Trying Out Famous Dave's In Abu Dhabi Mall

photo of Famous Dave's in Abu Dhabi Mall

I've been out and about lately and busy doing sooo many things (hint: I went back to my home country for a bestie's wedding last week and now planning another one for another bestie!)! With all these things coming, I am hopeful and excited for greater things but of course I will keep my readers posted *wink*.  Since last month, events and surprises came pouring in that I can't even touch my blog anymore. Luckily, I had the spare time to do one today and I promise, you'll be getting more of my previous eating sprees from different parts of the UAE (yes, I sometimes go out of Dubai just to eat!).

One of those I have tried was in Abu Dhabi - the restaurant is called Famous Dave's located in Abu Dhabi Mall.

Who Is Dave and Why Is He Extra Famous?

When my roomie's mom visited DXB last December, we made sure to take her to one of Abu Dhabi's tourist attraction (The Grand Mosque) before she flies back to PH, we had lunch at Famous Dave's after we received an invite from Mister C. He promised that the long drive from DXB to AUH will be worth it, and he did keep it.

The store manager was there when we arrived, and the first question I asked was 'Who is Dave?'.  He pointed out to the photo hanging on the wall near the entrance, with Dave showcasing his legendary method of cooking his famous barbecue - a reconstructed garbage can loaded with hickory wood. Of course the method evolved over time but one thing remained the same: they still slow-cook their beef ribs using hickory wood for 4-10 long hours.

photo of slow cooked Barbecue

Famous Dave's Trivia: Famous Dave opened his first BBQ Shack in 1994 in Hayward, Wisconsin. It became wildly popular, serving up to 5,000 people a week in a town of only 1,800. Today, the Original Famous Dave’s is one of the most photographed restaurants in Wisconsin.

The branch that we visited was at Level 3 of Abu Dhabi Mall. A branch in Dubai recently opened at Dubai Parks and Resorts but haven't had the chance to visit it yet.

At first glance, you might see a dim atmosphere but when you go further to where the windows are, the restaurant is actually well lighted. Long tables for big groups are available, infants can be given a high chair when needed. When we dined on a Friday, majority of the guests were Arab families. We picked a seat near the window (for photo purposes of course!).

We immediately placed our order starting from their Authentic Appetizers, Hand-Crafted American Flatbreads, Pitmaster Platters, down to their Heavenly Homemade Desserts.

A lady came in after taking our orders, placed an empty plate and small bucket of chips in the middle and poured in some sauce in triangular shapes: each barbecue sauce have different flavours! Barbecue sauce tip: mix and match, but I highly recommend Rich & Sassy® among all sauces.

Then the orders came in one by one, and the table was full - I wasn't prepared for a feast. The servings were so huge that a platter for 2-3 might even feed about 6 people.

Here's what we had:

Burnt Ends, a 'Dave Recommended' Authentic Appetizer - These are tender pieces of Texas Beef Brisket seared and caramelized with Sweet & Zesty® BBQ sauce. It comes with lightly breaded and flash-fried onion strings, served with rémoulade sauce .

Cedar Plank Salmon - this Pitmaster Platter arrived on our table by surprise. The store manager insisted as he said it's one of the best sellers that we really had to try. This Norweigan salmon was grilled, glazed and caramelized, and served on a smoldering cedar plank. Did we like it? Of course we did.

Smoky Beef Bacon Bleu, another 'Dave Recommended' from their Hand-Crafted American Flatbreads menu - had I known the large servings at Famous Dave's this could have been set aside for take away. White BBQ sauce topped with brie and blue cheese, caramelized onions, beef bacon and crisp arugula -  who will ever say no?

Then came a platter, Feast For Two (good for 2-3 people) as how they called it, with generous servings of Beef Back Ribs, Country-Roasted Chicken & Texas Beef Brisket; Creamy Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Famous Fries, Sweet Corn and Corn Bread Muffins and I was caught in a very good food comma. All meat were slow cooked, you can see the portions coming out of their bones in tenderness. Just remembering how I nicely placed them on my plate and slowly into my mouth...heaven.

We also got a good serving of Dave’s Dessert Sampler  because that's the last thing we can stomach - remember there were only 4 of us but Roy and I have the appetite of 4 people and yet, we came out of Famous Dave's in total food comma.

The Verdict: We haven't tried anything that we didn't like. I will definitely recommend this for families with big appetite, the serving is huge and it's really filling. The good news is, it will not hurt your pocket. My favorite in the menu is their Feast For Two at only AED 199 and the rest is somewhere between AED40-100. If you're planning to visit, the best timings will be 12nn until 1:30pm as it gets a little busy from 2pm onwards.

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Famous Dave's have branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, call 02-6587863 for more information.

We were invited by Famous Dave's to try their food at their branch in Abu Dhabi. Opinion and photos are my own.