The Fat Chef: fine dining in a cozy cabin


“Seven years ago, my wife and I stopped by this building on our way home when we lived out at Rocky Branch on Beaver Lake,” began Richard Fleener, who owns The Fat Chef with his wife, Christine. “We had struggled to find the kind of restaurant that offered quality sit-down dining without having to go all the way into Bentonville, Rogers, or Fayetteville.” When Richard and Christine left that little log cabin building they joked about how ‘someday’ they were going to return to make it into a world class restaurant. Fortunately for us, that’s just what they did.

Welcome to The Fat Chef. Opened in June 2021, the restaurant has already begun to make a name for itself with their prime steaks, fresh seafood and an amazing selection of distinctive menu items and homemade desserts. “Our chef is a seafood specialist,” said Christine. “We fly in fresh fish for specials every week. We have a corn souffle’ that people eat every time they come. We hand cut our Prime Steaks daily. People say we have the best steak in Arkansas.”

Starting with the appetizers, you quickly discover this is not your average eatery. Take the Crab Rangoon Dip, magnificent fresh crab meat mixed with bechamel cream and scallions served bubbling hot with fried wonton chips. Or check out the Pistachio Encrusted Brie Cheese atop wilted spinach that’s served with a quail egg and toast points. And these amazing culinary creations that are only the beginning of The Fat Chef experience.

The entrees include a tempting assortment of prime steaks and some of the most original fresh fish recipes you won’t find anywhere else. A fresh water favorite is the Great Northern Walleye with your choice of parmesan and fresh herb encrusted walleye filet or classically seasoned and pan seared to a golden brown. Another popular seafood dish is the Classic Shrimp Scampi. It features five colossal shrimp with fresh lump crab in a traditional scampi butter served with fettuccine and toast points.

One of the things that stands out at The Fat Chef is the fact that the meals are not ala carte. “Our menu unique in that every meal comes with the veggie of the day, starch, salad, and warm bread with herbed butter,” Christine said. “We want you to enjoy a complete meal without getting charged for every side.”

And beyond the impressive menu there is something else that makes this fine culinary experience special and that is your hosts. “We are running a family place,” Richard said. “It’s our own little ‘Mom & Pop’ establishment. When you stop by, you will meet all of our family – myself, my wife, Christine, and Joan, our mom. Our wish is that you will come in and relax, enjoy your meal in our non-rushed atmosphere, and taste the best steak and seafood there is.”

In other words, The Fat Chef is by no means a fast-food restaurant. It is designed and intended to offer a dining experience meant to be savored and enjoyed. “I believe The Fat Chef is special because we are not a chain,” Christine said. “We provide the highest quality of food available, great service, and a Chef that is so creative!”

Of course, if you want to really know how good a restaurant is, look to the customer reviews. In the short time The Fat Chef has been open they have garnered an impressive string of five-star Google ratings. Here is just a sample:

“Absolutely wonderful experience at The Fat Chef. The service was great and the food was so yummy! The menu had a great variety of food to choose from plus the nightly specials! We had a tough time picking our meals because so many of the entrees sounded great! We will definitely be planning our next visit back soon! Thank you!!!” – Satisha C.

I had one of the best meals I had in a long time here. The service was great and all the food from the appetizer to the main entry was superb. I am here visiting family that is moving to the area, and I fully understand why they said we had to try this place.” – Dave S.

“Christina was our waitress and the owner, she was so delightful to talk to and made us feel very welcome! We first had the house salads and bread with herb butter. We also had the Walleye and the Shrimp Scampi with the fettuccine and cream sauce. Best fish I have had in a long time! Everything was delicious and we will definitely be back soon!” – Lindsay B.

“We are thrilled to be part of the community,” Christine said. “We are just two people who love what we do.  We want to share our vision of what is delicious in a cozy, friendly atmosphere.   We are a family run business and hopefully you feel the love when you dine with us. We are so very proud of what we have started and hope to be around for special occasions for many, many years!”      

If you follow The Fat Chef on Facebook you can check out the weekly specials. “We are blessed to have your support and patience as we open our doors to you,” Christine said. “Please tell your friends and family we are ready for them!”


The Fat Chef

14550 E. Hwy 12

Rogers, AR 72756



Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5-9 p.m.

Starting in January, hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 5-9 p.m.



More News

FishOn Guide Service a guaranteed fun time for trophy seekers and beginners
FishOn Guide Service a guaranteed fun time for trophy seekers and beginners

Jon Conklin, owner of FishOn Guide Service, offers fishing guide services on Beaver Lake for sportsmen looking to land trophy size stripers and walleyes or reel in some crappie.

By Randy Rice
A great addition to the Springdale restaurant scene…now open for lunch and dinner every day!
A great addition to the Springdale restaurant scene…now open for lunch and dinner every day!
in Dining

Mark and Laura Bazyk opened The All American Steakhouse & Sports Theater in Spr...

By Karen Rice