Dinosaur Bar-b-que

Review by: Roadfood Team

Heralded as a “Genuine Honkey Tonk Rib Joint”, the Dinosaur Bar-b-que features Americana at its best. By that I mean, the restaurant excels in two of America’s greatest inventions: Blues music and Barbeque. Located in the most unlikely of places, Upstate New York, the Dinosaur Barbeque boasts some back beat music and dry rubbed ribs that would rival anything served up in the Heart of the Delta.

The restaurant is hard to find. One needs to take a few turns in downtown Syracuse before they see the bright lights. You know you have reached the Dinosaur when you hear the music, smell the hickory smoke, and see the long line of Harley’s in the front. The building has two sections, one for the family and one for the s. Generally, it’s easier to be served in the family section, but the music is played near the bar. Either way, there generally is a wait.

There is nothing special about the decor. It looks like any roadhouse should. Dark wood-paneled walls covered with many posters and advertisements. Whenever there is someone crooning some tunes, you can bet that there is a dance floor for some of the local flair to jump out and shake a leg. Be prepared, this place is loud and smoky; however, that just adds to the ambiance.

What to eat at Dinosaur Bar-b-que

The food is what really separates this place from all other blues theme restaurants. The food here is not good but amazing. For first-timers, a rack of ribs will serve up nicely. Theses ribs are dry rubbed, smoked, and then slathered with the Dinosaur Bar-b-que signature sauce (they have an entire inventory in which all items are worth bringing home). These ribs are huge and have large amounts of meat that fall right off of the bone. Did I say they taste good? Some of the other food that I have tried is also excellent including: all their side dishes, pulled pork, rice and beans, wings, and smoked prime rib.

For all those who are driving up Rt. 81 or the New York State Thruway, pull off the highway and make a stop in Syracuse. You may have to wait and you will leave smelling of cigarette smoke, but trust me, you won’t mind afterwards.

Note- the Dinosaur recently opened a second restaurant in Rochester. It’s just a good as the original.

Original post by Matthew Sadler

What To Eat

Spare Ribs

Pulled Pork

Garlic Chipotle Wings

Baked Beans


Dinosaur Bar-b-que Recipes


What do you think of Dinosaur Bar-b-que?

2 Responses to “Dinosaur Bar-b-que”

Gail Brown

April 20th, 2006

Dinosaur is one of our must-stops when visiting family in Rochester, NY. We’ve had BBQ in the South and in other parts of the country and this joint (there really is no better word for Dinosaur) ranks right up with the best. Smoky, tender meat and flavorful sides – what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, don’t look for cutesy waitstaff. They’re proud to be brusque and, depending on who you get, maybe friendly. I love the great atmosphere in the old train depot. Parking is on the street or in a nearby parking garage. Bikers get to park in the depot lot.

OK, some favorites: try the fried green tomatoes, tomato and cucumber salad, beans, “Big Ass Pork Plate”, and oh, the list could go on! The fried green tomatoes come with a creamy/spicy dipping sauce and are fried to perfection. The tomato and cucumber salad is a refreshing counterpoint to the heavier BBQ meats and beans. The beans are delicious, just enough kick with lots of bits of pork thrown in. My all-time fave is the “Big Ass Pork Plate”: two huge piles of tender, shredded, chopped smoky pork topped with their wonderful sauce (there’s more on the table, along with their other sauce flavors to “kick it up”). Add some moist cornbread and your choice of sides and I guarantee you’ll be taking home some for lunch the next day! I think the only thing I didn’t really care for was the chicken. It just didn’t seem very special.


tara velt

November 9th, 2005

I used to eat at Dinosaur when I lived nearby (sort of – I drove 60 miles to get there), and never had a bad meal. The atmosphere is fantastic, as is their selection of “adult” beverages. I love the place, although I would prefer to have the corn bread served hot, not cold, since they put honey on it. Seating can be cramped, so get there early!

As an aside: last winter, while I was still living in Florida, I ordered one of their sweatshirts and some of their sauces. They didn’t have the one shirt I wanted, so they sent me all their sauces as an apology, plus refunded my dough!


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