the inside scoop on Old Southern BBQ and Famous Dave’s

I recently chowed down on a half slab of ribs at Old Southern BBQ at 44th and France in Edina, Minnesota with my friend Tom, A.K.A. Talking Tom. As usual we chatted about many things while slugging down those ribs. From work to tennis to Simon Greenleaf (the famous Harvard Law Professor) to ribs to Famous Dave’s.

I had visited here about 2 weeks ago and learned that Dave Anderson, of Famous Dave’s fame had a hand in this, that this restaurant was the 4th to open and was a subset of Famous Dave’s. Or so I thought.

It had been my understanding that Famous Dave wanted to try some new recipes and along with a desire to offer fast casual restaurant service, as that is today’s trend. So under the Famous Dave’s umbrella the Famous Dave’s chain opened up their first Old Southern BBQ restaurant in Hayward, Wisconsin in 2015 (it says so on the wall). And added two more in the Wisconsin area before opening up their fourth in Edina, Minnesota, the one myself and Talking Tom were eating at. It should be noted that the original Famous Dave’s restaurant also opened up in Hayward, Wisconsin, those years.

I noted to Tom how the ribs I had a week earlier were a more brown muddy color and fall off the bone, as in fall off the bone. At that time, internally, sprouting from my own internal thought process I had declared them to be on par to Mark’s Feed Store in Louisville, Kentucky. And if you’ve read my posts or my book, Curveballs: Sweet & Smokey Down The Barbeque Trail, you know they are at the top of my list.

The ribs today were a little different, and closer to what I might get at Famous Dave’s, which made sense since this was an offshoot of them. So I thought. Tom and I talked about this, the differences between Famous Dave’s and Old Southern BBQ. We dissected the ribs, muffins, beans, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and rice too!

Here at Old Southern BBQ the muffins are muffin tops, i.e., just the tops of the muffins. Interesting, I thought, and rather ingenious, and soooo good. Tom didn’t like the rice, and he gave a slight edge to Famous Dave’s because he like their sides a little better. That’s one consistent feature of Famous Dave’s. Their sides rock! Those muffins the serve are beyond delicious, and their beans and corn and potato salad and coleslaw, oh my goodness.

But here at Old Southern BBQ those sides were of the utmost quality, but a bit different than at Famous Dave’s, which made sense given the goals of Old Southern BBQ to be different than Famous Dave’s. All of this led Talking Tom and myself to ask the waitress in curiosity about the history of Old Southern BBQ and the differences between them and Famous Dave’s.

Her words jumped and contained great enthusiasm. And this is what we learned. Famous Dave, as in Dave Anderson, has nothing to do with Famous Dave’s anymore. He owned just one Famous Dave’s Restaurant, and that burned down. He wanted to get skin in the game so decided to open up a restaurant based on his own childhood recipes. And thus, Old Southern BBQ was born. It’s there goal to experiment, why may explain why the ribs I tasted a week ago were a bit different than now, and I love the idea of trying new ideas and recipes.

Tell me that ain’t the greatest muffin ever. Look at ’em. We dove into the finer details of those muffin tops and agreed that a lot of people only really eat the top, that’s the best tasting, gooey, bendable, crunchy part of the muffin. I routinely eat only the tops of muffins, and cake and cupcakes too. I rip off the part with the frosting and gulp them down. Same with muffins. This got to the heart of the thinking of Old Southern BBQ.

I love that at Old Southern BBQ they are experimenting, and that Famous Dave himself is getting skin back in the game, and he’s coming with all 8 cylinders firing. It’s a win Talking Tom and Me, and you too…for all of us. Go get ’em tiger!


Final Edit

I’m doing a final edit on the 2nd book in my travelogue trilogy. It’s amazing that I still find errors after so many previous edits and so many eyes looking at it. Amazing. BUT, that is part of the process. And I’ll start filming my short little Big Reveal video so I can tell the world the name of this 2nd book. Stay tuned.


I’ve already made a short 1:41 minute video showing you the inner workings of the brainstorming process for the name of the 2nd book in my travelogue trilogy. If you’ve seen the video, click here, you’ll know that this naming business isn’t easy. So much to take in, so much to process, so much to think about, so much to decide.

But alas, I have decided! And I’m going to let you in on it by way of a new video showing The Big Reveal. Yes, fans, I’ll soon post that video so you, and you alone, will know the name of the 2nd book in my travelogue video. Oh, the making of this is a process. Much goes into it. I’m brainstorming ideas for it right now as we speak (really, just me speaking).

I have the general outline, but I need props people. I need a pair of aviator goggles like Dr. Poison wears in Wonder Woman (a fabulous movie, BTW). I think I got the helmet I need, just have to find it somewhere packed in all that crap in the garage. Scarf. Check.

Oh it’s going to be fun! Fun I tell you. So be patient. Don’t panic. I’ll keep you informed. An soon, soon that I’ll post it up on my youTube channel. Stay tuned.


Watch and see my innermost brainstorming processes in my quest for the ultimate title for the 2nd book in my travelogue trilogy. A true blue travel writing journey into the mind of … ME.

It’s Coming

Yes it is. I’m brainstorming ideas for the title of my new book coming out soon, the 2nd in my travelogue trilogy. And I need a title. So I’m doing a little brainstorming, a bouncing around of ideas. I’m not judging yet. I’ve made no decisions. The process must continue.

And to let you in on the fun, I’m creating a little video that lets you in on my process. Oh it will be fun. I’m finishing it off now, and tomorrow, Sunday, May 21st, 2017, I’m releasing it for your very eyes.

You’ll get to see my highs, and my lows. My ideas, all of them. I’m sure you’ll have your opinions. Don’t be shy on sharing them! I need all the help I can get, as you’ll see in my video.

Take Care.

A little brainstorming never hurt anyone

So that’s what I have done, and will be doing…brainstorming! As you probably know by now I don’t have a title yet for the 2nd book in my trilogy. I’m working hard to change that situation. I’ve already held a brainstorming session or two and soon, soon, you’ll see some of the results of that. I’ll keep you posted, stay tuned.

a few thoughts

It’s has been a couple of weeks since I did my Grand Experiment, where I went wild with Twitter Mania, putting excerpts of the 2nd book in my trilogy up on Twitter. I got a very positive response. A lot of tweets and retweets. And the winner of my contest, the person who got the 1st book, Curveballs: Sweet & Smokey Down The Barbeque Trail, lives right across the river from me in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fun.

I appreciate all who tweeted, retweeted, and entered my contest. I had a blast, and for that I thank you. I’m excited to put the 2nd book in my trilogy out here in 2016. I still have to get a title though. I’m starting that process this week.

I’m putting together my brain trust and we’re going to head to a local coffee shop and brainstorm. I noticed something interesting about my 1st book. As the title has the word barbeque in it those who take a quick look at it on Amazon or those whom I tell about it conclude it is a cook book…with recipes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Recently, someone took a look at my description of it on Amazon and concluded it’s a cookbook. I went to great pains to ensure my description both on Amazon and on the back of the book made no mention of being a cookbook or having recipes. I emphasized that my book is a travelogue, travel writing, the journey, and adventure, in my search for barbeque.

But I think we as humans see the word barbeque in all its forms our brain takes a shortcut and convinces itself it’s a cookbook with recipes. Interesting, this human psychology.

So that presents the challenge in naming the 2nd book in my trilogy. Do I dare mention the word barbeque in it given it follows the 1st book. But like that one, it’s not about any sort of recipes, but about the adventure of my search for barbeque Atlanta, GA. The people, the life, the atmosphere and all that Atlanta encompasses. Tricky business, this naming business, to convey what my 2nd book is about without the psychology of the human brain taking an interpretive shortcut that leads to an erroneous conclusion.

Well, me and my brain trust have some work to do, to brainstorm, to fuss, to experiment, to research until we get that title just the way we want it. And to come up with a description that leads the human brain to the correct interpretation of what it sees.