Restaurant Review: Dinosaur BBQ
646 West 131st Street
New York, NY
Well folks, it was time to try Dinosaur BBQ again.
Last time I reviewed Dinosaur I wasn't impressed at all. Well, it hasn't changed. I went to Dinosaur on Sunday afternoon about 2:30. The place was half empty, or half full depending on your perspective. That's pretty good business for a Sunday afternoon, and I took it as an encouraging sign that the food had improved since my last visit. The racial makeup of the people in the restaurant has also improved. On my last visit, the restaurant was frequented by mostly white folk. This time it looked like a real slice of the city.
I keep reading and hearing that Dinosaur BBQ has some great chicken wings. So, I ordered, wait for it now, the chicken wings with the Hot Wang Tango sauce ($5.50). I was served six good size wings, with an excellent blue cheese sauce, and three little match stick pieces of celery. But these wings were burnt! Under a thin layer of the Wango Tango Sauce, lain six black skinned wings. They weren't spicy, they weren't smoked, they weren't worth my time.
For my main meal, I decided to order the Sunday special which is house cured, smoked molasses ham with red eyed gravy ($13.95). I asked the waitress to suggest my two side dishes and she offered up the mini-lettuce wedge with Bar-B-Blues dressing and the Syracuse-style salt potatoes. She asked me if I wanted the wings and the meal at the same time and I said no.
When I was about half way done with my wings, a bus boy brought out my meal. Why do restaurants do that? Appetizers are supposed to be eaten before you meal.
I was served a huge main course of ham with red eye gravy, potato and a lettuce wedge drowned in dressing with one grape tomato cut in half. The ham was served on a bed of some of the best grits I've ever tasted. But the ham itself was lack luster and flavorless. I think the chef expected the gravy to make up for it, because that was damn good and filled with onions. The dressing on the lettuce was a spicier version of a thousand island dressing that over powered the lettuce and whatever you ate after it. The salt potatoes, were just plain boring. Dinner also included a nice size piece of corn bread. On my last visit, the corn bread was smaller than my phone, this time it was at least 4 times the size.
The graffiti situation in the men's room has improved. Since it opened, more people have added to the walls and doors, so the level of obscenity has been toned down to PG-13. Much better. But the bathroom was absolutely disgustingly dirty. There were puddles of piss everywhere. Garbage was strewn around and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in days.
Many people think Dinosaur BBQ is one of the best barbeque restaurants in the city. Overall, I still don't see what the fuss is about. I think Dinosaur has improved since my last visit, but the food is still mediocre, but I know I'll be back. I've heard from many folks that the food here is really good, but I haven't found that entree yet.
And finally, to all the folks that slammed me last time I reviewed Dinosaur, bring it on. Just keep it on topic.