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Famous Dave's Review

steakrules85 Mar 3, 2007 06:00 PM

I tried Famous Dave's today for the first time in New Brunswick, NJ. Always wanted to see what it was all about and I must say it was pretty good. After being persuaded by the waiter we had the Feast for two. It comes with ribs, chicken, brisket or pulled pork, cole slaw, beans, fries, corn bread muffins, and corn on the cob. Tons of food to say the least. The waiter described the ribs as "falling off the bone" and delicious. Unfortunately, The ribs were a little dry and I was a bit disappointed. Definitely not as good as Big Ed's Barbeque which is without a doubt the best rib place in all of New Jersey. Overall though the ribs were pretty good and they have a ton of different sauces for you to choose from. The best being the Rich and Sassy. The fries were amazing! The barbequed chicken was also quite good. Didn't really care for the beef brisket since it was really dry but I am not a big brisket guy anyway--next time I'll try the pulled pork. As for the rest of the sides they were really good-- cole slaw, baked beans, corn on the cob was really sweet. Probably one of the best things I had was the corn bread muffin. It was so unbelievable it didn't even need butter. Finally, even though we were stuffed we had to try the bread pudding and I must say it was delicious. It is served warm with a maple syrup, pecans, and raisins and finally topped off with whipped cream. You could probably have it ala mode but at that point we were almost too sick to think about anymore calories. Overall, I give it a very good review. Not the greatest ribs ever but Good food, good service, good experience and I would definitely go back again.

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  1. j
    Janet from Richmond RE: steakrules85 Mar 4, 2007 03:52 AM

    I like their pulled pork and the sides. Stay away from the catfish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Janet from Richmond
      steakrules85 RE: Janet from Richmond Mar 4, 2007 11:31 AM

      Really, why stay away from the catfish? That is one of the menu items I really wanted to try next....

      1. re: steakrules85
        Janet from Richmond RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 04:09 AM

        I love fried catfish and theirs is just awful. It was horribly spiced and very salty and the catfish itself was mealy.

      2. re: Janet from Richmond
        sivyaleah RE: Janet from Richmond Mar 5, 2007 05:39 AM

        Actually, I've gotten the catfish several times and like it alot. This is from the one in Mountainside, NJ. It's one of my favorite items. Maybe it depends on the location?

      3. Gio RE: steakrules85 Mar 4, 2007 04:51 AM

        It's good to read your report of Famous Dave's. There's one located near us and as we drive by, we tell ourselves that one of these days...... Now we'll have to do it. I'm looking forward to the BBQed chicken. Have to see if it's as good as mine. LOL

        We've had BBQ at Big Bubba's located in the Mohegan Sun Casino in CT which was pretty good. The pulled pork was tasty, moist and satisfying. Good thing there were sauces, though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gio
          steakrules85 RE: Gio Mar 4, 2007 11:32 AM

          Yeah it is definitely a place to try at least once. You will not be disappointed with the chicken, although I don't know how good yours is lol.

        2. s
          swsidejim RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 05:50 AM

          I have been to Famous Daves a couple of times when I didnt feel like driving to one of my favorite bbq spots. Their ribs are not the worst I have ever had, and not the best either. It works as a good standbye when one must have some bbq, I have had the brisket, & chicken wings as well, and they were also just ok, not bad, but not the best.

          I would give them a grade of C for their food.

          1. t
            timmy RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 05:52 AM

            The rib tips are amazing

            1 Reply
            1. re: timmy
              steakrules85 RE: timmy Mar 5, 2007 03:25 PM

              I saw them on the menu. What exactly are the rib tips and what makes them different than their actual ribs? I thought they were just smaller portions of their spareribs like just chopped up into bitty pieces.

            2. z
              ziggylu RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 06:07 AM

              There's one by our house. We've been a couple times and thought the food was OK. Not the best BBQ but far from offensive.

              Dinner portions are WAAAYYY too big though - so much food! We've only been once for dinner and the other times we've gone we've gone at lunch with the prices are a lot better and portions more civilized.

              Definitely wouldn't go out of my way to eat there but also have had a lot worse...

              1. The Dairy Queen RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 04:46 PM

                The pulled pork is pretty good, actually. I don't know if this is true for all of their locations, but if you're ever needing to pull together a casual party quickly and on a budget, their delivery and set-up service is pretty nice.


                1. n
                  newbatgirl RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 05:11 PM

                  My husband is very fond of the pulled pork. We've gotten it as a take-out treat several times. The brisket is pretty good but we get that less often because we can make that at home. (We haven't perfected pork at home yet). I agree that the ribs are not the best but the chicken is nice and moist.

                  I have not been happy with their sides. Corn muffins are waaaay too sweet and the veggies are pretty bland. For quick BBQ fix, I prefer getting their meats by the pound to take out and making our own sandwiches at home.

                  1. a
                    Anne H RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 05:25 PM

                    When we left Chicago for two years to live in Madison, WI, we discovered Famous Dave's. It didn't keep us from getting homesick for real barbeque, but we thought it was pretty good stuff.

                    1. a
                      Atlantis RE: steakrules85 Mar 5, 2007 06:35 PM

                      I could live on the fries at Famous Dave's. Just the fries. They are THE BEST. The bread pudding is pretty darn wonderful, too. I might be nuts, but I love their burgers, well done (yeah, I'm nuts), with raw onion slices and lots of mayo. The staff indulges me by starting me off with big basket of fries while I'm waiting for my burger.

                      The brisket and the pulled pork - on the meat combo platters - are great. The corn muffins are almost as fabulous as the fries. The beans are pretty good, too.

                      I love Famous Dave's.

                      1. x
                        xman887 RE: steakrules85 Mar 6, 2007 09:34 AM

                        pretty good place. i think that their brisket is better than their pulled pork. had the ribs once and was pleasantly surprised. my daughter's love to go there and get the kid's pulled pork sandwich.

                        1. d
                          DC Gal RE: steakrules85 Mar 7, 2007 10:27 AM

                          I've eaten at a Famous Dave's maybe once and don't recall the fries. What makes them special? I love good fries!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: DC Gal
                            newbatgirl RE: DC Gal Mar 7, 2007 01:11 PM

                            My hubby says that they are substantial and typically very crisp on the outside. Seasoned well, not too salty, not too bland. They're closer to steak fries but skin on at our local outpost. If you're looking for shoestring style, this ain't them!

                            He's the authority on fries in this house. I'm just passing along his take. Hope that helps.

                            1. re: DC Gal
                              steakrules85 RE: DC Gal Mar 7, 2007 05:12 PM

                              They're nice and thick. Piping hot and crisp the way great fries should be and they are absolutely fantastic.

                            2. p
                              Pampatz RE: steakrules85 Mar 7, 2007 05:57 PM

                              Famous Dave's in Denver is consistantly good. We, too, love the pulled pork. The onion rings are terrific.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Pampatz
                                steakrules85 RE: Pampatz Mar 8, 2007 12:43 PM

                                Didnt' know they had onion rings. It isn't on their menu as a side. Is it an appetizer?

                              2. p
                                Paul N RE: steakrules85 Mar 9, 2007 02:02 PM

                                Thanks. I'm looking forward to trying Famous Dave's.

                                Hey, I love the burger from the Big Ed's on 130 near Route 1, and the ribs there are alright... but it's not real barbecue - no smoker, probably parboiled or something. Are the other locations different?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Paul N
                                  steakrules85 RE: Paul N Mar 9, 2007 07:04 PM

                                  Big Ed's has the best ribs hands down IMO.

                                2. revsharkie RE: steakrules85 Mar 10, 2007 12:50 PM

                                  I've been to the one in Sioux City a few times. It's not bad, but small, local, even hole-in-the-wall BBQ is always better. Dink's in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Tennessee Red's in Portland--if I were within easy driving distance of either of them I'd never go to Famous Dave's. But I'm not.

                                  Anyway, I haven't been anywhere for BBQ since we got a smoker and can make our own now.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: revsharkie
                                    smarsh RE: revsharkie Mar 18, 2007 07:42 PM

                                    Have you tried Gregory's Rib Shack in Sioux City? Its definitely hole in the wall but very good! (at least it was a few years ago when i was there last...)

                                  2. p
                                    Paul N RE: steakrules85 Mar 12, 2007 12:55 PM

                                    I went to the one in New Brunswick... disappointing.
                                    The baby backs were very very dry (although they had a nicely charred skin and good smokey flavor).
                                    The pulled pork was also dry.

                                    That's one thing I'll say for Big Ed's - the meat is always fall-off-the bone tender. Until we get a joint with ribs that tender and real smoke in the flavor, New Jersey cannot claim to have good barbecue.

                                    1. Chemicalkinetics RE: steakrules85 May 8, 2010 05:10 PM

                                      I know this is an old post, but I have one comment and don't think I should open a new post.

                                      I tried Famous Dave's a few times. It is not as good as the smaller barbecue joints down south, but it is pretty good for a chain. I always like to order the chopped pork because that is how I like my pork -- an influence from living in Georgia, I think. Don't get me wrong. I like pulled pork alright, but I prefer chopped pork.

                                      Anyway, I went there today again and were disappointed. it just does not taste as good as the previous visits. The pork is less dry, but it is too moist to the point of mushy. The waitress was very nice, but the overall experience is just not as good as before. The hot link, the green beans... and everything is fine, but for me the pork is the main item, so I am disappointed.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        rockandroller1 RE: Chemicalkinetics May 10, 2010 04:41 AM

                                        We started to visit them once and awhile but the food is so SALTY, I finally looked up their ingredients and found that every single bit of their food is loaded with MSG. I don't have a sensitivity to it per se, but I just don't see why all their food needs to be filled with MSG. Why can't they just cook and make good food, why do they have to bump everything up with artificial flavorings and seasoning? I am done going there because of all the MSG. I want real flavor.

                                        1. re: rockandroller1
                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: rockandroller1 May 10, 2010 06:50 AM

                                          Really? That is sad. Do you still have the ingredient list?

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            rockandroller1 RE: Chemicalkinetics May 10, 2010 12:11 PM

                                            I don't remember where I saw it. Their website seems to indicate that they list ingredients, but there are no links on the "ingredient information" page to anything.

                                            1. re: rockandroller1
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: rockandroller1 May 10, 2010 12:24 PM

                                              Thanks. I will have to just look around for decent barbecue places in New Jesery. I lived in Georgia for a bit over two years. Over there I can get pretty decent barbecue just about any where. The barbecue there was either good or very good. Over here, there are some bad barbecue around I tell you.

                                              I think Georgia has spoiled me regarding barbecue.

                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          Paul N RE: Chemicalkinetics May 10, 2010 02:52 PM

                                          For some reason I've had much better luck with Famous Dave's by-the-pound take out menu than ordering anything directly off their regular dining menu. The ribs and the pulled pork were both a lot more moist and less dry when ordered by the rack/pound off the a la cart menu. Perhaps they're more likely to be finished to order that way. The regular menu stuff tastes like it's been drying out in a heating unit.

                                          A la cart is still not spectacular bbq but much better than the regular stuff.

                                          1. re: Paul N
                                            Steve Green RE: Paul N May 10, 2010 11:40 PM

                                            I've had excellent brisket and mediocre brisket from our local F.D.'s on different occasions. I used to experience the same thing (to even more of an extreme) at the no-longer-existing Flint's (Oakland, CA) in its heyday -- oustanding on one day, and inedible the following week. This even happens in the legendary Central Texas BBQ palaces. There can be quite a day-to-day range of quality.

                                            If there's one thing consistent about BBQ, it's that it is _inconsistent_.

                                            1. re: Steve Green
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Steve Green May 10, 2010 11:43 PM


                                              I agree. BBQ can be inconsistent. I can go one the same joint the next week and the quality is different. So I am not writing Famous Dave off. I never write of a restaurant for one bad meal. Still, I were disappointed because I went out of my way to drive 40 minutes just to eat BBQ there.


                                              Yes, I have ordered out from Famous Dave a few times and they have been quiet good. Although most of my experience for dining-in at Famous Dave's is pretty good as well.

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