The following review was submitted by Brian Pearcy aka “The BBQ Guy” with minor editting.
36601 Warren Road
Westland, MI 48185
After a quick visit to the Westland Mall on 11/25/05, my wife Linda and I stopped by the Famous Daveâ€™s restaurant for lunch.
As we entered the front door, we immediately noticed that the interior decorators had gone to a great deal of trouble in an attempt to duplicate the atmosphere one might discover in a bon-a-fide southern-style BBQ place, even though most of the items appeared to be reproduction items. Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s hard to find genuine southern artifacts for display like that, but some of the items were obvious store-bought wannabe antiques.
We were greeted by the hostess and seated at a booth in the front dining room. The booths, tables and chairs in the dining room were made of wood and covered in red and white vinyl checker table cloths and floor was very clean. The numerous windows let in lots of natural sunlight and made a very pleasant impression. The dining room was filled with blues music emanating from several stereo speakers mounted strategically throughout the dining room. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Albert Collins were some of the artists I recognized.
Linda made a comment to me that for a bbq restaurant there was an absence of any smokey aroma she expected. When the waitress arrived at the table after weâ€™d been seated a short time, Linda asked, â€œHow come I donâ€™t smell any smoke?â€ The waitress replied, â€œDid you want to set in the smoking section?â€ Neither Linda nor I smoke cigarettes, but after Linda explained that she was referring to bbq smoke from burning wood or charcoal, the waitress struggled to explain that she shouldnâ€™t expect to â€œsmellâ€ smoke because the smoker was â€œin the backâ€. I think the waitress missed the point of the question entirely, but after a period of awkward silence and Linda trying to explain that she thought bbq cooked with burning wood or charcoal would produce at least some amount of smoke fragrance, we proceeded to place our order.
The waitress did an excellent job explaining the main menu items and accompanying side order choices. The restaurant menu has a lunch section and a dinner section, but customers can order from either one. The waitress explained that the lunch items are served in smaller portion sizes and are slightly less expensive. Famous Daveâ€™s offers appetizers, soups, salads, fish, burgers in addition to the â€œclassicâ€ bbq items. The â€œAll-American BBQ Feastâ€ serves 4-5 people for $53 and the menu also detailed a â€Feast for Twoâ€ for $30 in addition to various other combinations annotated as â€œcombosâ€.
Linda chose the â€œGeorgia Chopped Porkâ€ sandwich and I ordered the â€œTexas Beef Brisketâ€. Side choices included corn bread muffin, potato salad, creamy coleslaw, corn-on-the-cob, fries, apples, baked potato or beans. We both had the beans, and I added potato salad.
As we waited for our order we sampled the selection of sauces on the table which included traditional Heinz ketchup, â€œDevilâ€™s Spitâ€, â€œTexas Styleâ€, â€œGeorgia Mustardâ€, â€œRich and Sassyâ€ and â€œSweet and Sassyâ€. I liked the two sassy selections best.
After just a very few minutes the waitress brought our meals. The chopped pork was served on a traditional hamburger bun and sauced with the â€œSweet and Sassyâ€ barbecue sauce. My brisket slices were served on a slice of Texas toast, with a little â€œRich and Sassyâ€ barbecue sauce on top, and accompanied by a corn muffin and corn-on-the-cob in addition to the potato salad and beans I ordered. The chopped pork sandwich looked very tasty and Linda confirmed that it exceeded what she has come to expect from a commercial bbq restaurant. My sliced brisket was a little different from what I would cook at home and had no visible â€œbarkâ€ or bbq spice rub whatsoever, but it was good nonetheless. We were both satisfied with the meal and agreed that itâ€™s head and shoulders above any other barbecue weâ€™ve sampled since moving to the Detroit area.
The waitress brought Coke and Diet Coke refills without us having to ask and the receipt totalled $21. We left a $3 tip and left, pleasantly surprised.
On a scale of 1 through 10, Iâ€™d rate the overall dining experience an â€œ8.5â€³ and the barbecue as â€œgoodâ€. Linda made several positive comments on the way back to the truck regarding the good quality of service provided by the waitress.
â€œThe BBQ Guyâ€
Member Kansas City Barbecue Society
Member Florida Barbecue Association