Last Friday we were in the mood for barbeque and rather than drive all the way across the valley to Q4U (the third of the three big BBQ names in the greater SLC valley, the other two being Sugarhouse Barbeque and Pat's BBQ), we decided to try something closer: Famous Dave's. Yes, it's a chain. And we almost never eat at chains if we can avoid it. But I've not been enamoured of the SLC BBQ offerings to date and we were hopeful that maybe Famous Dave's would pleasantly surprise us.
Not so much.
The menu certainly has enough options: St. Louis-style pork ribs, "Georgia" chopped pork. brisket, chicken, sausage, catfish, rib tips, wings. H and I each went with a two-meat combo (which I must remind myself to stop doing as it's just too much food): I had the chopped pork and the rib tips; H had the chopped pork and the brisket. The combos came with a cornbread muffin, corn on the cob and two sides, including BBQ beans, mac & cheese, coleslaw, red-skin potatoes, etc.
The chopped pork was pretty good and if I ever have to go back to Famous Dave's, that's what I'll get. H's brisket slices were overcooked practically to mush and the rib tips were wildly inconsistent: well-flavored but some were terribly chewy and others more fat than anything. All the meat came drenched in a sweetish sauce, which was too bad as (1) I prefer my BBQ dry so I can add sauce as I like and (2) some of the sauces on the table were pretty good, including the Georgia Mustard sauce and the black peppery Texas Pit sauce, either of which I would have preferred to what came with.
Our server was attentive and pleasant; and there's a full bar and the draft beers include some local Utah micros (served too cold). But all in all, I don't think Famous Dave's is anyplace I need to go back to. The quest for good Utah BBQ continues!