Famous Dave’s Keto Options for Low Carb Diets
Barbecue can get people hot, and not just by standing too close to the fire pit. For whatever reason, barbecue is a kind of cuisine that people feel passionate about and will drive many miles to get their hands on the genuine article. One of those people is the founder of Famous Dave’s, Dave Anderson.
One of Dave’s more memorable quotes is, “Pigs are afraid of me.” Pigs are right to be be afraid. Famous Dave’s sells over 16 million pounds of ribs every year.
Dave got his start early, with his father planning all the family vacations around visiting barbecue shacks. Dave himself once drove for 4 days to try out different barbecue cooking techniques, and he says he’s willing to drive across the country to get the right ingredients for his recipes. (Guess he’s not much of a flier.)
Can a chain possibly stand up to the hole-in-the-wall joints that seem to guarantee authenticity? Yes it can. Dave spent 20 years perfecting his recipes before opening his first location. (That lucky place was Hayward, Wisconsin back in 1994.)
Dave has won a lot of awards and competitions, including ‘Best BBQ Sauce,’ as well as smoking the competition on the Discovery Channel’s Destination America TV series, ‘Smoked’. By the way, Dave was no slouch even before he got into the restaurant biz. He’s got a Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard and he won an Angel Network Award from Oprah for his work with at-risk Native American youth.
Famous Dave’s nutrition information is available online, but we’ve gathered the best keto options here for you.
Keto-Friendly Appetizers at Famous Dave’s
Most of Dave’s appys are too carb-y but there’s one reliable keto-compatible item: wings. Spicy meat, creamy blue cheese dressing and crunchy celery, what’s not to love? Remember to order traditional (bone-in) variety.
- Buffalo Wings, Traditional (10 net carbs) A keto classic, but a lot of calories, over 1000. This is one to share (82g fat, 73g protein)
- Wilber’s Revenge Wings, Traditional (12 net carbs) You can probably guess this one is x-tra hot. (78g fat, 72g protein)
- Pineapple Rage Wings, Traditional (13 net carbs) Sweet heat. (78g fat, 73g protein)
- Devil’s Spit®Wings, Traditional (14 net carbs) For those who like it hot. (79g fat, 73g protein)
- Rich & Sassy Wings, Traditional (16 net carbs) Mild on heat, this one is starting to push it on the carbs. Definitely one to share. (79g fat, 73g protein)
Low Carb Salads & Bowls at Famous Dave’s
Keto eaters need their veggies, and a salad is the perfect way to balance a plate piled high with meat.
- Caesar Salad (13 net carbs) This count includes the croutons, which you will be passing on and getting the carbs down considerably. (23g fat, 6g protein) The Caesar salad is also available as an entrée with grilled chicken.
- Side Salad (14 net carbs) Count includes croutons. Request your salad without and bring your carb count way down. (23g fat, 14g protein)
Keto-Compatible Dressings at Famous Dave’s
We keto eaters know to keep a sharp eye out for sugary dressings. Luckily, Famous Dave’s has a lot of low-carb choices.
- Blue Cheese (0 net carbs, 30g fat, 2g protein)
- Caesar (0 net carbs, 24g fat, 2g protein)
- Light Italian (0 net carbs) Not a typical keto pick because we like fat, but with no carbs, it’s a-okay. (5g fat, 0g protein)
- Ranch (2 net carbs, 40g fat, 2g protein)
- French (2 net carbs, 22g fat, 0.5g protein) – The light version is okay too, same 2 net carbs but 10g fat.
- Thousand Island (2 net carbs, 26g fat, 0.5g protein)
- Lime Chipotle (3 net carbs, 28g fat, 1g protein)
- Italian (4 net carbs, 22g fat, 0.5g protein)
Award-Winning Low Carb Ribs at Famous Dave’s
The ribs are smoked with hickory, and cooked until they’re tender but do not fall off the bone (which, if you’re a rib fan, means they are actually overcooked.) Dave’s rib butcher is based in Minnesota and they select the racks specifically for Famous Dave’s.
- Louis Full Rack, Naked (1 net carb)– Yes, it only has one carb, but it has over 1700 calories. Pass the plate around the table — twice. (118g fat, 160g protein)
- Louis Regular 4-bone, Naked (0 net carbs)– A more reasonable amount of food for one person. (39g fat, 53g protein)
- Baby Back, Half Rack, Memphis (3 net carbs, 41g fat, 53g protein) – Also available as a full rack.
Pitmaster Favorites at Famous Dave’s for the Ketogenic Diet
Famous Dave’s sources the meat for its brisket at the prestigious Creekstone Farms out of Kansas. Their meat is responsibly raised, hand-selected and always fresh, never frozen. Making the brisket is a whole process unto itself. After being smoked with oak wood for 5 hours, it is seasoned with salt and pepper only, wrapped in butcher paper (which prevents delicious juices from being lost) and then cooked for another 10 hours or so. Exact carb counts not available for all items.
- Country-Roasted Chicken (1 net carb) Half a chicken, 100% perfectly char-grilled. (39g fat, 75g protein)
- Cedar Plank Salmon (4 net carbs) Grilled fish is always a safe bet for keto. (10g fat, 28g protein)
- Texas Beef Brisket – No exact carb counts available, but pass on the corn muffin and pick one of the keto-friendly sides from below and you’ll be okay.
- Southside Rib Tips – Ask for the BBQ sauce on the side or replace it with mustard to keep your carb count under control.
- BBQ Chicken – Ask for the Rick & Sassy®sauce on the side.
Keto-Friendly Sides at Famous Dave’s
Side dishes can be a carb disaster, but luckily, Dave has us keto eaters covered.
- Collard Greens (3 net carbs,13g fat, 7g protein)
- Memphis-Style Coleslaw (4.5 net carbs, 6g fat, 0g protein)
- Fire Cracker Green Bean (5 net carbs, 20g fat, 2g protein)
- Southern-Style Green Beans (5 net carbs, 20g fat, 1g protein)
- Broccoli (5 net carbs, 5g fat, 5g protein)
- Pecan Brussel Sprouts (9 net carbs) – A little on the high side, but if the rest of your meal is low, you can afford a splurge. (8g fat, 5g protein)
Legendary Burgers at Famous Dave’s for Low Carb Eaters
A burger without the bun is a keto fave. No exact carb counts for burgers without the bun, but Dave’s sauces tend to be on the sweet side, so stick to the basics of meat, cheese, lettuce and, you’ll do fine.
You can add brisket to any burger for 3 net carbs, 9g fat, 19g protein.
- Classic Cheeseburger – A classic for a reason.
- Dave’s Favorite – The bacon, cheese, lettuce and possibly the tomato slice are keto-compatible, but the Rich & Sassy®sauce is too sugary.
- Devil’s Spit®Burger – Once again the sauce is the culprit, but the pepper Jack cheese, jalapeño bacon and hell fire pickles are a-okay.
As for the Ultimate Burger, the Georgia pork and BBQ sauce are going to be too sugary, but you can still enjoy the spicy American cheese and jalapeño bacon.
What to Drink at Famous Dave’s on the Keto Diet
The usual suspects of water, coffee, tea, unsweetened iced tea or diet soda if you must.
Big platters of meat are one of the perks of eating keto, but remember, calories matter too. This kind of rich food should only be eaten occasionally.