Sunday, June 22, 2008

Famous Dave's vs. Red Hot & Blue: Battle of the BBQ Restaurants

Within approximately three miles of one another on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, a hungry traveler will find two barbecue joints on opposite sides of this flourishing highway.

On one side, across from Wegman's and Home Depot in the Market Place at Garden State Park, you will find Red Hot & Blue, a Southern-style barbecue franchise that features ribs, live blues music, and glasses the size of pitchers.

On the other side, almost diagonal from Ponzio's, you'll come across Famous Dave's, a cabin-like, rugged, family restaurant featuring St. Louis style barbecue.

So which one is better??

Well, personally, when it comes to BBQ the ideal situation is to visit a genuine, down-home, local restaurant since the food is generally fresher and more rebellious. But when it comes to big-chain food, I'd have to give both of these places two sauce-covered thumbs up.

Red Hot & Blue is a little more unique in that it has live music on many weekend nights. Local bands get to strut their stuff while you chow down on ribs and hush puppies. Famous Dave's, on the other hand, is a little more low key and probably a better family atmosphere, much like a Chili's (which you can also now find on Route 70).

Both restaurants offer competitive prices and both serve alcohol. Both have ample menus with choices for people who aren't just into ribs. Each has its own special bottles of sauces to try on your food and they both, of course, offer moist towelettes. And both offer large platters so there's a good chance you may be hauling out leftovers.

Really the main difference is atmosphere, and of course there's a difference in cooking styles and food flavors, but both are good in their own right.

So if you're looking for some BBQ-goodness, check out both dining establishments and see which one tops your scale. Ultimately, you really can't go wrong with either, in my humble opinion.

Red Hot & Blue: 2175 Route 70, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002; PHONE: 856.665.7427 (RIBS)

Famous Dave's: 104 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034; PHONE: 856-857-1520

1 comment:

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

Mmmm BBQ.If you are ever on the "other side" of SJ (the Shore) and find yourself on Rt. 9 in Forked River, check out Extreme BBQ. It's a mom and pop place that make REAL smoker BBQ- all they do it apply a rub and let it smoke for 12+hours (you can add sauce if you want). We have Famous Dave's over here,too, but this tops it. Never tried Red,Hot,and Blue, but will when we're in the area!