Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dinner at The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

As promised, I'm posting today about the place that we had dinner on our way home from the Tulip Fest on Mother's Day....

The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que originated as the brainchild of founder John Stage and a partner in 1985, as a mobile concession at "The Harley Rendezvous" (near Albany) with a 55-gallon drum that was cut in half as their smoker. They soon began traveling around the Northeast to motorcycle all kinds of rallies, fairs and festivals. The first "in-house" location opened in downtown Syracuse in 1988 and they've since added locations in Rochester (1998), Harlem (2004) and most recently this one, in Troy NY (Nov 2010). **Update Since this post was written, there are now also Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Restaurants in Newark, NJ and Stamford, CT

John Stage, founder of Dinosaur Barbecue
They're in the process of creating their fifth location in Newark NJ, and despite what it seems might be a few minor complications, hope to open it later this year. The original Dinosaur location in Syracuse NY is reminiscent of a typical "biker bar", complete with leather-vested, well endowed, ladies behind the bar and some of the most amazing "Q" north of the Mason Dixon Line. (there is barely an inch of wall space in the Syracuse location that hasn't been lovingly covered in graffiti - they actually encourage it!) It rapidly got extremely popular among serious barbecue lovers in Central NY and became a destination unto itself.  That popularity, plus very reasonable prices for outstandingly good food (and the fact that wait times were getting unreal) has since spawned a virtual Dinosaur Bar-B-Que empire. We started going to the original location, some time back in the 90's and I can't even tell you how psyched we were when we found out there was a new place opening up that was quite a bit closer to us!

So... On to the yummmm! (the menu for each location can be found by clicking the link at the beginning of this post)

We were both hungry when we got there, so we decided to share the Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Shrimp Remoulade ($8.95) as a starter:

The tomatoes were surprisingly tender and juicy, with a super crispy coating of savory breadcrumbs on the outside and they had a generous grating of Pecorino Romano on top. The slightly smoky shrimp was perfectly cooked and smothered in a creamy, spicy (but not too hot for my tender taste buds) remoulade. The combination of the piping hot fried tomatoes and the smoky shrimp and creamy pink sauce... TO. DIE. FOR. We'll definitely be getting this awesome starter again! I might not even share the next time.

Hubbs had the Pulled Pork Sandwich Platter ($9.95)

As with all of their dinners, "pit plates" and sandwich platters, this comes with a choice of two of the Dinosaur's superb in-house made sides and unless it's a sandwich, their "Honey Hush" cornbread. The Hubbs chose the Collard Greens and Barbecue Beans. The pulled pork is perfectly smoked and extremely tender and the Dinosaur's own Sensual Slathering Sauce that it's smothered in is just the right combination of smoke and spice with a touch of sweetness to round it all out. They have a full line of "rubs",  barbecue and hot sauces and a line of refrigerated products that can be purchased at the restaurant, online and in a growing list of grocery stores across the Northeast. They always provide a sampling of their hot and barbecue sauces at each table and the very competent wait staff will cheerfully bring you any that aren't already there. The Wango Tango is Hubby's (or as I like to call him ~ Mr. Asbestos Tongue's) all time favorite, but that stuff is just a wee bit too caliente for me.

I had one of my favorites, the Churrasco Chicken Steak ($15.95)

I just happen to be a bit of a "chicken-holic" and I probably order it when we go out, about 40% of the time. I can't say that I'm usually likely to order just any old chicken dish, though. I mean, I can do "basic" chicken at home any old day, right? The Churrasco Chicken is a super savory, garlicky and mildly spicy, whole breast of chicken, with THE best Chimichurri sauce I've ever had.  It's also topped with sauteed onions and is so tender you can cut it with your fork.  I chose the Barbecue Fried Rice and the Greens as my sides. Now, I have a bit of a weakness for carbs in just about any form and rice is no exception, but this fried rice is about as unique and delicious as it gets. It had bits of carrot, onion and pieces of their outstanding brisket, (my second favorite item on the menu) with a good hit of barbecue sauce. I think I can say honestly, it's the best fried rice I've ever eaten. Seriously. Ever. The greens are as good as any Southern mama's best Sunday come to dinner greens. Of course, Mr. Asbestos smothers his with plenty o' hot sauce! Me? Ummm... no thanks!

We were definitely too full for dessert, but the Dinosaur has plenty of sweet treats to provide the perfect ending to a great meal.  Hubbers finished every bite of his meal and several "tastes" of my rice, but the Churrasco Chicken portion is so huge that I brought home more than half of the rest of my meal. A certain someone is always pretty happy when that happens because he usually beats me to the leftovers the next day. I think I saw an evil little glint in his eye when he heard me order it, but it was so quick that I don't have any solid proof. ;~)

At all of the locations that we've been to, they've had T-shirts and other licensed products for sale in the lobby. On this trip, we'd hoped to get a couple of tees with their recently discontinued logo on them, but alas, they didn't have the sizes we wanted. We could have picked up shirts with the new logo or other graphics, but we tend to prefer the "collector's items", so to speak. (and btw, that's not code for cheap. lol)

So. If you happen to live near one of the Dinosaur's locations or are traveling through one of the cities where they're located, you really do have to give them a try. Believe me... you will sooo not regret it. Stop on back and let me know if you do, 'K?

Thanks for hangin' with me today!

** The opinions in this post are strictly my own and I was not compensated in any way for writing it.

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  1. Stopping by from the Mid Week Mingle. This made me sooo hungry! But I know I would get some killer heart burn this early in the a.m., a girl can dream though!

  2. Looks delicious and sounds like an entertaining place too! Thanks for stopping by Yankee Texan Mom. Now following you back and looking forward to it!
    Yankee Texan Mom

  3. I love good BBQ!!! This place looks delicious!! We lived in North Carolina for 9 years and moving back to the Midwest makes my mouth long for some BBQ--they just don't do it the same here. Going to NC next week so you got my mouth watering for some BBQ. Thanks for sharing--it looks fabulous!

  4. Sounds like an interesting place to visit. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your Matzo soup recipe! It looks delicious and well... interesting! Best of luck to you in the contest :)


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