Here it is: my first official restaurant post, and I think Famous Dave’s is a great place to start. Yes, it is a chain across much of the United States, but its popularity spread like wildfire for a reason. While I had heard plenty about this place from my boyfriend for over a year, we had yet to make the trip to Vista to go to Famous Dave’s. I was told how great it was so many times, (“its waaayy better than Phil’s”), so when the car pulled up to the large Texas sized barn-like structure in Vista last Saturday, I knew I would finally get to be the judge of how great this place was. I know barbeque.
The instant I walked into the restaurant, I knew that Famous Dave’s would be one of my new favorite places. What first caught my eye was the large mounted deer head above a cozy stone fireplace and little bulb lights that hung from the wooden ceiling beams. Character filled the restaurant and reminded me of a type of place you would see down south, during pit stop on a road trip along Route 66. It would fit in perfectly in “Cars Land” at Disney’s California Adventure, that’s for sure! (Disney, I am going to take credit for the idea if Famous Dave’s pops up there next year.) Pots and pans covered the walls; license plates lined the overhead of the bar area. This place instantly got an A+ for ambiance in my book.
What initially separated this restaurant from any other BBQ restaurant I had ever dined at was the selection of 6 unique BBQ sauces at each table, ranging from “Rich and Sassy” to “Devil’s Spit.” Naturally, I sampled every one of them with the kettle-cooked chips they provided and decided the Sweet Tangy barbeque sauce was my top pick. (Brady’s favorite was “Georgia Mustard.”) After combing through the extensive menu, Brady and I decided to go big or go home with the “Feast for Two,” to get a variety of tastes from the menu. The waitress, who had a nice southern drawl, brought out our enormous meal within ten minutes. The feast was in the inside of an old-fashioned metal garbage can lid (2 more points for ambiance!). The lid was overflowing with tasty ribs, brisket, juicy bbq chicken, corn, coleslaw, bbq beans and delicious corn bread. We were beside ourselves with the amount of delicious food that was in front of us. It took me a while to try the chicken, as in my mind, I thought there was too much great food here to waste any stomach space with ordinary chicken, but after some heavy convincing, I realized it was not ordinary chicken at all. It was perfectly barbequed, with perfectly crisp skin covering the most tenderly cooked chicken. I made a mental note to order the chicken if I ever had anything other than the feast.
The dessert menu looked fabulous too, with classic American dishes including bread pudding, but both of us were too full to even entertain the idea of stuffing ourselves even more. I was sad the whole experience was over, but knew I’d be introducing my parents and friends to it soon. Phil’s has always been a staple BBQ restaurant of San Diego, but the extensive menu of Famous Dave’s completely won me over, especially with such cozy and homey setting. Tip: If you sign up on their website for the P.I.G e-club, you will get a coupon instantly. Mine was a free sandwich, which I plan to redeem soon! Needless to say, I had a great first experience at Famous Dave’s and am eager to go back again. If you are a fan of BBQ and are willing to drive up to Vista (or visit any one of their 200+ locations country-wide) I would highly recommend it. Let me know of your thoughts if you go, or if my post persuaded you to check it out!
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