At Rolling Fatties, it’s all about fun. The food is great—hefty, overstuffed burritos and sides made with mostly local and organic ingredients. Owners Polly and Rob MacMichael are fun and easy going, and that attitude shines through in every part of their business. It starts the moment you walk into the 1840s orange farmhouse that is now the restaurant. In one of those funny Maine coincidences, Polly attended nursery school in the very same space. But when the couple purchased it in the spring of 2014, all traces of childhood education were gone, and it was vacant. Rob, who has a carpentry background, did all the renovation work, while Polly wielded a paintbrush. The result is a space that’s funky and cheerful, sweet and eclectic. A dinged and scratched wooden bar is built from an old work bench found in the barn. There’s a corrugated metal ceiling and an obvious love of chalkboards, where you can find information about farmers, producers, schedules, and specials. Two dining areas in the front are furnished with tables made by Rob and mismatched chairs. A blazing fireplace makes the space extra cozy.
Establishing the restaurant happened sooner than the MacMichaels expected. They started out with a food truck, an Airstream trailer that had been given to them. “We spent a long time figuring out our business plan. The truck made more financial sense,” Polly tells me. “It was cheaper to test our product and establish our brand. But the goal was always to have a real place.” A grant from the state’s Micro-Enterprise Assistance Program helped make that goal a reality in two years, instead of the five they had anticipated.
The couple shares cooking duties, although neither of them have any formal training. Rob’s mom always had tortilla dough on hand, and the kids would roll out their own and cook them up. Today, he and Polly make about 300 tortillas by hand every week and keep several hundred more in the freezer. The MacMichaels are committed to using locally sourced ingredients. The back of the menu has a long list of farms and producers, from Crooked Face Creamery in Norridgewock that makes delicious ricotta to Luce’s Meats in North Anson for pork. “We get to know the farmers that grow our vegetables; then they come here with their families to eat. We’ve built relationships and share in the development of each other’s businesses,” Polly says.
A “fatty” is any of these fresh ingredients rolled into one of the flour tortillas. It’s a burrito, with a base of Mexican rice, Maine black beans, fresh salsa, crema, and cilantro. You can add grass-fed shaved steak, maple pork, chicken, or even bacon jerky to your fatty. Top with pickled jalapenos or onions, a boldly flavored beet and carrot slaw, cheese, and more. You can watch as Rob piles it high and rolls it up tightly. There’s the Falafel Fatty made with Papou’s Kitchen patties, and a cheeseburger fatty with grass-fed beef or a Blue Mango veggie burger with special sauce. The Freedom Fatty is the “roller’s choice of anything on the menu.” Each one is different, with an assortment of ingredients, including some that may not even be on the menu. Rob makes one for us to try, generously stuffed with pork, pickled onions, jalapenos, guacamole sauce, and salsa verde. But if you prefer your meal without the tortilla, “We pack bowls, too,” says Polly. “We thrive on the sneakiness of our puns.” She brings over several kinds of salsa for us to try. They’re all fresh and tasty, but my favorite is the salsa verde made with tomatillos that had been preserved last summer. On Thursdays, you can get pan-fried wings, and on Sundays, there’s a breakfast fatty.
While you wait for your fatty, order one of the Maine beers on tap or in cans. The couple loves small breweries, and friends occasionally bring up the kegs or cans when they come to visit. Polly has recently started tap takeover events with menu specials, like cilantro-lime cod tacos to accompany a visit from Foundation Brewing Company. Other tap takeovers on the schedule include Rising Tide Brewing Company on March 25 and Sebago Brewing for Sugarloaf’s infamous Reggae Festival weekend April 6–9. Polly works to keep things fun and interesting at Rolling Fatties with live music on Friday evenings, an authors’ series called “Word Buzz” featuring local writers, and other pop-up events. Residents receive a discount every Wednesday for Maine day.
The couple still takes the truck out in the summer, traveling the state and hitting up music, beer, and sporting events. “Pretty much wherever we’d like to hang out,” says Polly. And wherever they go, the fun and fatties travel with them.
Rolling Fatties | 268 Main St. | Kingfield | 207.399.9246 | rollingfatties.com