Friday, August 20, 2010

Famous Dave's: The New Joint in Town

Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant just opened in my neck o' the proverbial woods, and our family tried it for the first time last night. It was the first experience we'd had with this particular chain restaurant and, for the most part, we liked it.

We came in at 9 pm, super hungry after the first scrimmage (in another county) and even at that late hour there was a waiting line for 25 minutes. The place smelled wonderful, for starters, so our chops were in ready mode long before our handheld ambulance notified us that our table was ready.

Sarah ordered the Devil's Spit Burger, Joel the cheeseburger from the kid's menu, Stephen got the honey chicken sandwich, and I ordered the Famous Dave's burger. Paul wondered why I didn't get barbeque (since I was the one who'd been saying how much I wanted to try it) but it was a matter of feeling pressured when the server was standing there, pen and pad set for action, and so I just picked something randomly on the spot. That is so not like me, but it does prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I forget what Paul ordered but he liked it. The meats were cooked just right, and every one of the six sauces served at the table had a unique and delicious taste, from Texas to St. Louis.

What I was really impressed with were the side dishes. Too often restaurants present them as seeming afterthoughts, but not these. The mac 'n cheese has corn and jalapenos. Mmm. The Drunkin' Apples still had crunch and the right amount of cinnamon. The garlic red mashed potatoes had a thick but creamy texture, and the fries (which we dipped in honey mustard) delivered the perfect complement to our terrific sandwiches.

Collectively, we had four complaints. First, three people at our table ordered sweet tea, but got unsweetened. The waiter made it right when they brought it to his attention, but on the third delivery he again brought out unsweetened tea. Second, I thought he seemed to linger too long at our table each time he checked on us. I didn't like the way he made eye contact with my older son and ran his fingers along the table telling us (with eyes that looked like a cat's when you scratch behind the ears) how heavenly-to-die-for the bread pudding is. Third, one of the employees who was "using the facilities" at the same time as one of us, was cussing in the stall and did not wash hands before leaving the restroom. The offended party told the manager about that one, who thanked us and said he'd bring it up in training next time.

The prices were certainly reasonable for the satisfying portions. No leftovers this time, and we look forward to going back. It's the kind of atmosphere that's made for lively conversation, but I mentioned to Paul (who loves, loves, loves bread pudding) that maybe we could come back soon and have a heavenly-to-die-for date. Just a thought. Famous Dave's. The new joint in town is a keeper. Check it out.


Ashley Pichea said...

We LOVE Famous Daves! We were introduced to the restaurant by my husband's sister and her husband. We don't have one in town, but we recently visited one (this past Spring) while we were on a date in another town. Yum!

Danielle said...

I've had their free rib handouts twice and can't wait to go. Maybe it will be our first date night excursion after baby is born. Although I will definitely be going for the ribs! I have to say they were just about the best ribs I've had that weren't homemade! Those side dishes sound good too.

Laurie said...

Yum! We've visited Famous Dave's in Wichita and I was impressed w/ the sauces and the meat! Now our local and only grocery store carries some of the sauces! Your restaurant experience is so typical that I always think I'd be less disappointed if I'd just EXPECT the kind of service you described and the whole bathroom thing... (Grrr!)
But I always expect more, so am often disappointed!
Bread pudding! Just last night I tore up pieces of drying bread to make bread pudding! Do you have a fave recipe or additions you like? (We like to add chocolate chips) and I don't mind fruits or raisins, but I'm usually on my own there!
Thanks for the review. Now I'm hungering for bbq!

Zoanna said...

Laurie, would you believe I have only made bread pudding once or twice? The recipe I have is good, but I'm certainly willing to try others. In fact , very soon because I have a lot of stale bread to use up.

Rachelle said...

mmm, I'm going to crockpot ribs tommorow. I searched and we don't have Famous Dave's in NM, but there's one about 2 hours away in Amarillo. We'll have to try it when we're there next. Normally I stick to the familiar...yep, I'm really a lot of fun-haha!

Would love for you/Laurie to post a bread pudding recipe. My mom made it a lot, but I don't have a recipe. Seems like it was a little about stale bread and matching your bread/egg/milk ratios.

One More Equals Four said...

Never been to a Famous Daves but it sounds like somewhere my boys would love!

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting place with interesting people. Now I'm hungry.