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What’s in Famous Dave’s Hot Fudge Kahlua Brownie?

In this new series, “Eating out: What’s in it?” we will be going over how you can figure out for yourself if something is unhealthy. Today we are taking a trip to Famous Dave’s.


1. Check the Menu

In more and more urban and developed cities, some nutrition information is being publicly displayed on the menu. Look for numbers or symbols next to the menu item.

  • “S/M 480/750 cal”     — this could be found right after a bowl of chili, indicating that the small size is 480 calories, while a medium is 750.
  • “GF,” “V,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free)
  • “cholesterol-free”     –there is a negligible amount of cholesterol in the food


These indicators are convenient and effective ways of narrowing down choices.


2. Go Online

If you are eating at a chain restaurant, you can almost guarantee they will have the nutritional info on their websites. Some even have ingredients, and most include a common allergen guide.

In this case we have an extensive amount of information online for all of Famous Dave’s products.


  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu select “Menu and Locations”
  3. Scroll down and click “Dine in Menu”
  4. Near the bottom of page and you will find a link that says “Nutrition and Ingredients
  5. There you will find PDF documents of the nutrients, ingredients, and allergens in each of their menu items


Summaries- Nutrition:

  • 1470 calories per serving (1 order)

See also: Who Decides What a Serving Size is, Anyway?

  • 13g of protein, 860mg of sodium, and 130mg of cholesterol

The protein content is painfully low for this many calories; however, the sodium and cholesterol content is actually not that bad. Eating this much sugar without a substantial amount of protein can leave you thinking you’re hungrier than you actually are.


As far as sodium goes, this would be considered at about half of the “healthy daily maximum.”


  • 229g of carbohydrates, 172g of which is sugar and 6g of which is fiber

Very low in fiber, and over half of the carbs are from sugar.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

  • 59g of fat, 30g of which is saturated, and 5 grams trans fat

Surprisingly, this dessert contains 5 whole grams trans fats. Not good.
Our approximate macro breakdown: 36% fat, 60% carbs, 4% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?



Wheat, milk, soy, nuts, and eggs.


Summaries- Ingredients

I divided the ingredients up into a layout that is hopefully easier to understand.

Some ingredients are not in blue, those in black I’m not counting to avoid listing items twice.


  1. Brownie Base
    1. brownie mix
      1. sugar
      2. enriched bleached flour
        1. wheat flour
        2. niacin
        3. ferrous sulfate"Ferrous sulfate heptahydrate is prepared by the action of s... More
        4. thiamin mononitrate
        5. riboflavin
        6. folic acid
      3. cocoa processed with alkali
      4. soybean oil
      5. Contains 2% or less of each of the following
        1. egg yolks
        2. salt
        3. egg whites
        4. corn starch
        5. sodium bicarbonate
        6. artificial flavor
    2. whole eggs
    3. walnuts
    4. water
    5. Kahula Liquor
      1. Mexican coffee
      2. high fructose corn syrup
      3. sugar
      4. cane spirits
      5. vodka
      6. vanilla
  2. Hot Fudge Sauce
    1. Corn syrup
    2. high fructose corn syrup
    3. nonfat milk
    4. partially hydrogenated coconut oil
    5. water
    6. cocoa {processed with alkali}
    7. modified corn starch
    8. whey
    9. less than 2%
      1. sodium and calcium caseinates
      2. salt
      3. potassium sorbate
      4. sodium bicarbonate
      5. artificial flavors
      6. soy lecithin"Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances deri... More
    1. Chocolate Syrup
      1. high fructose corn syrup
      2. corn syrup
      3. water
      4. cocoa
      5. sugar
      6. contains 2% or less of
        1. potassium sorbate
        2. salt
        3. mono and diglycerides
        4. xanthan gum"The additive is a polysaccharide gum derived from Xanthomon... More
        5. polysorbate 60
        6. vanillin
        7. artificial flavor
    2. Ice Cream
      1. milk
      2. cream
      3. sugar
      4. naturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More tara gum
      5. natural vanilla flavoring
    3. Heavy Cream



  • Be wary of the corn syrup used.
  • Know that “mono and diglicerides” may contain trans fats, as well as partially hydrogenated oils
  • There are a few flavorings
  • Lots of added sugars
  • Be aware of preservatives and emulsifiers used like potassium sorbate and polysorbate 60
  • Lastly, if you are unfamiliar with xanthan or tara gum, they are harmless thickeners


Be careful. This brownie has more than meets the eye.

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients


Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.


Thanks for reading!





Famous Dave’s. Menu and Locations. 2017. Accessed 28 February 2017.

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