It seems New York's never-ending obsession with barbecue ain't over yet. One of the newest entries is Famous Dave's which operates BBQ joints across the country. Dave's newest destination is in the heart of Times Square in what used to be an old theater. The high ornate ceilings remain, and the centerpiece is not one, but two huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling with the words ribs, chicken and corn bread in big red neon lights.
Rib joints don't get bigger than this. On the first floor is a large open bar with ample seating for large parties. Upstairs kind of has the feel of a '50s diner with bright red checkerboard banquettes and a flaming staircase. It's a bit hoakey, but already the tourists seem to be eating it up. But it's also a spot native New Yorkers could enjoy, from the country charm of its staff to the healthy portions at prices that will help guide you through any recession.
We tried the Rib-n-Rib Combo ($22.95); a mix of St Louis style ribs that were thick and juicy that went great with the tangy barbecue sauce, and Memphis-style baby backs that had a healthy coating of dry rub and a bit more heat. In both cases the meat literally fell off the bone, and in my humble opinion could easily stand up to the ones I've tasted at Blue Smoke and R.U.B. The ribs alone could easily feed two adults and child. In fact, we probably could have taken a pass on the Country-Roasted Chicken ($13.99) which had a wonderful char but was a tad on the dry side. Both dishes came with terrific corn bread that was moist and flavorful. Other fixins included chunky potato salad thick with mayo and lots of crunchy bits of diced celery, mac-n-cheese spiked with bits of jalapeno, and tangy cole slaw with just a hint of horseradish.
You'll also find Corn-Dusted Crawfish ($9.99), Catfish Fingers ($8.99), hickory smoked Texas Beef Brisket ($14.99) and a T-Bone Steak ($22.99) on the menu. If you have room left you might want to try a slice of what's billed as "Better Than Mom's" pecan pie or a Hot Fudge Kahlua Brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
We liked Dave's from its honky tonk vibe to its finger-lickin' good ribs!