Thursday, September 26, 2013
Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que (Denver, CO)
It was Day 2 of our quick trip to Denver, which clearly necessitated more barbecue. I've seen "Famous Dave" Anderson on numerous televised barbecue competitions over the years, but I've never had the opportunity to try his food. Luckily for me, there was a Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que location fairly close to our hotel.
This particular Famous Dave's is located in the Stapleton area of Denver. I immediately took note of the warm and welcoming feel to the place, especially with the fake timber on the walls. This was probably a nod to Famous Dave's Minnesota/Wisconsin origins. I took a seat at the bar since I was having lunch alone.
Famous Dave's had a full array of sauces and rubs available for purchase. Before I ordered, the bartender gave me a quick rundown of each sauce and its history, which was very helpful and informative. I really considered buying a bottle of the "Texas Pit" barbecue sauce, but I was flying home and didn't know if the liquid would do too well on the plane. The TSA has a history of confiscating hot sauce from my luggage, so I decided not to risk it.
Today's special was All-You-Can-Eat Rib Tips, which was too tempting to pass up. You also get one side (not all-you-can-eat), and I opted for potato salad.
The potato salad had an excellent crunch to it from all the veggies. I also found big chunks of hard-boiled egg mixed in. It was mostly mayo-based, but there might have been a little mustard too. If there had been just a tad more pepper, or perhaps some chili powder, the potato salad would have been perfect.
As for my Rib Tips (or rib knuckles, if you will), they looked phenomenal. There was an excellent bark-filled crust, and the deep red hue suggested a decent amount of smoke. I tried the rib tips sauceless at first to get a good feel for the meat. The seasoning blend on the crust was fantastic, though just a touch too salty. I definitely caught some good smoke in every bite. The meat also had a slight sweetness to it from the pineapple-laden glaze. Even for rib tips the meat was very tender and juicy. I actually found it really hard to stop eating once I had built up some inertia. Each variety of barbecue sauce was unique and tasty in its own way, but unsurprisingly the Texas Pit was my favorite, with its hints of hickory and chipotle. I was incredibly full after the first round of rib tips, but an all-you-can-eat order required at least one more round.
I think I had gone up a belt size by the time I was done. It's not often that I find five-star quality barbecue outside of Texas, but Famous Dave's offered up some exceptional smoked meat. I guess there's a reason Dave is famous after all.
Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que
7557 E. 36th Ave
Denver, CO 80207