As a recent midwest transplant to NYC, I have been craving and deeply missing good BBQ. After years of BBQ in KC, St. Louis, Memphis, Texas and the Carolinas, NY has been disappointing. That is, until we tried Dinosaur BBQ.
First, let me say that we ordered food to go as the Rams and Jets were playing that afternoon (yeah for both!). The woman taking the order was helpful and the order was accurate. No problems parking, but it was also noon on Saturday. It seems like a parking lot is available for those who drive. Cute interior, reminds me of other BBQ places anywhere else in the country. The order was ready when requested, no wait. There were several other people picking up food, and everyone was giddy with excitement as they received their orders.
To the food...
We started with the Extra Fancy Fried Green Tomatoes. While I'm suspect of any tomato at this time of the year, these were great. After 30 minutes of travel, they remained cripsy and grease-free. These were called the "extra fancy" due to the shrimp remoulade. Frankly, the "extra fancy" was nice, but kind of unnecessary as the tomatoes were firm, tart and spicy. The breading was cornmeal, very nicely spiced and crispy rather than crunchy.
We also had two orders of chicken wings -- the mild BBQ and the "wild" garlic/chipotle. My non-spicy husband loved the mild, and I really loved the garlic/chipotle. Some of the best wings I've ever had --meaty, succulent, crispy skin, deeply flavorful. I added a dash of hot sauce to the wings, but that may have been gilding the lilly. These were outstanding.
Hearing great things about both, we had a full rack of ribs and a half BBQ chicken. The ribs were delish -- reminded me of Memphis in May (sigh). The restaurant cuts the ribs between the bones for easy access, but I asked for mine uncut. (For those not familar w/ ribs, perfectly smoked ribs should naturally cleve down the center between the bones when pulled apart. If they are too tender, the meat falls from the bone. Too tough...let's not even consider that.) As hoped, one slight tug between the two bones and the meat separated perfectly. The ribs had a deeply smoky flavor, nice "crust" of spices on the meat, and very light touch of BBQ sauce. They were a little fattier than I would have liked, but this didn't bother my husband at all.
The BBQ chicken was one of the best chickens I've ever had. Again, deep smoky flavor, unbelieveably moist meat, beautiful skin. While it may seem odd to order a chicken at a BBQ place, this one was well worth it.
Side dishes -- side salad, salt potatoes, cornbread. The side salad was undistinguished at best. The salt potatoes were awesome -- small white potatoes boiled in essentially brine until the potatoes absorb the salt. Then the potatoes are served in a garlic/butter mix. Sooooo yummy! But the cornbread, oh that cornbread. Not quite as good as my granny's, not quite as good as mine, but the only restaurant cornbread that has ever come close. Big, dense squares topped w/ a honey-butter mixture. Not too sweet, not too dry, not too cakey, just wonderful.
I'm horrified to admit it, but all of this food was ordered for 2 people. Honestly, we would hae been sated after the tomatoes and the wings. But we wanted to try a little of everything. So, we ate bbq for 4 meals -- lunch and dinner for 2 days. Yet neither of us complained because even reheated, this BBQ was that good. After months of searching NYC and the surrounding area, Dinosaur is easily the best BBQ I've had in the Northeast. Now I don't have to have Corky's or Rendezvous shipped here anymore!