Famous Dave’s is a chain that has locations through the United States. We were lucky enough to be invited to their North Olmsted, Ohio location. We were immediately greeted and taken to our seats. The server was able to get in our drink and appetizer order. A few minutes later, we experienced the Barbecue Nachos ($6.99), which at the small size was more than enough to sate three or four people comfortably. The presence of equal amounts tortilla chips, cheddar cheese with interspersed jalapenos, chili, and sour cream allowed the beef brisket to shine.
The beer selection at Famous Dave’s has a number of American-style lagers and a surprisingly deep microbrew selection. In keeping with a Missouri flair, the restaurant served Boulevard Brewing offerings at prices that were considerably lower than other bars around the area; a bottle of Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale was under $5, for example.
We picked up the St. Louis Rib-N-Meat ($17.99) and the Baby Back-N-Meat ($21.49) for our main dishes.The baby back ribs were tender and had a massive burst of flavor, while the larger St. Louis ribs married extra meat with a solid flavor profile. The restaurant’s brisket was flaky, tender, and melts in one’s mouth; the more subtle tastes in the brisket can be heightened with one of the Famous Dave’s sauce expressions.
Famous Dave’s is able to add an entire dimension of flavor with their house BBQ sauces. The six offerings represent not only a scale of heat, but are fleshed out with bold expressions like their Georgia Mustard. The depth of these sauces mean that one can dip their Famous Fries in Texas Pit and get a bolt of heat immediately and a smokier ending. Even at the more mild side of things, Famous Dave’s is careful to include a variety of flavors that expand upon a general theme of sweet or savory. The availability of all six sauces at a table means that one can find their own favorite, but we wholly recommend Devil’s Spit (a hot, tomato-y, and slightly vinegar based effort).
Where many restaurants consider sides to be less of a focal point than the main dishes, Famous Dave’s puts a tremendous amount of time into each product that they offer. The grilled pineapple was crisp, firm, and was more savory than sweet, while the Wilbur Beans blended smoky and sweet in equal amounts, separating themselves from other beans dishes through the considerable amount of meat that was present – sausage, brisket and smoked pork were all here.
Famous Dave’s has approachable prices on their desserts, pegging each of their offerings at a $6-7 price point. The Hot Fudge Kahlúa Brownie was a great way to close the meal, linking together chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a Kahlua-infused brownie with a vanilla bean scoop of ice cream. The sit-down aspect of Famous Dave’s represents how barbecue should be, allowing friends or family the time to sit down, experience some great food and catch up in a no-stress environment.
Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que (26410 Great Northern Shopping Center, Great Northern Plazas, North Olmstead, OH 44070)