If you read this blog, you are aware of how much Joel and I like BBQ. Our friends enjoy it as well — so we made a trip to Harlem’s own Dinosaur BBQ. Situated right under the Riverside Drive Bridge, and away from any subway, a friend made sure we had a car ready to take us up for our reservation (which was definitely necessary!).
We entered Dinosaur BBQ to find it packed and smelling of goodness (meat and smoke). While waiting for our table to clear up, we were treated to some of Dinosaur’s own delicious homemade corn bread. It was a great way to start out the night — so buttery and moist!
After being seated, we dug into the large, plastic menu. So many choices but we all decided upon a slight variation of the same thing — meat! Joel and I had a 1/2 rack of their famous ribs with ‘Action Spice Rub’ and their in house made BBQ sauce. We decided that the ribs were good, not great. They were not your typical fall-off-the-bone moist and the sauce packed no real punch. I wanted more — more flavor, more spice, more kick and it just wasn’t there.
The sides were on the same level — OK. Between the two us of we tried the cornbread again (which was by far the winning side), Syracuse style salt potatoes (these were tasty; who doesn’t like a potato dripping with butter?), mac and cheese (dry, bland, flavorless) and some more not-memorable sides.
After all was said and done, thanks to good company, we enjoyed our meal. It wasn’t by any means a terrible dining experience; The service was fine, the food came out quick. One thing that really bugged me was the use of plastic plates and measly paper towels for napkins. I may be a bit snobby when it comes to my food, but hey, I expect greatness for the hype and money. For the price we paid (including the black car fare to actually get to the place), we could have dined at Blue Smoke where the ribs are moist and spicy, the sides are praiseworthy and the food is served on proper plates — with cloth napkins!
Having feasted on some of the best BBQ in the country after having lived in the South for 15+ years, I expect the best, and the best we did not get.