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Jul 12, 2002 09:57 AM

Famous Dave's BBQ

  • g

We had quite a nice family dinner last Friday at Famous Dave's BBQ in Oakton. This is a chain out of Minnesota with local branches in Oakton, Sterling, Woodbridge, and a few other "far out" suburbs. We found the ribs, pork and brisket to be particularly good. I've never seen these places written up in the Post or the Washingtonian -- but they should be, IMHO.

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  1. I agree. Their ribs are tender and moist and by far the best that i've had in the area.

    1. My mother went to the one in Minneapolis and was very impressed. Sadly, the one in Columbia (need I saw more) on the 2 visits I had were far from exciting. I had better meals at Red, Hot, and Blue.

      Maybe it's the location.

      7 Replies
      1. re: SisterT

        We weren't too impressed with the BBQ at the one in Gaithersburg, either.

        However... today we had some really tasty bbq (pulled pork sandwich) at a place called Staub's in Beallsville... it's out in the country if you drive out about 10 miles from Darnestown on Route 28. Yummy.


        1. re: Katie

          After reading the earlier good posts about Famous Dave's I finally could wait no longer so I tried the one in Oakton VA.

          I got a full slab of ribs, with beans and "lodge fries." The platters all come with a half-ear of corn and a corn muffin too. This was for carry-out, a good test for the kitchen.

          Protein lovers will be pleased to know that the ribs were the best part of the meal. They had some nice bite to them, little fat, and didn't need any extra sauce (not that I was given any).

          The sides..very ehhh. I liked the beans, but they were a bit watery. The fries were very soggy by the time I got home. The corn was weak...we are into Farmers' Market corn season around here, so we are spoiled, but still. The dogs (both of whom eat corn from the cob) were not even that enthusiastic. Corn muffin was of the sweet variety, very moist. Not bad.

          I will go back to give the chopped pork and brisket a try, but next time I will order meats a la carte and a side of beans, and skip the rest.

          1. re: Bob W.

            I don't think I have had fries from anywhere that held up on the drive home. Next time try the drunken apples (unless you don't drink because they are strong!).

            1. re: Liz

              >>I don't think I have had fries from anywhere that held up on the drive home. <<

              I can't agree more... I have NEVER had fries from even the best take-out places that didn't get soggy. It's impossible to avoid -- when you cover them up or wrap them up they begin to "steam" themselves with the heat steam and get soggy. I keep trying to convince my husband to invent some kind of inexpensive device to market to restaurants that keeps fried foods crispy for take-out... we'd make millions :o)

              1. re: Colleen

                Now that I think about it, you both are exactly right. In fact, restaurants would be smart to not allow people to take things like fries home because they will inevitably be disappointed.

                This reminds me of a story I heard years ago about Lou "Mr. Lou" Lynch, the pastry chef at Emeril's in New Orleans, who refused to let a patron take a piece of his fabulous banana cream pie out of the restaurant on a very hot day. He didn't want to be associated with a puddle of runny goo.

                I would love to see more places not allow people to take food that doesn't travel well off the premises. Yeah right!

            2. re: Bob W.

              Dave's of Oakton isn't anything great. Better pulled pork and brisket is down the road at BBQ Country in Vienna. Really great BBQ ribs at Kilroy's (495 and Braddock Rd. Springfield/Annandale area).

              1. re: jef

                Haven't been to Kilroy's.

                As for BBQ Country, I used to live very close to their outpost in Centreville. I don't think it's even .5-mile barbecue. Never been to the one in Vienna, but I have heard that the Herndon outpost is not good either.

                I think the fact that I even bothered to say anything good about Famous Dave's says more about the overall state of barbecue around here than it does about Famous Dave's.

        2. a
          another Bob W.

          All last summer I worked in the Waldorf area (I live just over the line in PA). I really have to give this guy some props for making some of the finast "Q" north of the Carolinas. The prices are downright amazing, as well.

          The only drawbacks are the very small and modest accomodations. And his side dishes are just so-so. But his fresh pork samm'ich is to die for. The crabcake is hands down, the best I'll probably EVER eat. His ribs are huge and smoked to perfection. Also, always ask for the "hot" BBQ sauce (unless you can't deal with perfection:o).

          Enough already. Sorry for going on so much, but I love that place.

          Directions to Lefty's barbecue:
          It's on rt301 on the very northern edge of Waldorf in a strip shopping center (Pineville or something like that). It's right accross the street from the huge "Waldorf Hotel" sign.