Friday, September 23, 2011


The first time I performed at Wiseguys comedy club in Syracuse I, like always, asked around what restaurant I should go to in their city. Of course, I asked locals. That's the only way you're going to find out about the really good restaurants in the city. Word of mouth is the most reliable way to find out about exceptional things period. So, over and over, I kept hearing "Dinosaur BBQ". Incidentally, locals would even recommend Dinosaur BBQ when I asked what I should see or do in general in Syracuse. And as soon as I got to the restaurant I could see why. It has this really great energy. Really fun, busy, successful vibe mixed with that amazing bbq smoky smell.

I really like including restaurants in my blog that are ethical when it comes to meat - ie. local or organic or free range or at least no hormones. I don't know if Dinosaur has such a product but I can vouch for the restaurant in terms of exceptional taste and vibe.

They have many different beers on tap. Many of the beers are local and they have their own brew which I tried. It was good. The lighting in the restaurant and bar is dim even in the daytime. Which I like. It's cozy.

I've been to Dinosaur five times now. EVERYTIME I go to Syracuse I go there. The first time I had the 1/4 rack of ribs which the menu refers to as a "teaser". I don't know who that's a teaser for because I can never finish it. I should mention it comes with a choice of two sides and a piece of corn bread. I got collard greens and fries. Because let's be honest why get a salad? A. it's called DINOSAUR (go big) and B. it's not a salad type of place. If I ordered a salad there I would expect a guy in a cowboy hat to walk by and taunt me for eating "rabbit food".

Going to Dinosaur BBQ is a special treat for Canadians specifically because we don't really have many if at all "BBQ" places. We definately don't have anything quite like Dinosaur that's for sure.

The most recent time I went - Sept. 2011 - I shared a combination plate of chicken, brisket and ribs. It also came with 2 sides. We got their special mac and chesse with brocolli and mushroon in it and collard greens. It was ridiculously good. Always is. Super tender, saucy and fresh.

Here's a pic of our plate -

I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this - as an appetizer we got fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes is something I've NEVER seen on a Canadian menu. They are so good. They're served with a cayenne buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping. It's the kind of restaurant/bar that makes you feel healthy when you're eating FRIED green tomatoes topped with romano CHEESE and dipped in RANCH. It's hard to put into words but I think I'm getting there - Dinosaur BBQ is about decadence. You don't go there and count calories. You have a beer, you eat ribs or other saucy messy things, and maybe you even have key lime pie after when you already feel like you have to unbutton your pants because they're already getting tighter. It's an escape. It's more than delicious food. It's an event. If you don't go to this "honky tonk rib joint" when you're in Syracuse... well, you're a fool. Sorry, it's the BBQ talking.

Here's a pic of the fried green tomatoes -

They have three other locations in New York State. Here is their website. Their website is great and gives you an idea of how cool of a place it is.

1 comment:

Brian M. Carroll said...

I feel the same way about Brother Jimmy's Carolina Kitchen in Chicago. Especially their ribs with sides of collard greens and black-eyed peas.

That said, when you're performing in Ottawa, check out The SmoQue Shack. The baby back pork ribs and the Southern fried greens are fantastic. They have no redeeming social value.