Posted May 24, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews

Restaurant Review: Dinosaur BBQ Redux

I’ve reviewed Dinosaur BBQ before, but this time I’ve got pictures! The wife and I worked around the apartment all day Saturday, so by Saturday night we were craving something hearty and relatively inexpensive. Dinosaur BBQ is in Harlem, so it’s a longer train ride then normal, but well worth the trip. We’ve never made reservations and can usually get a seat within 20 minutes or so.

We decided to make the trek up to Harlem and headed on our way. We made the trip within 20 minutes on the local and got a seat within 15 minutes, although the hostess did tell us it was a 30 minute wait. If you’ve never been to Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem, I don’t think I can quite describe it enough so that you can get an idea of the interior/atmosphere of this bbq joint. The wife put it well when she commented that “The waitstaff here looks like a group of bikers, with all the tattoos and piercings” – It’s true the waitstaff does look a little sketchy, but that’s what makes it some of the best bbq I’ve ever had. And the waitstaff is as prompt and curteous as any restaraunt, if not more personable and happy. How often have you had a crabby waiter or a waitress from hell? I’ve had plenty, but none at Dinosaur BBQ. I got way off tangent, but anyways… The wife and I were seated way in the back, which was fine by us, less people walking around back there. Now, after trying the fried green tomatoes at Spanky’s, we agreed that we needed to try the ones at Dinosaur BBQ as well. You know, just for comparison reasons 🙂 So we ordered our tomatoes, our meals and our beers. She went with the root beer they have on tap and I went with the Dinosaur BBQ’s own brand, Apehanger. Good stuff, mellow but hearty.

Shortly there after, the appetizer arrived and we dug in. Side by side comparison, the Dinosaur BBQ’s fried green tomatoe appetizer (large) was cheaper (only $7.50 to Spanky’s $8.50), larger (5 Large slices to Spanky’s 4 med sized) and spicier. But, the Spanky’s Jack Daniel Cream Sauce that was very tasty. It’s a toss up between the two, so the wife and I will just have to keep trying them 🙂

Right after we split the last tomato, the real food arrived! The wife had ordered the brisket & rib plate while I went with the full rack.

Full Rack of RibsMine: As you can see, the ribs cover the entire plate. In fact they hang over the sides. Why order so much meat? Well, it’s my strategy for scraps. I order enough ribs for me to eat, the wife to steal and me to have for the next day. Plus is just plain economics. The ribs at Dinosaur BBQ are slow cooked for 24 hours with their own dry rub and then lightly coated with the Dinosaur BBQ Sauce (Wango Tango BBQ Sauce). I ordered the salt potatoes and the iceberg wedge as a my sides, which came along with the standard cornbread. The ribs were delicious as always, as were the sides. After eating the sides, I only managed to consume 4 ribs and the wife had ordered her own this time, so I took home an entire meal in ribs alone. (Score One for Sunday)

Brisket and Rib PlateThe wife’s: She even let me take a picture of hers. Now that’s love… or maybe just because I was buying dinner. Her 1/4 rack of ribs were cooked just like mine, but her brisket was what I was interested in. The brisket at Dinosaur BBQ was good, but the Spanky’s brisket was better. I dunno, there was just something that it was lacking. The Dinosaur BBQ brisket had less of a smoke ring and less crust. But it did have the Dinosaur BBQ Sauce and the wife is a huge fan of any BBQ sauce, with a penchant for the Dinosaur BBQ brand. I can attribute at least 2 opens bottles to her. She ended up like me though, taking most of her meal home. Damn diet is shrinking our stomaches I guess. She gave Dinosaur BBQ an enthusiastic thumbs up and blech, which is always sexy. She needs to lay off the root beer. 🙂

Now, I cruised the recipe pages on the Dinosaur BBQ website and I came across this one:

Black and Blue Pan Seared Beef Tenderloins
For the Sauce:

2 tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, minced fine
2 lg. cloves garlic, minced fine
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup BBQ Sauce
1 tsp salt

For the Finish:
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
4 8oz. beef tenderloin steaks
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp crumbly bleu cheese
2 tbsp sliced scallions

Step 1: Heat the butter ’til melted in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, cook until soft.
Add remaining ingredients, stir and keep warm on back burner.
Step 2: Heat a large skillet (cast iron is our choice) over high heat until smoking hot. Press salt and pepper into the steaks, coating both sides. Add olive oil to hot pan, swirl to coat surface, then add Steaks. Blacken steaks for 4 minutes on each side ’til medium rare, or longer depending on your preference. Remove steaks from heat and keep warm on serving platter.
Step 3: Replace saucepan to front burner and quickly add bleu cheese. Stir quickly, then pour over steaks before cheese melts completely. Garnish with scallions and enjoy!

These tenderloins have become my next weekend recipe project, so watch out for some Black and Blue Tenderloin steaks for Memorial Day. But I’d have to say, even if the tenderloins were on the menu at Dino BBQ, I would still order the ribs. In fact, I’ve never ordered any but the ribs from there. Why ruin a good thing?


Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog