Sunday, December 28, 2008
Dinosaur BBQ makes the best pork ribs in NYC. Period. The consistency with which they churn out the hog chest cavity is remarkable. As mentioned in a previous post from the summer, I put Dino on hold due to birds chirping how the quality had begun to deteriorate. I said it then and I'll say it now- LIES!!!! If these ribs were within arm's reach while the wise bearded men were scribing the Kosher dietary laws, swine would be acceptable. Brisket for the holidays? Fuck that, we're getting a rack with a side of barley and kasha varnishkes.
I've eaten there twice in the past month and there is definitely magic in that kitchen. The M.O. has been the same from jump when it comes to ordering. It usually starts with the wings and an additional starter or 2 and then the ribs. And then dessert- make sure you leave some room.
We sparked this meal with jumbo chicken wings- we're talking poultry on juice steez. The photos weren't quality enough to post on Howfresheats. They are some of the plumpest fowl extremities I've ever seen. And they are fucking good. Different from the typical fried bar version, these are spice rubbed, pit smoked, then finished on the grill, as the menu says. They are prepared 4 ways from Mild to Hottest aka the Devil's Duel. I've only had the hot Wango Tango version which aren't that hot at all. Going for the hottest next time and I will conquer that shit. This was a party for 7 so we also got the large Swag Sampler plate consisting of more wings, fried green tomatoes, spicy peel & eat shrimp (raging boil of beer, old bay, cayenne, herbs & spices) and creole spiced deviled eggs. A nice little sampler that sets the stage for the main attraction.
Dinosaur is home to one of the best bargains in the city- the Sweetheart deal. A full rack of ribs and 4 sides plus cornbread for $27.95. That's 12-13 ribs and 4 small but ample sides. If you're with a lady no problem, but if you're with you're boy swallow your pride and add a pause after ordering. Once that rack is in front of you you could give 2 shits what it's called. These ribs are unbelievable - a thick bark covering the tender pink meat and thin layer of fat. The meat falls off the bone and gristle is at a minimum. Sometimes it's worth not going in too heavy on the starters just to relish this meal. True story.
Aside from the sweetheart deal a bunch of other dishes were ordered giving me the opportunity to try some new things. I never had their brisket and was pleasantly surprised- tender and smoky with a very prominent pink smoke ring. There was too much sauce covering them however- let the brisket breath.
Another dish I had the opportunity to try was the Ode to Elgin which featured a hot sausage link from the legendary maker in Elgin, Texas. Nice snap and full of flavor with some Texas heat. I've made it my business to try hot links as of late, pause. They were never on the radar, but after having some no joke links at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party this summer I go in. Pause. It came with a quarter rack of ribs and some brisket, which turned out to be overkill but in order to get the hot link you need to order the meal. And there was only 1 link. Dino, if you're listening, add the link as a side or offer 2-3 links and dead the rest.
Other dishes ordered were the Tres Hombres- Bar-B-Que pork, Texas Beef Brisket & Bar-B-Que ribs, the pulled pork sandwich platter and the West Texas Rib-Eye- described as choice Angus beef, cold smoked, spice rubbed & topped with a Habanero cooks butter or our Bourbon Molasses Steak Sauce. Honestly I didn't even know that was on the menu.
It wouldn't be right if the sides weren't given their due. The cole slaw is perfect, crisp, thinly sliced cabbage and not too sweet. BBQ Beans, BBQ fried rice, mac n cheese, fresh cut fries, salt potatoes, and the special of the day was black eyed peas with bacon. I've yet to have a side I didn't care for. We ordered 4 desserts- the Chocolate Ice Box pie- chocolate pudding in an oreo crust with whipped cream, the peanut butter pie also with an oreo crust, key lime pie and this coconut-banana pudding. That chocolate ice box is so mean. I know others put their money on the peanut butter pie, but my peanut allergy makes me hate it off GP.
The entire party was more than pleased with the meal and some new Dinosaur believers were made. Of course we overate and the discomfort was evident. We're a bunch of ex-athletes that have turned the corner and are never coming back. Drinking beers the entire meal didn't help matters either, but their beer selection is too deep to pass on- something like 23 different drafts on tap at all times. While winter ales are available (too gingerbread cookie status), I stay ordering the Spaten Oktoberfest. For a dark beer, not too heavy and a slight sweetness. If you're feeling experimental go in on the 4 beer sampler.
With the recent opening of several spots just north of Dino on 12th Avenue under the bridge, the party can continue. There is a Thai spot (Talay), an Italian restaurant (Cova Trattoria), the Hudson River Cafe and a club called Body. I haven't been to any but now you have some options. Or you can hit El Morocco on 145th and Bway if that's how you're feeling.
Dinosaur Bar B Que
646 W 131st St.
New York, NY 10027
Monday – Thursday 11:30 am to 11:00 pm
Friday & Saturday – 11:30 am to Midnight
Sunday – Noon to 10:00 pm