Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Review by: billyboy

I grew up near the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY, so I’ve been a fan of their ‘cue for years. I was very excited to learn they were opening a location in NYC only a year after I had moved there. I’ve been to the Harlem locale by myself and with friends on countless occasions and have loved it every time!

Start with Creole-spiked deviled eggs. Served on a bed of lettuce, I don’t bother to bite into these, but rather throw them back like shooters. Mmmm. You’ll love every spoonful of the turkey and sausage gumbo. It’s filled with shreds of turkey, hunks of sausage, aromatics, and plenty of fluffy rice. Sometimes the ribs are just pretty good (over-sauced, not crusty), sometimes better than that. Either way, I can’t help but denude them of every bit of their moist, porky goodness. The pulled pork is velvety soft, slathered with some of their signature sauce. Ask for some of the crusty bark pieces as well. The bar-b-que beans are always great: soft, goopy, and filled with shreds of pulled pork. A nice hunk of their Honey Hush corn bread comes with the meal as well. I like it so much, I’ve taken to making it at home, much to the delight of my friends.

A real treat for me is the BBQ fried rice. I love bar-b-que and have an affinity for Chinese takeout when the mood strikes. This is the best of both worlds. They make this very flavorful fried rice with soft bits of egg, onion, scallions, carrots, ginger, garlic, soy, and any leftover smoked meat they have (I’ve had it made with pulled pork). Could I get a quart of that to go, please? For dessert, the peanut butter pie with an Oreo crust is average, and I’ve eaten a lot of pies in my day. I’m just a big fan of old-fashioned fruit-filled crust pies I guess. If they have the apple cobbler or the peach-berry cobbler, get some; they are both excellent.

I saw the owner, John Stage, there one night working the line; it’s nice to know that he gets his hands into the everyday toiling that is needed to make a great restaurant work. The staff has always been really great to me and my friends, joking with us, getting anything we need and, if they’ve got the time, they’ll strike up pretty interesting conversations.

They are right off of the 125th Street stop on the 1 train (just a block away). If you make your way to Harlem, it’s the place to be. They take reservations and I would recommend them most nights if you’re going with a group, as they fill up quickly. If you go by yourself, you can sit at the bar or one of the tall tables by the bar and listen to some great live blues music Friday and Saturday nights. Hope to see you there!

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 9:00 PM

What To Eat

Ribs

DISH
Baked Beans

DISH
Pulled Pork

DISH
BBQ Chicken

DISH
Syracuse Style Salt Potatoes

DISH
French Fries

DISH
Drunken Spicy Shrimp Boil

DISH
Turkey and Sausage Gumbo

DISH
Creole Spike Deviled Eggs

DISH
BBQ Fried Rice

DISH
Bar-B-Que Pork and Ribs Platter

DISH
Swag Sampler Plate for 4

DISH
Ode to Elgin Platter

DISH
Pork-Sket sandwich

DISH
Apple-Cranberry Cobbler

DISH
Wango Tango wings

DISH
Mac and Cheese

DISH
Creole Potato Salad

DISH
Cajun Corn

DISH
Bacon, Lettuce, and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

DISH
BBQ Brisket, Bacon, and Swiss Sandwich

DISH
Carrot-Raisin Salad

DISH

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que?

One Response to “Dinosaur Bar-B-Que”

Patricia Beninato

October 21st, 2008

When I was of college age in the mid-eighties a friend of mine attended Syracuse University and introduced me to the joys of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, then a roadside stand run by three foodie bikers. Twenty-some-odd years later I found myself in New York City with many recommending I try Dinosaur’s Harlem location. For those who believe that truly excellent barbecue can only be found in the Midwest or south of the Mason-Dixon Line, I will beg to differ and point strongly in Dinosaur’s direction.

Dinosaur’s NYC location occupies a large building just east of the Hudson River, blaring the blues and occupied by foodies of every make. I need to disagree with my fellow Roadfoodie billyboy about the location–Dinosaur is only a block away from the subway in the most technical sense; it’s more along the lines of two blocks. Bear to the left when coming down the stairs and walk towards the river. Reservations are a must, particularly on weekends when the place is full of people coming from a Yankees game.

If you enjoy beer Dinosaur’s list will not disappoint you–they offer many local microbrews as well as the usual Big Brew selections. The interior is dark, the tables are rickety, the ambience is chaotic, and the food is sublime.

I ordered a Chicken and Pork Deluxe sandwich, which is a grilled chicken breast sandwich topped with pulled pork and melted cheese, sided by outstanding potato salad and a mini-iceberg lettuce wedge doused in a mix of blue cheese dressing and barbecue sauce. My husband ordered a brisket platter with beans and salad. The brisket was juicy, tender, and incredibly well-seasoned, as was the pork. My only disappointment is that I missed trying the Creole deviled eggs–I ordered them but never received them.

For those to whom the word “Harlem” invokes fear, don’t worry about it; the neighborhood is deserted at night. If you’re a BBQ fan and find yourself in NYC, get thee hence to Dinosaur and prepare to eat your head off.

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