The restaurant's big, beautiful rustic structure was built in 1994 with the look of a spectacular Adirondack Lodge. A large banner across the side of the building reads, "Celebrating 20 Years of Award-Winning Barbeque!" I had my photo taken by it and posted it on Facebook. Six minutes later, my Facebook friend Famous Dave Anderson commented on my post, "Hey I'm just driving up!"
Oh, wow - what a pleasant surprise. I did not expect I would meet the man himself at the first restaurant he built. After a few texts back and forth, we agreed to meet around 11am the next day. I was not only excited to meet Dave, but now I get to eat at Famous Dave's again.
We ended our meal with Dave's Famous Bread Pudding. The menu describes it best: Melt-in-your-mouth, scratch-made bread pudding and pecan praline sauce served warm with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. OMG this is so good. Definitely a BBQCRITIC.COM favorite.
We sat in the back by a window that overlooked Round Lake. Outdoor seating stretched across the back patio. Steps lead you to a dock where customers boat right up to the shore of Famous Dave's. Nice! The surrounding green trees and lake brought on a calm, peaceful dining experience. A place you can truly relax with nature and enjoy a meal. We watched a duck waddle around the seating area searching for food while other ducks bathed down by the dock. Customers were amused by this duck's presence and persistence to eat Q. This Famous Duck entertained the guests.
The next morning arrived. We walked into Famous Dave's and there was Dave seated in the back corner. We sat at our table and then I walked over to Dave to introduce myself. A handshake led us into a discussion about how BBQ has changed over the years and we talked a bit about the BBQ competition circuit. Dave judges and cooks and he talked about the different kinds of contests that span the country. Dave has a lot of interesting perspectives on business and life and I could have talked to him all day, but he was there for a publicity photo shoot and he had to work. Dave did walk out on the back patio and customers eagerly gathered their family together to take some snapshots with Dave. Soon after, Dave happily agreed to do an impromtu video interview for BBQCRITIC.COM.
Famous Dave Anderson was quite excited about his restaurant's 20th Anniversary, "Today we're celebrating our 20th year being in business this past June 2014. Got started 20 years ago and we just work every day to slow smoke the best barbeque and we live to make people happy with our made from scratch cooking."
Visit any Famous Dave's for delicious barbeque and you will experience a glimpse of the northwoods and hospitality, but the original Famous Dave's in Hayward, Wisconsin is the real deal. When we left to drive back home, a Black Bear crossed our path on the highway and rushed back into the deep woods.Yep! It's the real deal alright.
Out of 200 Famous Dave's restaurant locations, we just happened to pick the right one today. We got to meet Famous Dave Anderson himself.
Happy 20th Anniversary Famous Dave's!
9971 N Grand Pines Lane
Hayward, WI 54843
Dave Anderson's Fascinating Website: http://www.davidwanderson.com/index.html
America's Rib King Famous Dave Anderson: http://www.famousdaveanderson.com/