Does a BBQ restaurant stand any chance when a person from Texas and Kansas City go to it outside of those two places (except for the Carolina BBQ)?
The answer is simply no. an emphatic no at that. Recently, we tried a bbq restaurant called Famous Dave’s, which apparently is a chain restaurant and we were left wondering how could there be multiple bad restaurants like this and how did Dave get so famous? Did he get famous for bad bbq? Was it the 7 sauces and none of them being any good? Was it the awful service? What was it that we were missing?
As you can imagine, Famous Dave’s was a complete disappointment. If this is what barbecue is like in Illinois, people need some help and they need it fast!
Upon entering a nearly empty restaurant, the host decided to put us in a table near the front door. In a place of 50-60 table and booths, he put us in the worst spot possible. But, we moved on. After looking at the menu, we had some high hopes. They had brisket from Texas, ribs from st. Louis, and pulled pork from the Carolinas. Unfortunately, that is where the comparison ends. Rachel ordered the brisket with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes; while matt ordered the brisket and sausage combo with “famous” Wilbur beans and potato salad. We also each ordered tea.
So, as we ordered our food and drink, we were delighted to have one of the most inattentive servers around. She seemed nice at first by offering us a free bottle of sauce for whatever our favorite was since it was our first time there (fyi…it never came), but then something happened. She forgot about us. She brought out these free chips for each party except that the two other groups that came after us got theirs at the same time we did. Let me also just say that it took us about 5 minutes before we knew we even had a server. She didn’t bring us the right drinks and was just completely spacey. It just wasn’t good or even decent service.
Famous Dave’s really loves pineapple as well which is great for Matt but not that great for Rachel who is allergic. So where do we begin on the food. The brisket was alright but cut extremely thin. Almost like deli style. I am just not that used to really thin brisket and then having little to no flavor. It was on the dry side. The sausage was okay. It was a decent size but nothing special to it. the green beans were cooked with bacon and weren’t bad but that could be attributed to the bacon and maybe nothing else. The mashed potatoes were alright but not memorable. The potato salad tasted a lot like something Rachel has made before but I would much rather have hers then what this was. That leaves the Wilbur beans. These were so unusual. The description read baked beans with bacon, brisket and sausage. There was none of that in there except a small, itty-bitty piece. It tasted like it was cooked in their awful “meat sauce” which is meat drippings and something else. It was completely unpleasant. Out of all the possible sauce options, we liked the texas version the best (2 had pineapple in them but were still not any good), but it was still a very weak sauce.
All in all, even if we weren’t from barbecue states, this would be a completely disappointing experience. I don’t think we will be visiting famous dave’s again as there is no point to being ignored and having our bad food take forever to get there.
Missing some good BBQ,
Matt & Rachel