Famous Dave for President!


Republican, Democrat, Libertarian…  I don’t really care.  Green Party.  Communist.  Palestinian Liberation Organization.  Hey, if Dave Anderson runs for president, I’ll volunteer to fire up the smoker at a rally!  Famous Dave’s is one of the fastest growing BBQ chains in the country for a reason.  Dave knows BBQ and he knows how to run a corporation.  That’s what I call executive experience, something Sarah Palin was attacked for and something President Barack Obama has had just over a week of… for the first time since being a community organizer!  Okay, okay, enough politics…

Yesterday, a bunch of young couples (mostly from my church) went to visit Dave in Long Beach.  There were 25 of us, five couples, the rest wild animals children.  With those kinds of numbers, I’ve decided to officially name this meeting, “C.A.R.E.: Couples Attuned to Replenishing the Earth.”  One couple (John and Miriam) have yet to venture into this part of life.  This crazy day, that included three kindergartners, may have discouraged them from ever having children.  Nonetheless, we’re glad they joined us.


John and Miriam are smiling because they don't have to pay for any kids!


The 2009 C.A.R.E. meeting begins with the ceremonial saucing of the ribs!

“So, Jay, whadaya recommend?”

I’ve been to 10 different Famous Dave’s in four different states.  I’ve worked Famous Dave’s into the church announcements on one occassion and mentioned Dave in more than one sermon.  I’m definitely the one to ask.

“Everything’s excellent except for the pulled pork.”

And it’s the truth.  When a chain gets as big as Dave has, it’s just naturally gonna lose something.  You just can’t beat the mom and pop’s stops that are still making everything right in their kitchens.  But Dave is a model of consistency.  Honest-to-goodness wood smoked BBQ, learned on Dave’s BBQ journey through America’s backroads.  The BBQthDirector’s wife and I both had loaded baked potatoes with brisket.  The potato isn’t smoked like Rudy’s, but the brisket is heavenly.  Oh so tender and juicy, you don’t need teeth for that meat!  Of all the BBQ joints we’ve hit, Dave’s brisket is our favorite.  It wasn’t quite as smokey as it usually is, but still very tasty.  Raves all around the table from everyone who had the brisket.

The BBQthDirector's loaded baked potato along with a third of a "Manhandler Sandwich" stolen from BBQ Boy III.

The BBQthDirector's loaded baked potato along with a third of a "Manhandler Sandwich" stolen from BBQ Boy II.

The Manhandler Sandwich is the BBQthDirector’s favorite Famous Dave’s offering.  It is the melt-in-your-mouth brisket coupled with a “snappy” and tasty hot link!  All you need is a squeeze of your favorite Dave’s sauce and the sun shines just a bit brighter!

A big part of the Famous Dave’s experience is the BBQ sauce tour.  Dave offers five different varieties, three of which happen to be in my fridge right now.  Your server will explain the differences, including the regional origins and even help you pair the sauce with the right meat.  They’ll make some type of design on a blue plate with the sauces and invite everyone to try ’em out with the tip of your finger or a utensil.  The BBQthDirector’s good friend, Pastor Jesse Johnson, tried all five, one for each finger tip!  I watched to make sure he didn’t double dip.  That would be sick!

Dave's BBQ sauce tour takes you to the peppery Texas, tangy Georgia, and sweet Kansas City!  Dave is a genious!

Dave's BBQ sauce tour takes you to peppery Texas, tangy Georgia, and sweet Kansas City! Dave is a genius!

C.A.R.E. Chairman, Craig Wilson, taking the tour with his better half.  Sweet and Zesty was his weapon of choice.

C.A.R.E. Chairman, Craig Wilson (that would make him the "C.A.R.E. Chair"), taking the tour with his better half. Sweet and Zesty was his weapon of choice.

Pastor Johnson said the ribs were awesome, and they sure looked the part!  Craig and Brenda Wilson reported the chicken to be very good.  No one had the pulled pork, because they trust the BBQthDirector.  Good move, C.A.R.E. members!

**IMPORTANT BBQ TIP**  Timing is important.  As much as possible, we try our best to miss the lunch rush.  We got there about 11:00 am.  You don’t want to go too far after peak meal times (say 11:00 am-1:30 pm for lunch; 6:00 pm-8:00 pm for dinner).  If meat stays too long in the pit (or warmer), it will dry out.  I would say 2:00 pm-4:00 pm is definite no-man’s land for BBQ.  It will be either dry from smoking too long, or tough from not cooking quite long enough.  I had a friend who tried Famous Dave’s and said everything was a bit dry.  He went after 9:00 pm.

The BarBeQuethMinistry! Rib Rating (1 bone being awful, 5 bones being legendary):

Ambience/Service: 4 bones

Sides: 4.5 bones

Sauce: 5 bones

Meat: 4.5 bones

Overall: 4.5 bones

For readers of BarBeQuethMinistry who also happen to be friends, I give you some miscellaneous pictures of our day trip which included a stop at the Queen Mary.  Admission is free in January for California residents, and that’s how we roll!







14 comments so far

  1. James on

    I love famous daves also. After I graduated from college last spring 10 of us went there for lunch. It was the first time for all of us, so we ordered two of the “All American BBQ Feast”, and it was amazing. I have one of the sauces in my fridge right now and just finished the other one I had on Monday. I’m glad to know there is one in Long Beach, the closes one that I knew of was Ontario and that’s 50 miles from where I’m at; LB is much closer.

  2. James on

    oh, and love the pics

  3. Becka on

    Enjoyed all the pics! I love Famous Dave’s. We have one in Salisbury, MA (closest to us – 45 minutes). It was good though! :)Yummmmm…. I think I am getting hungry!

  4. ocnative on

    OK, I’m soooooo there!

  5. jenmarie on

    The first time I went to Famous Dave’s was in Arizona on our College Senior Trip and Luis kept calling it “Incredible Willie’s” because he forgot the name. (He had the concept right at least.) I definitely fell in love with it and a few months later when I moved to WI was excited to learn that Famous Dave kinda lives out there!

    Cute pics! 🙂

  6. fearthefro on

    yeah weve got famous daves here in el paso! real good stuff!

  7. zaza on

    C.A.R.E. lol.

  8. L.A. Food Bloggin on

    I wasn’t too impressed with Famous Dave’s. I much prefer Lucille’s. Great tip on timing. Maybe that was the problem.

  9. jaynepomuceno on

    Zaza, I honed my acronym skills playing Balderdash with you, Eunice, Melinda… Bobby Ayers (flart!)…

  10. zaza on

    lol. enough said =)

  11. […] with the cornbread and corn that always come with it.  Here is some pics.  Not going to do a restaurant review here, sorry. .gallery { margin: auto; } .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: […]

  12. jaynepomuceno on

    UPDATE: Visited the Palmdale location on 5/12/09 and had the Ultimate BBQ Burger. Wholey Moley! The messiest burger I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. It had the Georgia chopped pork on it and it was actually quite good.

    Must conduct more research.

  13. BarbeQuest on

    Hey Jay,

    Good luck to you as well, in all your endeavors!


  14. donny on

    never heard of Famous Dave’s where is the closest one to Moreno Valley. Where can i pick up some sauce.

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