Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Address: 646 W 131st St, New York


Phone: 212-694-1777

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que started in Upstate New York by a group of bikers, and it became legendary for its ribs and opened its first store in NYC in 2004. With so many restaurants to try in the city, Dino BBQ was not on our radar for some time, until we saw After Hour with Daniel. So with much anticipation, Gan and I drove north from Jersey City to Harlem on Friday night to sample some really good ribs.

Because of the restaurant's popularity, there was a 2 hour wait to get a table, but of course being an experience diner (*wink), I had reserved a table ahead of time, so we only waited for about 20 minutes before we got seated. I didn't have time to research on the popular dishes there but I thought the fried green tomato sounds good and Gan like the drunken spicy shrimp boil, so we ordered those for appetizers. As for the entree, I had the Three Meat Combo, which came with a 1/4 rack of ribs, Texas briskets, BBQ chicken and two sides, while Gan had the 1/2 rack of ribs with 2 sides. We had a good start with the amazing appetizers; the friend green tomato and the drunken spicy shrimp boil were so delicious. However, when the ribs came, we were quite disappointed. My ribs were not bad, they had a faint apple and hickory wood smoky taste and they were tender, but Gan's ribs were not cooked well at all. The meat should really be cooked another 4 hours or so before it was served. I guess that was a good example of bad quality control??

Overall, thumbs down for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Maybe the Syracuse and Rochester restaurants serve better ribs, but not this one in NYC. They've got to focus on getting their ribs right.

Gan: I like where the restaurant is located (off the normal paths of NYC streets and avenues, nearby the West Side Highway in Harlem) and the atmosphere of the interior. Very rustic and bbq like as in American South. Personally, I'm not that big of a barbeque fan as I sometimes think the Texas barbeque style with its strong barbeque sauce layered on the meat on top of another overpowers the meat sometimes. It's typical in the barbeque smoking methods where meat is usually infused heavily with all kinds of flavor and smell, with the type of wood to the ingredients used in the sauce to cover it. You sometimes can't really distinguish how good or fresh the meat is. So the trick, it seems, is to slow cook it as much as possible and using the sauce to coat the meat enough so moisture is kept in the meat. It's good when the meat is soft and tender, as it is strong in taste.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que take-outs. Maybe we should have done that.
Gan: Price is very reasonable. The quality of the barbeque meat is much better than the typical barbeque restaurants.

The waiting area

Rustic, biker interior

The restaurant's own BBQ sauce
Gan: You can find this in the grocery stores as well. An enterprising business.

Fried Green Tomato

drunken spicy shrimp boil
Gan: Strong cajun spice. Not your typical shrimp cocktail.

3 meat combo with mac & cheese and BBQ beans
Gan: Sarah's rib was much more tender and moist than mine. So I ended up eating from her plate more than mine. She had all 3 types of meat - pork ribs, beef brisket, and chicken. It's one of the better barbeque ribs you can get in the city.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

You must have somehow got a bad batch. The meat usually drips off the bone. My toothless grandfather can devour their ribs with just his gums.

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