Dinosaur BBQ started life humbly in 1983 as a roving food truck at bikers events.
After years on the road, Dinosaur BBQ settled in Upstate New York in Syracuse in 1988. Now, Dinosaur BBQ has branches in many places in New York state including Manhattan and Brooklyn. They also have branches in Newark (New Jersey), Stamford (Connecticut), Chicago (Illinois) and Baltimore (Maryland).
We visited Dinosaur BBQ's Harlem outlet which is a standalone brick building located next to the picturesque Riverside Drive Viaduct.
I found the arches underneath the Riverside Drive Viaduct very pretty.
The Dinosaur BBQ at Harlem opened in 2004.
Inside Dinosaur BBQ, it's a casual, friendly, family type restaurant. We were here for Sunday lunch. The restaurant was nearly full and there was no queue outside. The crowd comprised couples, buddies and families.
Staying true to it's roots, Dinosaur BBQs have a well stocked biker bar on one side, which is popular with super bikers. The bar mainly serves beers with some mainstream wines.
At Dinosaur BBQs, the grills are wood fired.
Our appetiser was Dinosaur BBQ's famous Fried Green Tomatoes. The patties were dressed with a sprinkle of Pecorino-Romano cheese bits and served with rich, tangy, buttery Cayenne buttermilk ranch dressing.
The batter was crunchy though slightly stiff with gritty bits and was greasy. Cooked tomatoes always work for me, so I enjoyed that warm, juicy green tomato slice encased in that thick greasy batter.
Now for the mains.
Instead of their signature ribs and wings, I ordered a steak to try :-p
My Skirt Steak done medium rare.
The meat was tender and juicy, and slightly sinewy (which is correct for the skirt cut).
I love this tender, flavoursome, juicy, chewy steak. The gently salty, tangy and spicy rub added to the steak's natural flavours without overpowering it.
We also had Dinosaur BBQ's popular Pulled Pork and BBQ Brisket.
I love both.
The Pulled Pork and BBQ Brisket were both tender and succulent, and came splashed with Dinosaur's robust sauces on top.
The tender, smokey and beefy BBQ Brisket especially, was well balanced with fat and lean meat.
We liked the cornbread side. The savoury sweet bread was bouncy, moist and tender inside with a bit of soft grittiness from the corn.
Dinosaur BBQ's famous sauces which are blends of mostly vinegary tangy and salty with traces of sweetness and spiciness. The sauces are so popular, they are bottled and sold in supermarkets.
That said, I am personally still not a fan of robust vinegary, salty sauces :-p
We enjoyed our visit to Dinosaur BBQ though it was partly a tourist bucket list thing to check off. Still, I am intrigued enough by my first experience to want to come back again and next time, I shall try their signature BBQ ribs, chicken and wings.
Restaurant: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem
Address: 700 W 125th St., Harlem, NYC New York (at Riverside Drive), USA
Hours: 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight
Tel: (917) 688-3163
Date visited: 30 Nov 2014
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