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Famous Daves and Sonny's

 
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tnbarbq
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Joined: 12 May 2008
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Location: West TN/KY Lake

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10 10 10:39 am    Post subject: Famous Daves and Sonny's Reply with quote

Been on the road a lot lately working. A few days ago I was in Brentwood, TN and decided to hit Famous Daves for lunch. Ordered a sandwich of smokes beef rib meat, soaked in a Dr. Pepper que sauce. Not a bad sandwich. A little chewy but the meat had a nice smokey flavor and the Dr. Pepper sauce was pretty good.
After lunch I headed to Knoxville and noticed a Sonny's near the hotel, so I made dinner plans. Got a combo plate of pulled pork and chicken. It was far better than lunch and I was very surprised at how good it was.
Most often, meals at the chain que joints are a major let down. On this particular day, I had one decent meal and one very good one. I will hit this Sonny's location again.
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Soapm
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10 10 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of give restaurants a break since I know they have to project how much meat to have ready at any given time. They never know when a huge rib order will come or if a traffic jam happens and no one shows.

I don't know how they keep that much meant tasting like it just came off the grill at 190 but I do know from time to time they miss the mark. I usually order something that I know is cooked fresh (fish, burger, steak etc...) when I'm out and save the Q for home...
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Rocko-la
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10 10 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Sonny's, but there are a lot of haters. I know it's not the best BBQ, but it is consistent. I know exactly what I'm getting when I go and they really haven't let me down.

Famous Daves is pretty good, most of the time. We have been when it wasn't.
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hogheaven



Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10 10 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Famous Dave's is all we got around here that I know of. I think it's pretty good, although the brisket is inconsistent.

Personally I think their sauces are the highlight.
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ackman



Joined: 13 Oct 2010
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Location: West Central WI Cold Country

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14 10 2:02 am    Post subject: Famous Dave's & a couple others Reply with quote

We have a Famous Dave's here & we've been to a couple other locations, including the original near Hayward, WI. We luv their food, but the ribs are inconsistent. Good & moist one time & dry another. Sad However, the managers & workers are FANTASTIC..always wanting to pleez ya!!! BTW...the Hayward location serves a GREAT Sunday Brunch!!! Very Happy
We also have a place called Mike's Smokehouse. They serve the "Texas style" bbq. Rolling Eyes The meat, especially the ribs are overdone & the sauce is more like mop...WAY to thin & vinegary...YUK!!!
There's also a new place that just stated up...don't recall the name, but have heard good things about it. They have a custom smoker/cooker, along with a small log cabin a trailer & outdoor seating...not sure what they're gonna do during the cold WI winter months! Shocked
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OldBob
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Joined: 01 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14 10 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go to the original Sonny's on Waldo Road in Gainesville once or twice a month with friends. The last time, when the waitress asked what I wanted I replied, "Good BBQ, but since I'm here I'll have the hamburger."

The sliced beef and brisket is dry and disappointing, the ribs are grilled and have no smoke flavor or ring, the pulled pork looks more like chopped and is pretty fatty, and on and on. I can remember when they had the best baby backs in town, I don't order them anymore. I think they're going on prior reputation and their sauces now. People sure seem to like their sweet sauce even though, to me at least, it tastes like it has liquid smoke as an ingredient.

The burger is fair, the sliced pork is better, and the "pulled" brisket is better yet, but still nothing to write home about. The half chicken is pretty good and the best thing on the menu is the High Springs chicken. Hey, anything with bacon has got to bej good, right?

It's a damn shame because they were so much better just three short years ago.

As far as sides go, I like the beans and corn fritters.
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Soapm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14 10 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody have a Bennet's? I'm not sure where they get their anorexic ribs but my daughter can eat a slab of those and they burn them thru to the bone.
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tnbarbq
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15 10 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soapm wrote:
Anybody have a Bennet's? I'm not sure where they get their anorexic ribs but my daughter can eat a slab of those and they burn them thru to the bone.


There's a Bennets in Jackson, TN abd it is bbbbbbaaaaaaddddddd.
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tnbarbq
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15 10 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soapm wrote:
Anybody have a Bennet's? I'm not sure where they get their anorexic ribs but my daughter can eat a slab of those and they burn them thru to the bone.


There's a Bennets in Jackson, TN abd it is bbbbbbaaaaaaddddddd.
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biker.chef
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16 10 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Famous Dave's corporation is from here in Minnesota.
There is one about every 1 miles around here.

To me Famous Dave's and the like have nothing to do with BBQ.
Its engineered food, created to meet marketing demands and to appeal to
a broad demographics. Its meant not to offend anyone and appeal to everyone.

Had worse but also had a hec of a lot better.
I like my food cooked by a person not delivered in truck from the cooperate warehouse.
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ackman



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20 10 11:04 am    Post subject: BBQ Restaurants Reply with quote

It's a well known FACT that we can make MUCH better 'que, 'specially ribs in our smokers/cookers than most BBQ joints. Wink However, there are a few backroad, Mom & Pop type bbq joints that are worth going to!!! Very Happy
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26 10 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original Famous Dave's in Hayward WI is still decent, I have never had a disappointing meal at that location. (Tall Pines Resort)
But the other locations have typically been disappointing and inconsistent.

Sonny's;
When they have their B-B AYCE special, and if I am in FL, my brother and I will stop and put a serious hurting on their food-cost ratio. I have not had anything else at a sonny's besides their BB's .
I have heard that sonny's has gone to centrally located commissaries and deliver food to be finished on location to help with their consistency. Can anyone confirm?
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gbque
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28 10 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I had no clue that Famous Daves started in WI. Da nort woods to boot...

Anyone like Rib City? I've eaten at one in Florida a long time ago. My grandma brings a bottle of sauce back to Wisco when she comes back for the summer. I always like the sauce. Can't remember the que though.
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Soapm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28 10 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
The original Famous Dave's in Hayward WI is still decent, I have never had a disappointing meal at that location. (Tall Pines Resort)


They have BBQ in WI? I thought they lived on cheese???
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Poppa's PTL Club
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30 10 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I have heard that sonny's has gone to centrally located commissaries and deliver food to be finished on location to help with their consistency. Can anyone confirm?


I understand that that is correct (I used to be involved in a non-BBQ capacity with a company that did business with the Sonny's franchisees).

As with all BBQ, it is very difficult to maintain consistent results, but Sonny's has done a fine job with that. It's consistently mediocre, but it's consistent.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10 10 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poppa's PTL Club wrote:

As with all BBQ, it is very difficult to maintain consistent results, but Sonny's has done a fine job with that. It's consistently mediocre, but it's consistent.


And that is the reason I still patronize sonny's locations if in the area, I know exactly what I am going to get, and with very few surprises. Of all the things that are important in serving food to the public, I feel consistency is at the very top of the list.
I hate needing to ask "Who is Cooking today?" when going out to eat so I can properly decide what to order, one cook may do a great job on a few items, but suck horribly at others, then cook #2 may make the other items great but they are unable to duplicate each others product.

Or lets say you go to a place one time, find a great item, so you bring back a group while bragging how good it was, but there is a different cook working when you get back there, and everyone orders the item you have been talking up, and it sucks and you feel like a huge doofus for talking it up.
When evaluating a new hire, I pay very close attention to what they are doing, and if the suggest "Changing things up" to personalize it. They typically do not last long if I see a chance of that happening.

Now back when I was "The New Guy" at a restaurant, I would only suggest ways to streamline the process, or lessen waste, but still have an identical finished product that the original designer had intended
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tac71
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21 10 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Famous Dave's here in Louisville is pretty good. Not bad for a chain and its very consistant on service and taste. I guess we are lucky here after hearing about everyones bad luck with inconsistant experiences with other locations. My brisket tastes better than their's, but damn if they always have me on tenderness. The waiter told me they cook their brisket high and fast. It doesn't have much of a smoke ring but it sure is tender.
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Natural Hattrick 3



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21 15 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have at at Famous Dave's in Champain IL, and Sonny's in Pensacola FL. Wife and kids preferred Sonny's.
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