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Famous Dave's BBQ

Tasting a few selections from the huge menu of barbecued goodness at Famous Dave’s.

Famous Dave’s has been open (and quite popular) on Branson Landing for quite a while. So with summer approaching and a new Famous Dave’s location drawing crowds in southwest Springfield, we decided it was time to eat some barbecue! We stopped into the Springfield location on a rainy spring day with rumbling tummies to see what Famous Dave’s has to offer.

The menu is pretty enormous, filled with both typical barbecue fare and a few surprises (like punched-up side dishes and huge shareable meals served on trash can lids). There’s even a “Citrus Grill” section on the menu with healthier options for those whose diets don’t include mountains of saucy ribs. Those come with steamed broccoli and grilled pineapple for sides.

Even though I knew it would be more food than I could eat, I opted for a two-meat combination plate. I wanted to try as much as possible! My meat choices were the country-roasted chicken and the beef brisket. The brisket was served over a buttery piece of Texas toast with a little bit of barbecue sauce. The meat was incredibly tender, and it was full of beefy-smoky flavor without being greasy at all. Also on my plate as an entire gigantic chicken breast and wing, which I used for sauce sampling. (Again, very tender and juicy meat.) First I doused it in the vinegary Georgia mustard sauce; it was hands-down my favorite. I could have drunk a glass of that stuff. Then I tried the Texas Pit, my second favorite thanks to its super-peppery flavor. When I wanted a spicier bite, I tried the Devil’s Spit for a bit of heat. (Also on the table were the Rich & Sassy and the Sweet & Zesty sauces, but those weren’t really my style.)

On the side I opted for Wilbur beans and French fries. The beans didn’t have your typical baked bean flavor. Sure, there was sweetness. But there was also a bit of heat from jalapeños, and a meaty bite from pork, brisket and hot links. The fries were crispy, thick wedges (which I dunked in Devil’s Spit sauce instead of ketchup). And I got a bonus: My meal came with a warm—and super-sweet—corn bread muffin.

Eli migrated more toward the sandwich selections and decided to try the Georgia chopped pork sandwich. It came topped with barbecue sauce, coleslaw and spicy pickles. It was delicious, and after adding a side dish Eli could only eat about half of it. His side was the macaroni and cheese. I wasn’t sure about it at first; it came with corn, which didn’t sound that good to me. But after snagging a bite off Eli’s plate, I had to admit I was super-wrong. This mac and cheese was extra thick and creamy, with a little jalapeño heat and not too much corn. It was delish.

In our opinion, the meat and sauces were both fantastic at Famous Dave’s, and Eli and I gave the spot points for having fun with the side dish offerings. The mac and cheese and the beans both had jalapeños. The cooked apples had amaretto. The coleslaw had horseradish. The green beans had crushed red pepper. These are not the bland side dishes you sometimes find at barbecue spots that, despite fantastic meat, don’t have much else to offer.

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