Friday, November 18, 2011

Famous Dave's--Chandler, AZ

Off by myself in Chandler, Arizona last week on a lonely Tuesday night the Famous Dave's restaurant at the Chandler Fashion Center stood out like an oasis. Dave's and I both come from Minnesota, after all, and I almost always make it a stop when I go back to the Midwest. There's a Dave's in Gilroy, but I've had only carry out from there and it's just not the same.

Never one to mess around during that rare visit to Dave's, I got the Award-Winning Ribs. I really don't know what Dave's does to make such terrific ribs that just can't be found anywhere else. Just as I expected, the tender, fatty meat fell off the bone, almost by gravity alone. The flavor was impeccable and didn't need any additional sauce. In fact, when I go to Dave's I almost always go for the unadulterated experience. Tuesday, though, I couldn't help myself.

I couldn't help but notice there were no fewer than four different sauces at my table. Also, the waitress was thoughtful enough to bring a bowl of potato chips for me to try out each sauce. Why waste valuable baby back just to try out a sauce? I still maintain no sauce is needed, but if you must, here's a primer:

Sweet and Zesty: Just like it sounds. I like things tangy and spicy, so this was my least favorite.
Texas Pit: Very smoky (how do they bottle that?) and spicy
Devil's spit: Of the four, it tastes the most like a traditional barbecue sauce, except it's spicy. This one was my favorite, but perhaps I liked it also because of the name.
Rich and Sassy: Big on tang and even had a strong hint of citrus.

Slurping the different sauces and mixing them together was probably the funnest part of the dinner (yes, kind of sad, but as I said, I was alone).

The fries were hit and miss. Though all were crisp on the outside, some were mealy on the inside, while others were good and fluffy. The other side I ordered was the Wilbur Beans, which came with shreds of brisket, jalapeno, sausage and pork. What a great combination! It'll be hard to take beans any other way from now on.

For me, having discovered Dave's, going to Chandler, Arizona on business (been there twice over the past nine days) just got a lot more attractive. Get there early, though, as the lot filled up on a weeknight. For some solitude, especially during those cold fall and winter nights, try sitting outside. Just wear a jacket.

Famous Dave's
3250 W Frye Rd
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 782-1212