Desserts & Bakeries
Southern & Soul
Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens
Lower East Side
Upper East Side
Upper West Side
646 W. 131st St.
Nestled under the railway tracks, around the corner from Harlem's Cotton Club, Dinosaur Barbeque is a miniature honky tonk universe. Vintage signs covering the walls and country music set the scene as waiters hoist huge platters of ribs above the crowd. There is a full bar and giant pitchers of sangria — enough to supply the incredibly-large parties that made their way uptown to celebrate something or another. And there is beer. With countless flavors on tap, even the beer apathetic can find something to like. I particularly enjoyed a honey ale; you can taste a mellowed sweetness under the flavor of the hops. CONT'D
When you are seated, a fantastically large stack of napkins is placed in front of you. This is a sign of what's to come. You will probably want to try everything on the exhaustive menu. Luckily, there are plenty of combo plates and platters, and nearly everything comes with corn bread and a choice of two sides — mac and cheese, collard greens, carrot and raisin salad, mashed sweet potato, you name it.
The fried green tomatoes are sublime: crispy on the outside, but still firm and moist on the inside, covered in a light layer of cheese and a tartar sauce. But, let's face it. They are fried. What doesn't taste good fried? The real test of a barbeque joint is, intuitively, the barbeque. Dinosaur's was good. I don't use the words "great," because frankly, it wasn't. The ribs were seasoned and well-cooked, the pulled pork was a little bland, the sides enjoyable but not astounding. The potato salad had obviously been in the fridge for a while, the small portion doled out at some point earlier in the day. And perhaps most disappointing was the cornbread. This isn't the first time I've been disappointed by corn bread at a BBQ joint, but I'll keep my high standards in hopes that I will find the moist, rich, slightly sweet stuff of my dreams.
I don't know where these barbeque high standards come from, but I am still determined to find something out-of-this-world. However, Dinosaur still gets a "worth it," because it was. I'd do it again in a heartbeat; it offers a vacation in terms of location and atmosphere, it's experiential BBQ at its best. The restaurant has the concocted feel of an amusement park — fittingly, they sell name-brand sauces and gear. My search for the perfect BBQ continues, but in the meantime, I'll get my fix at Dinosaur.
Posted in FOOD on May 28, 2010 8:43am by Rachel Hochhauser | 34 comments
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We are young (early 20's) and hungry (for knowledge! music! art! food!) friends living on (or in areas which border) Manhattan. We moved to the city seeking higher education, and an alternative to frat parties and gin buckets. We prefer a bottle of Chianti to a keg, lunches at City Bakery to a dining hall, Joe's to Starbucks, Frankie's Amatriciana to Batali's. Our uniting factor is our love for food. For detailed, personal information, keep reading.
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