Service was good: We were seated quickly. The place was busy, and the empty blue plate on the table seemed a bit strange, until the waitress came around and used it to show us the various sauces on the table. They also provided a bowl of fresh, thick potato chips with which to sample the sauces.
To be honest, most of them tasted very similar, and the "Devil's Spit" was only slightly hot. But none of them were horrible. Most were pretty good.
I had the rib tips, which proved to be the easiest way to eat ribs there. My friend had the brisket. The ribs were tasty, and had a good bark, with some smoke ring and a decent flavor. They also had a lot of fat, and some of the bark was because the outside of the meat was scorched (not just seared). In all, I'd give them a B on cooking ribs, based on the tips.
The brisket was tender, well cooked, had a good smoke ring, and had a decent flavor, but nothing to write home about. When Rosie O's was in business, the brisket there would have stood head and shoulders above this in tenderness and flavor, but alas! it is no more... and since one of the other BBQ places in Salinas shreds their (otherwise tasty) brisket, and another serves bad brisket buried in a sauce, Famous Dave's might now be the best brisket in Salinas.
Dave's is definitely worth another trip. It's not at either extreme in quality -- nearer the good end than the bad -- and is, overall, very good. The Service is first rate, and the atmosphere is pretty good.
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