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Yuma's Best 2012: Famous Dave's
Best All-Around, Best Catering, Best Barbecue, Best American
Famous Dave's is known for its barbecue, but don't try to tell its loyal customers in Yuma that it's just a place to eat barbecue.
As far as they're concerned, it's the area's best American food restaurant, best all-around restaurant and the best caterer.
The restaurant in the Yuma Palms Regional Shopping Center won in all those categories in Yuma's Best for 2012, the Yuma Sun's yearly poll of readers' favorite businesses.
Oh, it also won in the category of Best Barbecue restaurant in Yuma's Best.
How does a restaurant get to be all things to all people?
“It starts with food quality,” said Kenny Hagemann, the general manager of the Yuma restaurant. “We make everything in house. Desserts and everything else are made from scratch.”
Also key to Famous Dave's popularity, Hagemann's said, is good customer service – as reflected in a company slogan that likens customers to good friends invited over for a backyard barbecue.
He also attributes the Yuma restaurant's wide appeal to its efforts to promote a family-friendly atmosphere by offering discount meal prices for children and for military personnel.
Spicy rubs and a smoker fueled by hickory wood help give Famous Dave's claim to the title of best place for barbecue, he said.
Up to 260 slabs of ribs at a time are set out on the southern fried smoker, where they are smoked for 2-1/2 hours. Ribs are then covered in sauce and charred on the grill, allowing the sugar in the sauce to caramelize in a flavor that makes the ribs one of the most popular items on the menu, he said.
The menu also carries burgers, sandwiches and salads, but Hagemann said even those are served up with a barbecue spin. “You have to have passion and pride in the food you serve, and hopefully when people eat (Famous Dave's), it shows.”
Catering allows Famous Dave's to go to groups that for whatever reason can't come to the restaurant in the Yuma Palms. In fact, said Hagemann, the restaurant can cater groups of 500 people at parties, meetings, conventions and other functions.
“Any kind of event you have we can cater.”
Headquartered in Minnesota, Famous Dave's Yuma restaurant opened in 2006. It is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It's phone number is 329-7600. For more information visit, www.famousdaves.com.
“We thank the Yuma community for voting us Yuma's Best,” Hagemann said, “and we'll keep putting out quality products.”