy on its sauces. While I opted for spicy mayo and the original Phat Chili Sauce, I could have also chosen ranch, creamy Italian, regular mayo, barbecue or one of the many hot sauces.

The wrap itself was thin and lightly fried but packed a powerful punch of texture and flavor. The only downside to the wrap being so thin was trying to keep it together because the weight of the ingredients wore a hole through the wrap a few bites in.

Phat Wraps also offers free water flavored on site. When I went, the daily flavors were orange and mint, and there’s no mystery of whether it is artificially flavored because the water cooler is see-through and the fruit is visible.

Other goodies at Phat Wraps include chips, fresh fruit cups and vegan cookies. That’s it for food.

The décor is simple and charming and has a lazy California feel. The indoor dining area (a few tables are outside) only seats about 20, so the setting is intimate. The reggae music playing in the background (at least on the day I was there) and the free Wi-Fi add to the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, and made the trip worth eating in rather than ordering my food to go.

Phat Wraps is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Phat Wraps is a good place to go if you’re hungry and don’t want to wait for food because it is truly a fast food establishment. And with the most expensive wrap being $7.50 (for the perfectly seasoned shrimp), it’s worth a try. I’ll definitely be going back.

Grade: B+

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