Mac and Cheese Madness: Famous Dave's

By Ron Swarner on October 17, 2014

Dave's Cheesy Mac & Cheese might be the last mac and cheese you taste in your life.

When you enter Famous Dave's at 72nd Street and Interstate 5 in South Tacoma, you're hit with delicious smokey odors, loud-ass Southern-fried rock music and the assault continues in the form of mounted deer heads, wooden mallards, 1930s hunting magazines and deer-antler chandeliers barely lighting a big, hunting lodge-like room. The décor is where knotty pine and Cabela's meet.

Steak, burgers and best of all, sweet, messy, barbecue-sauce-soaked ribs in a barely-lit room is how Dave's rolls.

The specialty is barbecue. The food is served with sauce already applied; the barbecue chicken is especially good. There are paper towel rolls on the table. Have another rib in the dark.

Don't leave without trying Famous Dave's Down Home Banana Pudding made with layers of creamy banana pudding as well as whipped cream, banana slices and those little vanilla wafers. The dessert took me back to Lakewood potlucks and backyard barbecues of the ‘70s, where I used to find this stuff in a giant, worn green Tupperware bowl on a folding table. Eat every bite of the pudding. It might be the last pudding of your life.

Why so morbid?

Exiting Famous Dave's is scary.

After dining in the dark, my eyes screamed as I re-emerged into daylight. Arms extended, I walked like Frankenstein's monster toward the roar from Interstate 5, which sits on the other side of the parking lot. To add to the excitement, like a scene from Road Warrior, vehicle after vehicle speed from the left - half the drivers frustrated from the extended lights governing the flow on and off Interstate 5, half frothing at the mouth as he or she races toward WinCo Foods' grocery deals. It's death defying. It's blind Frogger.

The mac and cheese?

Dave's Cheesy Mac & Cheese is a decent side dish, and therefore is a side note here. Elbow macaroni created on a stove top with a "special sauce," Parmesan, sharp cheddar, corn and jalapeños ring in at $2.79. It's gooey with a good kick.

FAMOUS DAVE'S, 11 a.m. to midnight daily, 1901 S. 72nd St., Tacoma, 253.722.0500

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists