Checkin' out the smaller joints?


Brian Dahl

TVWBB Gold Member
Hello Dave - thanks for stopping by and your insights. Just some rambling thoughts here. When you travel around the country, do you eat at the smaller, Mom & Pop BBQ joints? The single location restaurant? Check out the local competition? Geographically, do you notice areas that were BBQ crazy, cooling down? Or, coast wide, has the rise in BBQ interest been a steady climb? Do you think it fair to compare your success to the state of BBQ in the country? I'm a back yard'er, non competition, like to eat out from time to time kinda guy. And, I'm sad to say, I didn't know the Portland area has three of your restaurants (until I just searched on your website :)) On my ''where do we go to eat the next time I'm in Portland'' list.
I always eat at the Mom & Pop joints as this is where I grew up. I have been in more BBQ joints probably than anyone in the country as I have been doing this for 45 years... since I was 15 and I have no idea before that where all my dad used to take me. My dad is a full blood Choctaw Indian and was from Idabel OK but we lived in Chicago. My dad knew every black owned store front BBQ joint in every city from Chicago to all over the south. It is from my dad where my BBQ passion started from. I figured one time that my bbq joint restaurant experiences must be in the thousands. And I remember almost everyone of them! I have a huge library of bbq joints form all over the country. I used to have one large bbq sauce collection from all these restaurants but some of my sauces and my collectible antique pigs got burned up in a huge warehouse fire that some kids playing with fireworks burned up a few years back. But I still have a pretty magnificent sauce & pig collection that didn't get burned up. California is a hot hot area but really all over I think with all the BBQ TV shows... they have spiked a lot of interest in BBQ Competitions. As the BBQ competitions increase and the number of winning contestants increase... you will see your greatest new crop of new bbq joints come from these BBQ contestants and not the established BBQ chain restaurants.... which I think is great because these raving loyal passionate fans of BBQ bring new ideas and new recipes to the world of barbecue! It is for this reason that I love checking out the new places and see what they are proud of. I think sometimes folks wonder how I can enjoy someone elses ribs or sauce or they think I am always "checking out the competition" and that is not the case... I love BBQ and I am checking this place out to see if I like what these folks call bbq. I have a number of favorite local bbq joints around the whole of America! And I always let these folks know if I like what they do!!! I encourage everyone to succeed. When I first put the first Famous Dave's outside of the original in Hayward Wisconsin...i opened it in Minneapolis where there were only 3 and today with the 14 restaurants we have...there are now 41 BBQ joints. So I always say I don't ever want to see any BBQ restaurants go out of business... I want them all to succeed because as the tide rised all boats rise...the same is true in the world of barbecue. Enjoy the Famous Dave's in Portland... they are good restaurants run by excellent franchise partners. Blessings my friend... "Famous Dave"