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Famous Daves BBQ Food Review

Updated on January 26, 2011

Famous Dave's

The other night my wife and I decided to take a trip to Vista for some BBQ. We wanted to see if the much hyped Famous Dave’s BBQ lived up to the buzz. I tried to find their Vista location on their website, but the link was bad and couldn’t get an address. Thanks to modern technology I was able to find it on my GPS enabled phone.

So I got my route all planned out, picked up my brother (who is also a big rib fan), his girlfriend, and we were on our way. The establishment is fairly new along with some other retail shops and restaurants in the area. There is a bright red truck parked out front that reads, “Dave’s BBQ pit crew.” I felt the aroma of BBQ reach my nose as I made my way through the parking lot. I could hear the sound of Miles Davis playing through the overhead speakers as I walked through the front entrance, “This was my kind of place” I thought to myself.

I noticed a small lobby area for those willing to wait for sweet succulent ribs. We got lucky and were seated right away. I noticed a cashier on the right for those taking “Tu-Go” orders. We sat down in a slightly raised booth with a large roll of paper towels; I knew it was going get messy shortly.

I opened the menu to an overwhelming amount of selections. But undaunted by all the pictures I pressed on. I searched for the beef ribs, and found none. I asked the server if they served beef ribs, she told me they only serve pork ribs. This was rather disappointing as I believe BBQ joints should hold on to the trinity of BBQ; Beef, Pork and chicken.

I noticed when ordering that the server was very knowledgeable of the menu and was not shy in making recommendations.

I settled on the “Original Ribs n Meat” which consisted of original pork ribs, beef brisket with a side order of BBQ beans and Potato salad. In the meantime I ordered a Pepsi that was brought to us quickly in a standard restaurant glass.

The look on the inside of the restaurant was that of an old time barn. With rafters, cans on old shelves mounted to the wall and various wooden signs. They feature a full service bar equipped with flat screen TV’s for those sports fans.

While waiting for our food we could not help that there was something missing…oh yeah no breads. We couldn’t help but noticed that there was no type of breads given to keep ourselves entertained while we waited. This was punishing as we watched other orders whiz past us, while we sat starved.

On each table there are 5 bottles of various Famous Dave’s signature BBQ sauces. All of them were great from sweet to zesty.

Our food arrived on large round plates filled on all sides. I noticed some corn bread, which would have been nice to have earlier. I first took a bite of the corn bread, this is what corn bread should taste like, warm and just melts in your mouth. No butter was given to us, which would have been good for both the corn bread and the half corn cob. The half corn cob was good, but not excellent, very, well, Denny’s like. Roasted corn would have been a much better compliment to the rest of the meal. The potato salad was very good; I have never been a fan of the little crunchy things in potato salad but would still recommend it to anyone.

The baked beans were excellent. I would have taken two sides of baked beans had I known how good they were. They surpass the baked Beans of the Los Angeles rival Lucille’s BBQ (official review to come out soon). The beans have small pieces of spicy sausage which I felt was a great compliment to the sweetness of the beans.

Now, on to the main portion of the meal. The beef brisket was good. A little thick, not very tender and required some of the BBQ sauce on the table. Under the brisket was a thick piece of white bread, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I took a bite. It was pretty good white bread, but just set it aside as I had more important fish to fry.

The meal came with half a slab of pork ribs, it occupied about half of my plate. The pork ribs were very well presented. I began to try and pull the ribs apart; this is when I noticed that they only provided us was a butter knife. A more appropriate cutting knife would have been appreciated. The meat ratio on the ribs was good about a 1:3 meat to bone ratio, which was good. The meat did not fall off the rib, but was tender and came off easily. The original flavor of BBQ sauce was very good. I could taste a tinge of the burnt which I like a little, but not too much, which was ok. The overall rib was very good and fell easily into a top slot for pork ribs. The overall rating for Famous Dave’s is a strong 4 out of five stars. Some tweaking of the minor details would land them 4.5 out of 5. A 5 out of 5 would require the addition of beef ribs to their line.


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