Phenomenal! That is the only way I can start out this restaurant review for Famous Dave's. I've heard so much hype about Dave Anderson's bbq restaurant chain so I wasn't really too sure what to expect. However, this place really truly lives up to all that people say about it. If you ever have the opportunity to try this place, just do it and see for yourself. Trust me, I'm a certified bbq judge after all.
To begin the meal we started out with the burnt ends appetizer. First of all, I've never seen that as an option for an appetizer in California. Secondly, I LOVE burnt ends, so this really wasn't even an option of whether I was going to order this or not. It was a must! They lived up to their name though; they were burnt, smokey, juicy and filled with good old American BBQ flavor. I just wish the onion strings were on the side instead of on top of them because I didn't really like the crunchy crust with the burnt ends being combined in the same bite. This is however and easy fix of just plating differently. As well, the pickles you see are not just your ordinary pickles. These are spicy and also very packed with flavor. They taste fresh and homemade; exactly what you should expect. They were a great combination with the burnt ends. The three sauces above were also very good. I tasted all of them separately. I've also cooked with a couple of these as well for the last couple of years at home and I do really enjoy them. If I had to pick I would say my favorite is the Rich & Sassy (perhaps this is why it's in the biggest bottle--I'm guessing it's the crowd favorite here).
This was my meal and WOW, was it good! I got the St. Louis Rib-N-Meat plate for $19.99. It comes with 1/3 of a rack of ribs, and I ordered Texas Beef Brisket as my extra meat choice. I also chose the Wilbur Beans and Dave's Cheesy Mac and Cheese for my two sides.
Let's just jump into the juicy details of this meal! The ribs were honestly the best pork ribs I've EVER eaten at a restaurant. That's saying a lot, so don't take this lightly. They were extremely tender, but not mushy or falling off the bone or anything. They held their form which is what I like because that's how competition BBQ is judged. The rub and sauce were perfect and I'm craving more as I write this now. I just have to go back again for these ribs! The Wilbur Beans were excellent and I really enjoyed that there's pulled pork mixed in. That's always a nice treat and it wasn't just a bunch of fat added, it was 100% meat! The last side here is Dave's Cheesy Mac and Cheese. It was a really nice consistancy, but honestly too much heat. It was upfront spicy right from the start so I wasn't able to enjoy all of it. It's not that it was too spicy, but with all the amazing flavors of this meal, I didn't want to burn my tastebuds off, so I only was able to eat about half of this side.
Now for the brisket. Well, I started off with the classic judges' "pull test" and sure enough it was good quality brisket. I do like a little thicker slices so that's the only thing I would change. The smoke flavor was there, the crust was great, and the sauce was a nice extra on top. I even squeezed a bit more on top of each piece before cramming it down my throat. Great stuff right there! The cornbread was really, really good quality as well. You could actually pick up the entire piece, take a bite, then set it down, and that's without the entire piece crumbling into a million dry pieces. It was very moist and also had good flavor. Not to brag, but this is the closest thing I've ever had to my own special cornbread recipe so I would be more than happy to keep eating pieces of this stuff!
Last in line here is the BBQ Sliders. We choose this because it gave us more meats and that's what this trip was all about. Sorry Arby's, you know nothing about "the meats". These bad boys were packed with pulled pork, brisket, chicken and hot links. My favorite hands down was the hot link sandwich. The name is a little deceiving because it's not actually hot at all. My wife who can't stand a little extra black pepper in her food loved them and wanted more. She hates spicy food and was able to enjoy these thoroughly. My only warning is don't order this if you're expecting ghost chili level spice. It's just not there. However, if you want a moist, but crispy, well-seasoned sausage, then you have to order this. I'd have that for breakfast, lunch and dinner any day of the week. Overall, this was an amazing meal and I really look forward to the next time I get to eat at Famous Dave's.
This review was not requested by the restaurant. Daniel Lubin has not received any financial compensation for writing this review. All food was purchased by Daniel Lubin. Daniel Lubin paid for all travel expenses in order to eat at this restaurant.