Archive for the ‘Famous Dave's Campaign’ Category
Dinner with Dave and free Famous Dave’s for a year, dontcha noh? We cashed in on the first part of our grand prize early this week with a fun–and needed–vacation to Minneapolis. They sure did roll out the red carpet for us. The Hotel Ivy sure was one fancy-shmancy place, all dolled up with a 42″ flat screen, robes, slippers, an umbrella, valet parking, and turn down service. Turn down service is the ultimate example of luxury laziness. Someone comes in to partly pull down a corner of your bed linens so you can pull them down the rest of the way when you’re ready to go to sleep. Sorry, maybe I’m just a tad unrefined, but I just don’t get that.
Dinner with Famous Dave Anderson was a definite treat. VP of Marketing, Aric Nissen, was our gracious host and got everything going with an All-American feast. When Dave got there, he asked if there was anything on the menu we haven’t had. I noticed baby back ribs on the menu, which we don’t have out here in the Golden State. Within moments of mentioning that, baby back ribs were on the table. A bit more tender than the glorious St. Louis Spares, but a bit too sweet for me. I’m sure they would do well in California.
Dave has a big, fun personality, but he also has an easy going way about him. We talked about sports (he’s a Bears fan, good thing we serve a merciful God!), BBQ joints, BBQ methods, my campaign, and a number of spiritual issues. Both he and Aric seemed to be genuinely interested in my ministry. Dave has a tremendous amount of Bible knowledge and seems to be a man with strong values and morals. It was a very enjoyable time. They gave me a Famous Dave’s BBQ set (tongs, spatula, sauces, rib rub), a golf shirt and apron (both with the Famous Dave’s logos, of course), and Dave’s book, LifeSkills for Success. The book is an awesome read, very entertaining and filled with biblical principles.
After dinner (and a bunch of pictures) we were off to the Minnesota State Fair, supposedly the biggest state fair in the nation. We were there on a “slow” Monday night, but it was about as crowded as the dreaded dollar day at the L.A. County Fair. There were more hands to shake, pictures to take and food to eat at the Famous Dave’s booth. The place was packed and there was a steady stream of Famous Dave’s fans taking pics with the big BBQ guru. Every year, they offer a unique item at the fair. Last year it was “Pig Lickers”, chocolate covered bacon. Wish we had the chance to try them, but we did get to sample this year’s offering, Pig Cheeks! As weird as that may sound, they are amazing. Those cheek muscles don’t do a whole lot, so they are incredibly tender and succulent. Beautifully smoked, then glazed with a peach-based sauce … oooohhh, good night in the mornin’, those were cuh-razy good!
After a bit of mingling (which included meeting a fellow Famous Fan, Linda K), we were set free to enjoy the fair. So I went right to the Ferris Wheel, took on the roller coaster, Hammerhead was next, and, just for kicks, we went on the sky ride. I’m such a liar. I’m so scared of heights, my pulse rate rises to dangerous levels when I get up to the second step of a ladder! So without the BBQ Kids in tow, we held hands and admired the diversity of mullets gracing the fairgrounds as we headed right for the Spam booth!
Famous Dave’s then Spam? Are you kidding me? This was so much happy, happy, joy, joy in so short of a time, I felt like I was going to short circuit! This couldn’t get any better … could it? Oh, baby, it did:
Oh, yeah, deep fried cheese curds! I’ve already begun writing a song about them (stay tuned for another music video, we’ll see if we can’t book the “eye-candy-crew” again). I think curds are the solids found in milk/cream that are separated from the watery part (whey), that is turned into cheese. It really doesn’t matter what they are, these deep fried bad boys are truly one of the greatest inventions ever. I’m talking right up there with the steam engine, refrigeration and zippers! A friend of mine put it this way: “They’re dangerously good.” Someone has got to bring this upper midwest delicacy to California. I think it would be a great addition to the Famous Dave’s menu. Or even P.F. Chang’s (how do Kung Pao Cheese Curds sound?)! Hey, anyone, please, I’m begging.
Tuesday we got to visit with some friends. First, we drove about 35 miles to Elk River to visit with an old college buddy. Doug was in my dorm and in my wedding (and I in his). It was such a blessing to visit with him and his wife, Julie, and their three kids. After lunch, he took us out fishing on his boat for about an hour where I hooked a trophy 52″ Northern Pike! There I go lying again. Really, it’s more like a small exagerration, as I somehow mustered up the strength to pull in a one pound Largemouth Bass! You read that right, folks, that monster was a full 16 ounces!
Later that afternoon, I treated my BBQ Honey to Hotel Ivy’s afternoon tea service. Very upscale, very chic, very hold your pinky out as you drink your high-end tea and look smugly out the window at the lowly peasants walking by. It was definitely a splurge, but we were given a generous amount of spending money! It was a pretty cool experience.
Then it was off to Fat Lorenzos, an italian restaurant youth group alum, Philip, has raved about to me for years. Another youth group alum, James (these guys are brothers), and his wife drove an hour from Owatonna to hang out as well. The food was tremendous (once again, Philly, good call!), and the fellowship was awesome. We truly love those guys. It’s so cool to see them all grown up, but still pretty much the same. Well, James has really gone down hill. He owns a metal detector. A metal detector, for goodness sake! Does it get any worse than that? Wow.
Wednesday gave us just a few hours to hit up the Mall of America before flying out mid-afternoon. Doesn’t seem like the locals frequent this gargantuan shopping center/amusement park/aquarium/bunion grower as there weren’t that many mullets to admire. I was on a mission to try Minnesota’s state fish, Walleye. We found Twin Cities Grill and saw they offered the beloved freshwater fish on their menu. It lived up to the hype! Walleye is a delicate, flaky white fish. We ordered the Walleye Fish Fry which has supplanted Andria’s Fish and Chips (Ventura, CA) as the best I’ve ever had.
I can’t thank you all enough for supporting my campaign and helping us win this.
My BBQ Honey and I fly out to Minnesota bright and early Monday morning to celebrate my crowning as “The Best Famous Fan in America“. They’re putting us up in the uber-posh Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis! Monday afternoon we have dinner with Famous Dave at the Roseville restaurant then head over to the Minnesota State Fair. There I make a celebrity appearance at the Famous Dave’s booth (I’m trying not to let my new found stardom get to my Famous head). We’ll also have some free time to just enjoy the fair. Think we’ll be visiting the SPAM booth? You betcha! Ferris wheel? No way, too scary.
On Tuesday, we’re going to be hanging out with an old college buddy in Elk River who’ll be taking us out on his boat for some northwoods lake fishing. He mentioned the possibility of Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike, which would be suh-weet! There are also some youth group alumni in the area we might get a chance to kick it with. Then we’re back Wednesday night.
Thanks again to all those who participated in my campaign!
First place, baby! The BarBeQuethMinistry! has won Famous Dave’s “Quest for the Best Famous Fan” Summer Campaign! There are so many people to thank, so please allow me to give a “general” thank you to all those who followed faithfully, left comments, participated in the challenges, signed up for the P.I.G. Club, and helped me with videos. JRP actually called me last Friday night with the news. I was driving right through the heart of Las Vegas returning from our missions trip. I let the teens know and they went wild! We had one epic celebration in the van.
Free Famous Dave’s for a year and a vacation to the upper midwest (the BBQthDirector’s Wife really deserves that)! I’ll give you details about that soon. Thanks, again, for helping us win this!
Challenge #10: You’ve had all summer to highlight Famous Dave’s – now we want to hear why YOU are the most Famous Fan.
I am not an arrogant man. Really. I think it’s easy to look at my confidence as arrogance. I am confident, first, because I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. He is my guide and comfort and is preparing a home in heaven for me. Secondly, I walk and live confidently because I’m a passionate person. I won’t take on a project unless I’m commited to giving it my all. My life’s slogan is: “Give Better Than Your Best.” That being said, I have campaigned passionately, thusly, I am confident.
I am the MOST Famous Fan.
Please consider the weekly challenges. The BarBeQuethMinistry! won the very first one (I believe we raised the bar with the haiku), and tied for two others. I received honorable mentions for the love song dedication (c’mon, the whole episode with D.J. Will Burr was pure genius!), Captain BBQ (a truly epic drama), and the family pic (was there a cuter one?). So I couldn’t pull off the clean sweep, but I sure did give it a try! I guarantee, no one had more fun than I did. Thank you, JRP, for the great ideas!
But the weekly challenges were just one component of this “Quest for the Best Famous Fan in America”. If it weren’t for the weekly challenges, many of the Famous Fans wouldn’t've had campaigns at all. Click here and start scrolling down. You’ll find a true grassroots campaign, complete with thought-provoking articles, fun polls, and energetic community involvement. I’ve done my part to be a genuine BBQ Mentor both to the teens I minister to and the precious children I’m raising.
As far as the P.I.G. Club sign ups go, there’s no way to know how I’m doing. My WordPress stats report 74 clicks on my link, but who knows how many actually went through with it. If you haven’t joined the club, click here for details. Think of it as casting a vote for me!
Then there’s the pre-campaign BBQthDirector. When there was nothing in it for me, I was an ambassador for Dave’s cause. As an amateur food critic and BBQ connoisseur, I’ve driven waaaay out of my way in search of legit ‘que, and have known Famous Dave’s to be a model of consistency. Consistency is part of being a chain, but most national chains are consistently mediocre. Famous Dave’s has continued to excel, and I’ve done my part to let the world know about it.
Well, there’s my last hurrah. Thank you all for following. Maybe you could do one more thing and help me sway the judges. If I’ve inspired or enlightened you, let it be known. I know there’s a few of you out there who’ve wandered into the domain of Dave’s as a direct result of my prodding. Don’t be so shy. Or maybe the BarBeQuethMinistry! has just been a source of cheap entertainment over the last couple months. Hey, whether you were laughing with me or at me …
I’ll take that.
Now I’m off to Wyoming. Back August 7th. Peace!
Okay, we’re in the home stretch of the campaign (Wanna help me win? Read about the P.I.G. Club!). We tied for first place for Challenge #9 (check out my freecreditreport.com spoof in the previous post and see Josh H.’s royal invitation here). The last challenge is exactly what I expected:
Challenge #10: You’ve had all summer to highlight Famous Dave’s – now we want to hear why YOU are the most Famous Fan.
If I only had the time to put together the closing speech I had envisioned. Right now I’m getting geared up for our youth group’s missions trip to the Arapahoe Nation in Wyoming. We leave Thursday morning, so I’ll get a little something posted Wednesday night and hope for the best. In the mean-time, here are my Fave Five Famous Dave’s menu items (yes, it was tough narrowing it down).
1. “The Big Slab” of St. Louis Style Ribs: So meaty and smokey, consistently tender and tasty enough to stand alone. But, hey, a bath in Devil’s Spit never hurts!
2. Manhandler Sandwhich: A genius pairing of melt-in-your-mouth brisket and sliced hot link on a toasted bun … wow!
3. Better Than Mom’s Pecan Pie: It really is better than my mom’s, and she consistently had professional quality pecan pie in the house. Okay, okay so that’s a nice way of saying she always bought it, but Dave’s really is the very best I’ve ever had!
4. Smoked Salmon Spread: A perfectly seasoned mixture of cream cheese and smoked salmon, served with grilled flat bread. For the BBQth Director to put this on a Fave Five’s list is really saying something, as I’ve caught my own Alaskan Silver Salmon and eaten it just hours later. If you like Salmon, you must try this!
5. Ultimate BBQ Burger: I like burgers, as a previous Fave Fives list will attest. This really is the ultimate with a thick patty, Georgia Chopped Pork, bacon and all the fixins. Messy, but awesome!