How do you feel about big chain restaurants? As a concept, I’m not a fan. Probably because there are so many bad ones out there. The food is crappy and what they’re selling is not food, but the brand, the experience, the chotchkies. This is not to say that I never go to chain places. Especially when I’m travelling, and if I haven’t done any research in advance, there’s always a few chains around that you know you can count on. There are certain ones that I actually do like, such as the Pappas chains (Pappadeaux’s, Pappasito’s, etc). I even love the grilled caribbean salad at Chili’s. If I lived near a Sonic Burger, I’d be there all the time.
So I was a little hesitant about going to Famous Dave’s. They’re a national chain and they’re serving something sacred, barbeque. It’s so easy to do it badly. But I’d been watching all this stuff about bbq on tv and had a hankerin. The restaurant is a big old log cabin lodge type of place, with fishing gear as decoration. The tables themselves are no frills, with rolls of paper towels hung on pipes for you to clean off your mitts. There’s a six pack of bbq sauces for you, this I just loved. Ranging from their rich & sassy, sweet & zesty, to the two spiciest ones, Texas Pit and Devil’s Spit, you could pick your own sauce to slather onto your meat. Design your own bbq basically.
They’ve got an extensive menu, and you can pretty much order whatever you want. You can get a sandwich, or a salad, ribs, any combo of meats. I went with the two meat platter. I got brisket and chopped pork. You also get two sides, in addition to corn on the cob and a corn muffin. So you know what? I liked it all. I liked the brisket. It comes with the rich & sassy sauce, but you can also get it dry. It actually had the red ring around it, which shows that it was slow smoked and cooked for a long time. The chopped pork was also damn good. It was really surprising. I had the garlic mashed potatoes as one of the sides, and these rocked. I could have eaten a giant bowl of these. I had the beans too, and these were good, but nothing exciting. There were big hunks of pork in it though, so those were the best bits. I also loved the corn muffin. I love corn bread and corn muffins in general. This one was nice and sweet and moist. It wasn’t dry or crumbly, which I can’t stand. The corn was good too. So good and juicy that when C bit into his, he shot corn water into J’s eye. It was classic.
Here’s a shot of the two meat combo with brisket and sausage. I’m not too into sausage so I didn’t taste it, but everyone who got the sausage liked it. We also had a few Texans in our party, and they all enjoyed the food. Our waitress was adorable and was extremely helpful in explaining the food and the different sauces. Even with such a big party, our food came out fairly quickly. And even when A spilled his beer, they brought him out a free one. And it was his fault! I definitely want to try some of the non-chain bbq places in town, but the next time I feel a need for bbq, I won’t hesitate to go back to Famous Dave’s!