Date of Visit: 3-15-2012
Time of Visit: 12:30
Chicken, ribs or steak, it don't matter what you cook. If it ain't been barbecued, then it don't cut it in my book. From the back roads of the deep South to the Texas panhandle, I have had the pleasure of sampling some of this country's best BBQ. Arthur Bryant's, Charles Vergos' Rendezvous, Baker's Ribs and countless other juke joints throughout the South have left me with an insatiable craving for that myoglobin/carbon monoxide reaction that can only come from slow smoking unsuspecting and lethargic animals in huge pits of fire and brimstone! YUM!
Enter, stage left, Famous Dave's. I first discovered Dave's BBQ at his Blues Club on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis soon after moving to Wisconsin from South Texas (what the hell was I thinking?). I enjoyed a great night of beer, blues and cue with some co-workers and I have been a loyal follower ever since!
I recently had the opportunity to sample Dave's Appleton, Wisconsin store. Same decor as most of his other stores (There's a sale at Penny's!) with the all too familiar aroma of burnt offerings coming from the kitchen. Those burnt offerings rejuvenate everything! If you close your eyes, you can see the old empty steel drums found by Billy Bob and Bubba down by that der canal over yonder, cut in half and brimming with hardwood coals and ashes. Betcha can get some good flavor from them drums. Heck, they got them bone pictures on 'em! But I digress.
I was seated by the hostess (fancy!) and then ordered the Rib Tips (naked, of course) with the Roasted Chicken, BBQ beans and fries. Being the lunch rush, things took about 15 minutes, but I was able to entertain myself by scribbling dirty words, in alphabetical order (I have to do it in alphabetical order, I am a little CDO), on all of the sugar and not-so-sugar packets. The couple seated behind me must have thought me strange when I kept giggling and then kindly asked to exchange my container for theirs. Luckily, the food arrived before I got the letter "F".
The naked tips were mounded on half my plate. I read a review of this restaurant on Urbanspoon by ManBearPig that you should never order the tips because they are meat scraps and the marrow leaks out of the bones. YUM! Apparently, this neanderthal had no idea that rib tips are short, meaty sections of rib that are attached to the lower end of the spare ribs, between the ribs and the sternum. Unlike back ribs or spare ribs, the structure of the rib is provided by dense costal cartilage, NOT BONE! Bonehead! Rib tips are cut away from the spare ribs when preparing St. Louis Style spare ribs.
Anyway, the tips were a bit greasy with loads of fat but the dry rub is full of flavor and lends itself quite well to be dunked with a multitude of sauces. The beans were great with a nice BBQ flavor and the chicken was a little dry but flavorful. Now, you might ask why I got my Rib Tips NAKED? Simple, really. If you get them naked, you can savor each one with a different sauce! The Texas Pit, Devil's Spit, and the Georgia Mustard are my favorites and I never, ever, use ketchup for my fries. With all of those sauces on the table, why would you use anything else?
The service was okay, but nothing to write home about. So I won't write about it.
Overall, for a Northwoods boy, Dave does a fine job with BBQ and I am able to get my smoke fix whenever I have the occasion to be traveling near one of his joints. The best part of the meal was that wonderful corn muffin they serve on every plate! Like sucking Kansas through a bee's ass (maybe they will use that characterization in their menu)! Not sure how they make those delectable little morsels, but i'm certain Dave will be more than willing to share his recipe with me so I can then post it to this blog and become famous myself! But I'm not holding my breath because, just like the rib tips, there's a fat chance of that!