Here's the thing about Famous Dave: he wasn't always famous. Dave Anderson inherited his passion for barbecue from his father, a humble construction worker who knew where to find the best barbecue on Chicago's street corners. In 1994, Dave opened his first barbecue shack in Hayward, Wisconsin, and before long, the shack was attracting 5,000 customers weekly—a momentous feat considering Hayward had a population of 1,800. Dave's lifelong pursuit of barbecue perfection had certainly paid off. It gave him a new life's work to be proud of. And, of course, a new first name to put on his passport.
With locations now spread across the U.S., Canada, and even Puerto Rico, Famous Dave's has become a revelation for barbecue fans. It has earned more than 700 awards, including first-place honors for its ribs, wings, and sauces. Most of these awards have Famous Dave's cooking process to thank. For every batch, pitmasters hand-rub high-quality cuts and cook them for hours at a time in live-wood smokers, taking care to not disturb the dragons napping between the logs. For Famous Dave's renowned ribs, the process has an extra step after the smoker, as each rack gets tossed on a grill to caramelize the sauces before serving.
Cooks at the family-owned Hammi's BBQ slather tender cuts of pork, beef, and chicken in a signature dry rub before slow-smoking morsels over cherry wood. Skilled hands sculpt burger patties and pull pork on site, piling platters with honey-glazed ribs and texas brisket showered in house-made barbecue sauce alongside fresh-sliced curly fries and cornbread accomplices. Red, wooden stools speckle the restaurant's patio for outdoor dining, and the restaurant dispatches its mobile barbecue truck to serve up meals at concerts, festivals, special events, and the North Pole.
Situated along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Taste of Wine Country Cafe beckons visitors to stop in between tastings to kick back and grab a bite to eat from its menu of homemade baked goods, soups, and desserts. Inside, take a seat at one of the wooden tables before ordering an item from the breakfast menu?served all day. Other dishes employ local ingredients, such as salads topped with dressings made using Buttonwood Grove Winery wines and quesadillas filled with vegetables saut?ed in butternut-squash-seed oil from Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods. Travelers of all kinds are welcome thanks to the caf?'s ample parking lot, which invites motorcycles, cars, campers, and space chariots.
At Label 7, fresh ingredients such as crisp shaved fennel and gruyere cheese garnish entrees inspired by the light, healthy cuisine of California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Wicker chairs flank tables in the softly lit indoor dining room. Oversized white flowerboxes stand guard along the perimeter of a canal-side patio, where a brigade of umbrellas shields patrons from splashing during nearby diners? attempts to literally wade through the wine list.
Since 1945, Don's Original has been stifling stomach rumblings with varied menus consisting of famous original sandwiches, not-yet-famous sandwiches, plates, and sandwich-complementing sides. Don's Original maintains a come-as-you-are atmosphere, allowing customers to order comfort eats free from the chaos of family-member-attended singles' masquerade balls. Savor your selection while watching sandwich engineers manufacture mouthwatering masterpieces at the inside counter, or take your order to the patio and dine at one of Don's outdoor picnic tables during warmer months (not available at the Brighton location).
The owners of Greece/Penfield Hots report that at least one customer per day requests the recipe for their house hot sauce. It has even happened at weddings. The sauce has been a guarded family recipe for more than 70 years, and its tongue-tingling blend of spices actually inspired the owners to open their own burger and sandwich joint. Here this peppery concoction serves as an ideal condiment for the eatery's burgers, subs, loaded hot dogs, and gargantuan rubbish plates.