There are going to be a lot of restaurants I eat at while I'm here at Columbia. I'd like to write about most of them. However, for the vast majority, I will not be dining with a party of four or five. Which means that I will probably only be sampling a small portion of the menu. For those restaurants (like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que), I don't intend for the post to be a review of the restaurant (like the previous post on Maialino). Instead, it will simply be an account of my impression of the restaurant and a brief commentary on the food (as well as a general thumbs up/down).
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has several locations in New York. I recently ate with a friend at their restaurant in Harlem, just 15 blocks north of Columbia. It's a great spot, nestled underneath the Riverside Drive bridge, with all of the hokey pig statues, mounted deer, and blues posters one expects from a barbecue joint.
There is live music nightly. The musicians were excellent, but the concrete floors, low ceiling, and larger-than-necessary amps made conversation difficult.
The food, though, was almost flawless. It's exactly what you want from a place named Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: juicy pulled pork, fork-tender brisket, flavorful mac-n-cheese, and soulful baked beans. The only misstep, the cornbread, was boring and mediocre, and when placed next to that pulled pork, a real let down.
Oddly enough, the standout item was the jumbo barbecued chicken wings. We opted for the "hot" version, which are dry rubbed, smoked, and finished on the grill. The Maytag blue cheese dressing was velvety and perfectly cut the wing's heat. At $7 for six wings, though, they are slightly overpriced.
The total came to about $16 each (that includes tip).