Updated May 8, 2023
Are you expecting a new arrival soon and wondering if it’s safe to indulge in the delicious BBQ dishes offered by Famous Dave’s when pregnant?
Whether you’re craving their brisket, ribs, or another finger-licking treat, let us help clear up this tricky topic.
We’ve gathered insights from our medical professionals and analyzed ingredient labels to answer that all-important question:
Can I eat Famous Dave’s while pregnant?
You can trust we did our homework so you can make sure your bundle of joy—and your cravings—are taken care of.
Can I eat Famous Dave’s while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat at Famous Dave’s while pregnant.
Our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD said that it is safe to eat at Famous Dave’s while pregnant as long as you eat foods that are properly prepared, that includes being made fresh and cooked completely.
You’ll need to follow a few simple tips when ordering and making smart choices is essential.
- It is safe to eat BBQ meat (Beef brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and ribs) that is fully cooked and served hot.
You need more protein than usual, so don’t forget about the meats – just make sure your choices are well-cooked before digging in.
You should avoid smoked and dehydrated meats like sausages and any type of jerky.
Ask if the BBQ sauce contains any alcohol.
You’ll want to skip bourbon BBQ sauces if they contain alcohol, not all of them do, but it is important to ask.
And when it comes to BBQ sauces and marinades, choose wisely – stay away from anything that contains large amounts of sugar or vinegar which can upset your stomach.
- Keep it cool with salads – greens, tomatoes, onions, croutons, etc., will give you both flavor and texture to enjoy!
They have a good selection of salads that are not only delicious but are packed with nutrition that both you and your baby need. If you want to make sure you are eating healthy at Famous Dave’s order one of their salads!
- House Salad: Diced tomato, sliced cucumber, shredded Cheddar cheese, and croutons on mixed greens with a choice of dressing.
- Dave’s Sassy BBQ Salad: Romaine lettuce topped with smoked pulled pork, beef brisket, or chicken, shredded Cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and our signature Sassy BBQ sauce.
When ordering a salad at Famous Dave’s you should avoid blue cheese and caesar dressing.
They are not safe to consume during pregnancy.
Ask that salads be made with no blue cheese crumbles.
It is safe to eat ranch dressing at Famous Dave’s.
They use a commercially prepared dressing that is pasteurized.
- Use common sense when it comes to portion control
Listen to your body and stop eating when you start feeling full.
You’ll want to limit your consumption of dishes made with sauces that are loaded with sugar.
If you have a burger limit it to once in a while.
It is best to choose either the BBQ chicken or cedar plank salmon dish as they are going to be low in fat and calories while being high in protein and other nutrients.
If you order one of their BBQ feasts plan on sharing it with your dinner companions.
I love to order the pick 2 (pictured below).
I love their ribs and pulled BBQ chicken, you could skip the fries and order a side of grilled veggies or a salad.
Photo: Maternity Comfort Solutions
- Go easy on the dry rub if it is hot and spicy.
Always go easy on the spice if you’re sensitive to seasonings.
You may be more sensitive to certain spices during pregnancy, so try to keep a lookout for ingredients like cayenne pepper or chili powder when ordering sauces or marinades at Famous Dave’s.
Here are a few of our favorite Famous Dave’s pregnancy-friendly favorites:
- Dave’s Sassy BBQ Salad: Romaine lettuce topped with your choice of smoked pulled pork, beef brisket, or chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and our signature Sassy BBQ sauce.
- Cedar Plank Salmon Platter: Atlantic salmon lightly seasoned with garlic and herbs, grilled to perfection on a cedar plank. Served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
- BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich: Made with rich and sassy sauce and comes with 1 side.
- The Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich: Tender, slow-smoked pork marinated in a sweet & tangy Georgia Mustard BBQ sauce, served on a bun or Texas toast.
- Beef Brisket Sandwich: Slow-smoked beef brisket sliced thin and piled high on a bun for an authentic BBQ flavor!
- Grilled Chicken Breast Platter: Grilled chicken breasts marinated in BBQ sauce, served with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes.
- Pick 1 or Pick 2 combo: Pick 1 combo is your choice of meat and 2 sides or 2 types of meat and 2 sides.
What are some menu items that I should avoid while pregnant?
You should avoid the following menu items while pregnant:
- Deep Fried Foods – Fried cheese curds, fried pickles
Having said that sharing a deep-fried appetizer with other people and having a small portion is fine.
As long as eating fried foods does not make you feel sick.
Some women find that during pregnancy eating fried foods causes them to have heartburn or makes their morning sickness symptoms much worse.
- Alcoholic drinks should be avoided – Avoiding drinks made with alcohol is a must for any pregnant woman.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to you and your baby, as there is no known safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed.
Fortunately, Famous Dave’s still has plenty of options for a night out that is both delicious and pregnancy-safe.
Opt for a fancy mocktail to make your dinner out even more enjoyable!
- Whiskey Sausage Link Platter: Smoked sausage links topped with melted cheese, smothered in their signature whiskey sauce.
Processed meats like sausage and ham can carry listeria, which can be fatal to you and your unborn baby.
Our OB/GYN believes the risk of contracting listeria outweighs any benefits of eating smoked, cured, or processed meats.
- Mac and cheese
The mac and cheese at Famous Dave’s is a creamy, comforting dish, but it should be enjoyed in moderation due to its high fat and calorie content.
If you’re looking for a delicious side dish that won’t derail your healthy eating goals, choose something lower in fat and calories such as grilled vegetables or a salad.
Enjoying a small portion of mac and cheese can still be a tasty indulgence – just be sure to take the rest home for later!
Famous Dave’s nutrition information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:
Dave’s Sassy BBQ Salad
Cedar Plank Salmon
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich
The Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich
Beef Brisket Sandwich
Grilled Chicken Breast
Helpful hints for eating at Famous Dave’s during pregnancy:
1. Make a reservation
Famous Dave’s takes reservations at many locations.
Call your local restaurant and ask if they take reservations.
If they don’t ask if you can get on the waitlist.
Getting on the waitlist before arrival will help ensure that you get a table at a time convenient for you and you won’t be standing and waiting for an hour or more!
2. Plan to start with a salad
Famous Dave’s offers a side house salad.
Start with that.
This will allow you to eat a smaller portion of a high-calorie entree and have some to take home for lunch the next day.
I love Dave’s Sassy BBQ salad too.
You can have your favorite meat served on top of a salad with your choice of dressing and BBQ sauce.
3. Order your meal based on how you feel.
When ordering your meal, consider how you are feeling.
If you’re feeling tired or nauseous, for example, you might want to avoid heavy meals or foods that are high in fat and grease.
Instead, opt for lighter fare such as grilled chicken breast.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your meal to stay hydrated.
Consider ordering the feast for 2 and sharing a meal with your dinner companions.
4. Ask your server if you need to modify your meal
Don’t be too shy to ask the server for substitutions – you could end up with something unique and delicious.
5. Have a mocktail!
It can be fun to enjoy a mocktail when you are pregnant
Also, ask for a glass of water, restaurant foods can be high in sodium, so drink plenty of fluids with your meal.
6. Plan to take your leftovers home
If you are getting full ask for a take-out box
That way you can enjoy the rest of your meal the next day.
If you want a dessert get one to go and enjoy with your partner or friends later on at home.
- Unpasteurized foods– certain types of cheese like soft cheeses, Brie, Blue Cheese, etc.
- Some fish– shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Anything made with raw eggs including egg nog, hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, and runny eggs.
- Processed meats– lunch meats. Deli meats, pre-made salads, smoked meats, and jerky.
- Hot foods that are not “hot”, avoid hot foods that have been sitting out without a warming source. Same for foods that should be eaten cold. If no ice or refrigeration source is keeping the food cold, take a pass.
- Caffeine– soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. (Limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg a day)
- Herbal Teas (There are so many ingredients in herbal teas so it is best to avoid them simply. Green tea is OK.)
- Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Avoid sauces made with alcohol, desserts made with alcohol, and all alcoholic beverages.
Tips for eating out during pregnancy’s first trimester:
If you are going to eat out during your first trimester of pregnancy, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure that you and your baby are safe and healthy.
1. Opt for well-cooked food and steer clear of raw or undercooked delicacies such as sushi, oysters, and steak. You are more prone to foodborne illness when you are pregnant.
2. Do not eat soft cheeses like brie, feta, and blue cheese dressing or crumbles.
3. Select a restaurant that has high hygiene standards and appears clean and safe.
4. Try eating smaller portions of food more frequently instead of large meals in one go in order to not overwhelm your digestive system.
5. Choose meals made with fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
6. Refrain from drinking alcohol while pregnant as much as possible – it can be detrimental to the development of infants/fetuses due to its risks.
7. Ensure proper hydration by consuming plenty of water throughout your meal!
8. Watch your salt intake. Restaurant food can be high in sodium.
9. Skip greasy and deep-fried foods as these types of food can make your morning sickness symptoms worse.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant
- Plan ahead – plan what you’d like to order before going out and make sure it’s the healthiest option for you.
- Check the menu online in advance – many restaurants post their menus on their website to help you choose the best dishes.
- Ask your server questions about the ingredients used – this will help you make more informed choices and also reduce waste from ordering incorrectly.
- Choose a smaller portion – often restaurants serve large portions, which can be unhealthy and expensive. Ask for a smaller portion or take home leftovers for another meal.
- Skip the fries – side dishes like fries are often high in calories and fat, so opt for a salad or other healthier sides instead.
- Avoid fried foods – deep-fried foods are generally high in fat and calories, so opt for grilled or steamed options instead when possible.
- Look out for hidden sugar & sodium – some dishes may contain hidden sugar or be high in sodium, so ask your server if there is any additional information they can provide on these items.
- Order water – while soda may taste amazing, it’s best to stick to plain water when eating out as it won’t add extra calories or sugar to your meal.
- Splurge once in a while – don’t always feel guilty about indulging once in a while! Just remember to keep everything balanced with healthy choices most of the time
- Enjoy yourself! Eating out can be a great way to socialize and bond with others, so don’t forget to relax and enjoy the experience!