736 Front St., Lahaina, 661-1125
Open Sun.-Thurs. 11am-10pm,
Grand opening Tuesday (November 16)
Maui, prepare to lick your fingers: America’s rib king, Dave Anderson, is bringing his beloved barbecue to Lahaina. Famous Dave’s will move into the 700 block on Front Street with 16,000 square feet dedicated to dishing pit-smoked ribs, chicken and brisket slathered in house-made sauces. Yes, it’s corporate barbecue, but Famous Dave’s has a twist: founder Anderson is a motivational speaker, an author and a philosopher of positive vibrations.
I caught up with him recently to find out what makes this meat monarch tick.
I hear you’re a fan of Hawaiian barbecue. How are you planning to work local cuisine into your Maui menu?
Hawaii having its own barbecue traditions is all the more reason why we’ll 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 barbecue.
When I heard that we were coming to Hawaii I was really excited, because I have this tasty Huli Huli style of barbecue sauce that is robust and a real mouthful of hollers. We call our sauce Huli Buli, and it’s generously slathered over charcoal chicken thighs. I have no doubt this is going to be everyone’s favorite. We’re also going to have traditional sticky rice [and] Spam, along with grilled pineapple.
Your menu is huge. What should I order on my first visit?
The most popular thing on our menu is our All-American Barbeque Feast, served on a garbage can lid. [That’s] because it’s so huge [and] also to pay tribute to my humble upbringing. When I was first learning how to smoke ribs and I didn’t have a lot of money, I used to smoke them in an old garbage can. When the ribs were done, I would take the garbage lid off and turn it upside down and put my ribs in. The 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.
Wow, that is a meal, though you may be surprised at how much us Hawaiians can eat. How has your barbecue style changed since those smokin’ garbage can days?
Our recipes are an old family secret. 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, grew up loving Southern foods. He always insisted that great barbeque was done low and slow over smoldering hardwoods and then slathered with a full-flavored, robust sauce.
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’ll see if we can buy locally. ■
Got a hot food scoop? Contact Jen Russo at 280-3286 or fax to 244-0446.
To read more from Famous Dave, visit our food blog: mauidish.com
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