BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
A recent trek up to Harlem during my apartment search brought me to the neighborhood of Dinosaur BBQ. I had never made it up to 131st street to try out the famous BBQ, so when I passed it, I made a definitive note to self that I would for sure be stopping for dinner on my way home.
Monday night at 8:30pm, the huge restaurant (at least for Manhattan) was packed full, leaving the wait for a table for two at an hour and a half. Just as I was about to give up and settle for a can of soup from my pantry at home, 2 seats in the bar section (grab them as you see them seating policy) opened up and we rushed to snatch them up.
My game plan was to try a bit of everything, I went with the Swag Sampler plate for 1 ($5.95), an appetizer combo plate similar to what one would find at an Applebee’s including all of their goodies like spicy shrimp, meaty and very juicy BBQ chicken wings, fried green tomatoes, and deviled eggs. Having never ordered deviled eggs from a restaurant before, I was a little skeptical but discovered that they were actually very good! Creamy and spicy, with no trace of the “I’ve been sitting around a little too long” egg smell.
The beef brisket platter, original style topped with sweet BBQ onions was a steal at $10.50. Served with 2 heaping sides (I chose the coleslaw and the fries), the brisket was so tender it seemed to melt in my mouth. The Habanero BBQ sauce on the table served as a great addition to the sandwich. The coleslaw was zesty and rich with mayonnaise, which made the helping hard to finish by myself. Fresh fries with a hint of potato skin rounded out the hearty, home-style feast.
I now know what all the fuss is about. Dinosaur BBQ is a great escape from the rigors of Manhattan. It is food that will warm you on the coldest day of the year and bring you to your ‘happy’ place at any time of the year. Reservations intact, I will definitely be heading back to Dinosaur BBQ!