The crew that made the trek to Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue in Harlem on a rainy Wednesday night counted a dozen-ish. We arrived about 8:30p and were the last to leave. In between, we consumed:
2 orders Jumbo Bar-B-Cue chicken wings (13 ct.)
3 full racks of ribs (Bar-B-Cue rib smackers)
1 lb. barbecued pork, hand-pulled
1 lb. beef brisket, Texas style
1 chicken, special of the night, jerk-style sauce
1 qt. Bar-B-Cue beans
1 qt. simmered greens
1 qt. Syracuse-style salt potatoes
1 qt. mac n cheese
1 qt. cole slaw
1 qt. Creole potato salad
2 Key lime pie slices
1 Chocolate Icebox pie
1 Fruit Crisp
5 buckets of Pork Slap beer (6 ct.)
Can I have a moment of silence for our complete and utter fullness?
Whew. There were so many of us that we ordered our meats by the rack and by the pound, and our sides by the quart, and hit up all of Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue’s best, which include:
#1 The ribs. They’re huge and meaty, falling-off-the-bone tender, perfect alone or improved with a swipe of Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue’s regular (sweet) or spicy (mildly spicy) sauce. Definitely the house specialty, as someone pointed out last night, it’s kind of hard to order and not end up with ribs on your plate. (All the meat combo plates come standard with a 1/4 rack of ribs.)
#2 The Jumbo Bar-B-Cue chicken wings. Get a mix of spicy and regular — spicy isn’t too spicy. I am no chicken wing connoisseur. In fact, when I eat chicken wings I’m making an exception. Too, too often they’re small, fatty, dry, the sauce slathered on thick in an attempt to compensate for inadequacies in other (aforementioned) departments. Like I said, I do make exceptions. My grandpa in Buffalo, N.Y., has his own killer sauce recipe, his own commercial deep-frier, and makes every batch himself. To which I say, “Yes, please!”
Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue’s wings are another exception.
#3 The Syracuse-style salt potatoes. I have no idea what that means. I assume the “Syracuse” reference is a nod to Dinosaur Bar-B-Cue’s first location, in Upstate New York (their third and only other location is in Rochester, N.Y.) … In fact, a quick Google search reveals salt potatoes are a regional specialty of upstate/central New York, which means the “Syracuse-style” bit in the listing on the menu is redundant. (See the Wikipedia entry here, and this recipe from the New York Times.) Regardless, these thin-skinned, cut-with-your-fork tender, little morsels are some of the best potatoes I’ve ever had in my life.
And lastly, #4, Key lime pie. I missed out on the photo op, so here’s a photo of my whole plate of food instead, but this pie is just … pillow-y and cool and smooth and creamy and not-too-sweet, lightly lime-y taste that is so refreshing after plates of barbecued meat and the rest. Which is not to say that Key lime pie is light in calories, either (surely the pie is indebted to heavy cream for its silkiness); it’s a fitting end to a feast.