We really want to love ‘Famous Dave’s”. We could not wait for this franchise to come to Northern California. It arrived and we had some very good meals. Dave Anderson the founder sold out to a large corporation and like all huge franchises the quality suffered in the name of the all-mighty dollar. Dave Anderson has returned to the fold and a new branch of Famous Dave’s opened in Alameda California. We decided to play the role of the prodigal son and give this new restaurant a chance.
This is week two of the new opening of this location. It is modern. It is missing the bbq kitsch that is associated with this chain. We walked through the doors to a sleek, industrial style dining area. It was minimalistic. It even had a new smell. There was a bar area with plenty of seating throughout. There were televisions scattered throughout the restaurant showcasing sporting events. Our waiter who was also the bartender introduced himself as “Famous Mathew”. I asked him why he was famous and his reply; I am famous because I am awesome. “All righty now”; we placed our orders.
If you click and enlarge the above image you will notice a smudge in the lower right corner of the menu. I thought this was a little gross. It turns out that this is imprinted into the menu to mimic a sauce smudge. There are several other smudges imprinted throughout the menu. Cute or tacky? We noticed several tables getting complimentary kettle chips. I guess we were not on this V.I.P list because we felt a little left out. Our food came promptly. Let me say, Famous Dave’s makes one pretty plates. The food looked fantastic. Ms. Goofy ordered wings with a side of mac & cheese. Ms. Goofy likes her blue cheese dipping sauce and requested extra. The server promised to return with more but must have got lost on her non-return. Unforatanetly the wings were over cooked. They were dry and a little chewy. Ms. Goofy did like her jalapeno studded mac & cheese.
Ribs and burnt ends was my choice today. I do admit I enjoyed both of my choices. The ribs were not competition caliper but if you saw the stripped bones on my bare plate you might wonder. The burnt ends were nice little cubes of meat candy. The sides of Cole slaw and beans were both cloying sweet and not so pleasant. My meal was supposed to come with corn bread but another server/kitchen mistake occurred. The server offered to give me a corn bread to go but I declined.
We really want to love Famous Dave’s. The little server mishaps might be forgivable. Did the ribs and burnt ends make up for overcooked wings? We are glad Dave Anderson is back but I am not sure if we will return. There are lots of other barbeque restaurants to explore and Famous Dave’s will be put at the very end of the que for now.