I have the Dinosaur Cookbook at home and the owner, John Stage mentions in it that his buddy Dino , was one of the original partners in Dinosaur Productions (the company they formed when they were catering to bike rallies, state fairs and regional festivals on the road).
Both the Syracuse location and the Harlem location have reviews on the site with links to the Dinosaur website.
Pretty famous I’d say with a strong following. The Syracuse one opened in 1988, Rochester in 2001 and Harlem in 2004. Harlem has been going strong since it opened and for a table, you need to call about a week in advance. If I’m flying solo or meeting a buddy there, we’ll usually grab a seat at the bar or at the high top tables.
I’m pretty biased, as most know, towards Dinosaur, having grown up in CNY near the original. I spent many a night there and have waited for up to 2 hours for my ‘que there (they don’t take reservations in Syracuse) and it was worth every minute upon the first bite. I wouldn’t dare say it’s the best in the world as my barbque experience is limited to say the least. But it is the best I’ve ever had in many respects. I think their wings, pulled pork and ribs are the best I’VE had so far. There are things that I don’t think are as strong. I’m not a huge fan of their prime rib and the brisket is usually fattier than I care for. While I love their beans, I think R.U.B. in NYC has the best I’ve ever had.
The sides, for me, are all aces at Dinosaur and I’ve always loved whatever I’ve had. I’m itching to try those pulled pork eggrolls that Cosmos tried!
I’ve never been much of a Blue Smoke fan. I’ve been twice and it’s BBQ with a somewhat gourmet twist. Pricey, IMHO and it’s good, but it doesn’t move me. I think Tennessee Mtn. closed a couple of years ago. They were in the Soho nabe of Manhattan. I never went there, but I had some of their BBQ at the BBQ Festival in Hudson River Park (they do a BBQ Festival of just NYC based BBQ places every August). Their pulled pork and sides were very uninspired to me and the pork didn’t have any smoke flavor and I thought it was mushy. Not sure if they smoked their meat or if they did, if they had a smoker on site or hauled it over from the restaurant. Sometimes that can make a difference.
I’d heard rumors from a Queens based friend that Pearson’s might be re-opening. Anyone know more about that? I loved their brisket and the BBQ slider sandwiches on Portugese rolls.
A pic for you:
I thought you might be interested in this post:
http://www.roadfood.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15142 (from my trip to the Dinosaur tent at the NY State Fair in 2006)