The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Facts:
301 Franklin St. Buffalo | 716-880-1677
Mon– Thur 11am to 10pm; Fri–Sat 11am to Midnight ; Sun Noon to 10pm
Delivery: 11:30 am to 3 p.m. Monday – Friday
Live Music: 10 pm Friday & Saturday
Article originally published July 2014
In the interest of full disclosure I’ve been a fan of the Dinosaur Restaurants in Syracuse and Rochester for years. If I was cruisin’ down the 90 I’d go out of my way to stop. Oddly, since the Dinosaur is now in Buffalo the need to get there was not that immediate.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que started serving up authentic Southern barbeque and regional craft brews in a charming roadhouse just south of Syracuse. They now have a brand that currently includes ten locations: New York – Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Troy, Harlem and Brooklyn; Newark, NJ; Stamford, CT, Chicago, IL, and Baltimore, MD, and likely more to come.
I’ve always been impressed by the atmosphere in the Dinosaurs, and Buffalo is no different. It’s hard to pin down the why. It’s more than the cool stuff hanging on the walls and the motorcycles hanging outside, but that doesn’t hurt. Good beer and food helps too, but I’d guess there’s a clue in our server’s big smile. She was a good conversationalist and made no bones about how much she liked working here and how great the people were. No uniforms – enjoy your job – hmm? In addition to good eats they have live music on weekends and a great patio.
We sat at a comfortable both with three people and were immediately greeted by our gregarious waitress. The place looks like it’s been there for years, much like the other Dinosaurs, dotted with beer memorabilia, biker stuff, beat up wood floors, mismatch of table and chairs. The look that some of the chains are going for, but somehow these guys actually pull it off. Located on Franklin in the heart of the Theater District, the building was once a storage warehouse vault where Universal Pictures housed movies reels. The Dino was secure enough in its being to leave the old signage above the door.
We ordered drinks which included a low cal root beer, house squeezed lemon aide and a flight of beers (Dino Ape Hanger, Brooklyn Summer Ale, Dino Smoked Porter and the Southern Tier Hop Sun). They have 18 beers on tap- locals like Hamburg, Flying Bison, Ellicottville, Community Beer Works, plus Sam, Oberon, Labatt, Bells, Guinness etc. They have another couple dozen by bottle or can. The Middle Ages sign was in the window (brewery out of Syracuse), but I didn’t see any of their beers on the board. I like a good Wailing Wench, but who doesn’t. They have a full bar and while I didn’t see any mention of wine I’m sure they have something.
The menu at the Dinosaur is pretty much what you might expect at a BBQ joint with a few surprises. If BBQ isn’t your thing they do offer salads, steak, burgers and a nice selection of sides.
We started with Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes, sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese and served with a cayenne buttermilk ranch dressing, 3 pieces $6.95- and Creole Spiced Deviled Eggs 3 for $3.95. I’ll give the fried green tomatoes an A because I really liked the cayenne buttermilk ranch dressing. I didn’t taste a lot of creole in the deviled eggs, but they were very good. Kudos to them for serving deviled eggs – love’em.
I ordered the 3 combo platter with BBQ Brisket, BBQ wings and St. Louis ribs. It comes with two sides – I went with fries and coleslaw. All good here. The ribs and brisket were very good. I liked the wings but, well, you know, they’re not Buffalo wings.
My companions went with the:
- The CHOW-CHOW Hoisin Sesame BBQ chicken sandwich with shredded cabbage, and sweet & sour green tomato relish. This is from the CHURRASCO CHICKEN area of the menu, described as mojo marinated breast, dressed with BBQ sauce and BBQ mayo with cornbread and one side (Mac N Cheese) – $ 9.95
- The Hand pulled Pork BBQ Carolina Sandwich, which comes with slaw on top. The side ordered was Cucumber & Sump’n Salad (seasonal) $9.95
Generally the food met with various degrees of good to very good. I thought the Carolina Pork sandwich was average, but everyone else loved it. I liked the Chow-Chow, but the person eating it thought it was just OK. I thought the corn bread was a little dry. The Mac and cheese was good, but not as good as Freddy J’s.
Menu Items for next time:
- DINO POUTINE – Hand-cut fries topped with beef gravy, homemade pimento cheese and pulled pork -$7.95
- BBQ “BURNT ENDS” MEATBALLS Pit-smoked, crispy fried, BBQ glazed with BBQ sauerkraut and bleu cheese shavings. $7.95
- DRUNKEN SPICY SHRIMP BOIL – PEEL & EAT shrimp cooked in a boil of beer, herbs & spices. Served COLD with Habanero cocktail sauce.1/4 pound solo $6.95; 1/2 pound for 2 – 4 $13.95; Full pound for 4 – 8 $22.95
- SKIRT STEAK – Korean marinated and grilled. Served with house-cured Chow-Chow & hoisin BBQ steak sauce. $20.95
- ONE-EYED BRISKET HASH – Smoked meat, potatoes and poblanos pan-seared crispy with a sunnyside egg and toasted roll. $13.95
- CHICKEN STEAK- Boneless half-chicken, pan-seared with smoked onions and chimichurri. $15.95
- BBQ CATFISH – Sweet tea brined, smoked, grilled with black eyed greens and BBQ glaze. $16.95
- HALF BIRD – Apple-brined, pit-smoked, original BBQ sauce slather, with H.H. cornbread. $13.95
- BBQ Pork Ribs – St. Louis ribs, dry rubbed, pit-smoked, then lightly glazed with our original BBQ Sauce. Served with Honey Hush cornbread. ¼ Rack (3 ribs) $10.95; ½ Rack (6 ribs) $16.95; ¾ Rack (9 Ribs) $21.95; 1 Full Rack (12 ribs) $25.95
What is Healthy Options Buffalo?
The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is a member of the Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options Buffalo program. The Healthy Options program was designed to help our community make informed decisions about healthy eating, and as a result, help address the high rates of stroke and heart disease prevalent in Western New York. Through this program, the Foundation works with area restaurants to offer heart-healthy food options that are considered lower in fat, saturated fat cholesterol, and sodium. To learn more about the Healthy Options program and to check out more great participating Healthy Options restaurants visit healthyoptionsbuffalo.com.
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