America’s rib king, Dave Anderson is bringing his nation famous barbecue style to Lahaina. Famous Dave’s is moving into the 700 block on Front Street with 16000 square feet dedicated to feeding you their signature style of pit smoked ribs, chicken and brisket and house made sauces. Yes its corporate barbecue, but Famous Dave’s has a twist, founder Dave Anderson is a motivational speaker, a philosopher of positive vibrations, a book writer and he loves to smoke meat too. I caught up with him recently to find out what makes the protein monarch sing.
I hear you are a fan of Hawaiian barbecue. Tell me about your homage to this Hawaiian cuisine on your Maui menu.
Famous Dave’s is really excited about coming to Hawaii. I think that Hawaii having it’s own barbecue traditions is all the more reason why we will feel right at home because a great barbecue is really all about having family and friends over for an old fashioned celebration where all the food is homemade and the meats are seasoned and slow smoked over smoldering coals. And whether you’re on the mainland or in Hawaii, we believe folks everywhere love a good old-fashioned barbecue. Famous Dave’s is the “real deal!” when it comes to Real Pit Smoked barbecue!
When I heard that we were coming to Hawaii I was really excited because I have this really tasty Huli Huli style of barbecue sauce that is robust and a real mouthful of hollars! We call our sauce Huli Buli and it is generously slathered over charcoal chicken thighs… I have no doubt this is going to be everyone’s favorite! We are also going to be having traditional sticky rice, spam, along with grilled pineapple.
Okay, your menu is huge. What should I order on my first trip to Famous Dave’s?
I think the most popular thing on our menu is our All American Barbeque Feast served on a garbage can lid. We serve this extravaganza of barbeque on a garbage can lid because it is so huge but also to pay tribute to my humble up bringing. Back in the days when I was first learning how to smoke ribs, and I didn’t have a lot of money… I used to smoke ribs in an old garbage can that I shoveled smoldering hardwood coals into the bottom of it. When the ribs were done, I would take the garbage can lid off and turn it upside down and put my ribs in the lid. Today, our All American Barbeque Feast comes with a full slab of our award winning ribs, a country roasted chicken, your choice of smoked chopped pork or smokey beef brisket, honey buttered corn bread, corn on the cob, homemade creamy cole slaw, and the best tasting barbeque baked beans. It truly is an All American Barbeque Feast!
Wow that is a meal! You may be surprised at how much us Hawaiians can eat. How has your barbecue style changed since those smokin’ garbage can days?
When asked about how we make our ribs… I often tell folks that it’s an old family secret and the only they are going to get me to spill the beans is if we were getting married… and since I am already married… me giving up my secret recipes is just out of the question! However, what I can share is that we do our barbeque the old fashioned way just like Champion Pitmasters used to do way down in the deep-South. My dad, a Native American, of the Great Choctaw Nation in Idabel, Oklahoma where he grew up loving Southern Foods and great tasting barbeque. He always insisted that great barbeque was done low and slow over smoldering hard woods and then slathered with a full flavored robust tasting barbeque sauce.
You mention that your barbecue is critically acclaimed, what makes you the king of ribs exactly?
You know they say it ain’t boasting if you’re telling the truth! …and Famous Dave’s has won more awards than any restaurant in history! Over 500 Best of Class Awards, First Place Awards, Blue Ribbons, including Best Ribs in America, Best Barbeque Sauce in America, Best Desserts, Best Take Out Menu, Best Family Restaurant, and the one I get a kick out of… “The Best Place To Have Your Last Meal!”
Well, I am looking forward to see what you may win during our Best of Maui readers poll. Will any of our local beef be appearing on the menu?
To start off with, we will be bringing our beef with us until we get into the swing of things. Right now, we’ve had our hands full just getting everything across the ocean and set up. Once we get settled in, we will see if we can buy locally.
With so much rich smoked meat on the menu do you have anything for light eaters?
We are excited to be showing off our Citrus Grill menu which will be featuring several grilled entrees all around 600 calories. So our calorie conscious Famous Dave’s customers will be able to watch their calorie intake while enjoying great barbeque. We will be featuring a Grilled Salmon, Grilled Shrimp, A Steak, and our Famous Naked Ribs (sans sauce) all served with grilled pineapple and broccoli.
Will this be Hawaii’s first Famous Dave’s? What can we look forward to as the Famous Dave’s legendary experience?
This is Famous Dave’s first restaurant in Hawaii and it has been on of our company’s most anticipated opening as everyone in the home office has been begging to be on the opening team! I think everyone in Hawaii can look forward to some good old fashioned, made-from-scratch, down home-style barbecue! We take great pride in our real pit smoked meats and award winning barbeque sauces. We are all about serving up the best tasting food and loving up our guest with great service!
736 Front Street
Lahaina, HI 96761
Grand Opening Tuesday November 16th.
Hours of Operation
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.