Friday, January 23, 2009

Prehistoric Thursday

I weathered a one-and-a-half-hour wait for bar-b-cue last night.  This isn't the longest I've ever waited for food; once, at The Spotted Pig, I stood around for four hours, consuming more than my share of beer by the pint, in an attempt to experience Fergus Henderson's cuisine first-hand.  By the time I sat, I was a little too drunk to appreciate fully the organ meat extravaganza that was Henderson's cooking.  

So maybe the wait wasn't the worst, though it wasn't particularly pleasant.  One redeeming aspect was that Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue, an import from Syracuse that opened in 2004 on 131st Street, serves rich and foamy Sprecher's root beer on tap, perfect for passing the hours. 

When we finally arrived at our table, we shouted orders at our poor waitress in under ten seconds.  Chicken wings were spicy and sweet and undeniably meaty, served with celery sticks and a blue cheese dressing.  While they would never satisfy a Buffalo wing craving, itself its own beast, the wings did chicken justice.  Fried green tomatoes came sheathed in a light breading and served with fresh grated parmesan and a remoulade for dipping.  Peel and eat shrimp were cajun inflected, medium-sized, and cold, avoiding the finger burning too often associated with the dish.  

And then there was the meat.  For my part, I ordered all three house specialties, the trifecta of Texas brisket, pork shoulder (generally referred to as pork butt), and ribs.  Ribs were dry rubbed first and then glazed with sauce and had ample flavor.  Pork butt was fatty and delicious, though it required an additional serving of sauce for flavor.  Brisket, served with pickled jalapenos, was almost burnt on those coveted edges. 

Macaroni and cheese arrived creamy and browned on top, smelling of paprika.  An iceburg wedge salad with blue cheese hit all the familiar steakhouse notes.  Baked BBQ beans were a tad watery for my taste, but still sweet and savory and full of pork.  Fried rice reminded me of Chinese takeout, in a good way.  

Then, of course, came the requisite southern dessert, banana pudding.  Vanilla pudding, fresh bananas, and canned whipped cream sat beneath one large, delicate sugar cookie.  Diets, take leave.  This ain't the place for calorie-counting.  

Dinosaur  Bar-B-Cue
646 W. 131st Street
New York, NY 10027


ramster said...

Whenever I am in Rochester or Syracuse I make it a point bring two large coolers with me, and fill them up with ribs and sauce for home. Ive heard the area in harlem 'isnt so bad',my little sister recently moved into a place on 123rd. Something about this time of year brings on a craving for barbecue.


It's good. I went with Josh and Christine, actually. The only downside was the incredibly long wait, which forced me to drink root beer like it was going out of style.

ramster said...

you had good company anyway. and i remember there was great live music when i was in Rochester. If I didnt have to get home I would have taken a room and moved next door ;)