My son's favorite restaurant is Dinosaur BBQ. Thanks to his activity schedule, he eats there almost weekly after he gets dropped off at the library to wait while his dad finishes work. As it happens, Dinosaur is right across from the library, so both men of the house have become mega rib-eaters.
I picked up the kids from Y-care early enough to get to the restaurant, get parking, and get a table ... that overlooked the falls. If you know Dinosaur, you know this is less likely than winning Mega-Millions! Must have been birthday power.
We started out with fried green tomatoes and some wings, both BBQ and sesame hoisin. It's hard for me to admit this, but I've never had better fried green tomatoes than I've had in ROC. Both Dinosaur and it's frenemy Sticky Lips have absolutely wonderfully seasoned, perfectly crisp versions. They come in orders of three, but our hyperactively personable waiter brought us four :) I'd call the wings a bit overcooked, but my son was undeterred and left only the bones. My daughter is the FGT queen and demanded another order ... another four!
The three of them--husband, daughter and birthday boy--decided to split the Sweetheart Deal for Two: a full rack of ribs and four sides. My kids love their Mac and Cheese ("the best" according to the boy), so their sides were two mac and cheeses, black beans and rice (her), BBQ beans (both) and an extra side of tomato cucumber salad (dad). Even with all three eating the ribs, we brought home about six! Over the years, I've lost my taste for ribs, but would say Dinosaur's are quite good. Moist with a deeply flavored dry rub that forms a great fairly spicy crust over the smokiness of the rib meat. The meal also comes with Dinosaur's cornbread, which is sweet and moist with a nice top crust and a good flake to it.
I love BBQ chicken! I ordered mine with mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh salad greens with bar-b-blues dressing. These are my two favorite Dinosaur sides. Their gravy is rich, flavorful, and delicious, and as the menu states, the mashed potatoes are "real." Yum!! The secret to the salad is the dressing, a unique concoction of bleu cheese mixed with BBQ sauce--spicy yet creamy. I cover my chicken with the Dinosaur Slathering Sauce. I have to share that I prefer Sticky Lips chicken. It's typically moister and more flavorful, but then again, it wasn't my birthday.
My son got his dessert for free as his birthday gift from our waiter :) He selected Chocolate Ice Box pie, a chilled and rich chocolate pudding pie in an oreo crust. Definitely worth a glass of milk! It disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle formed by my three before even hitting the table. I ordered the Key Lime Pie. Dinosaur has an absolutely note perfect version (it's the recipe I use at home!), hitting the delicate balance necessary between tart and sweet. Somehow, half of this pie made it into someone else's stomach (glancing in my husband's direction).
Our service was top flight, too. Plates cleared, glasses refilled, cute banter with the kids. Yay!
While it actually started in Syracuse, Dinosaur is truly a ROC landmark. So, hop on your hog and head downtown for a great view and even greater food.