Saturday, November 22, 2008
I had to travel to Rochester for work and before I left, one of my co-workers suggested I try Dinosaur Bar B Que. Never one to pass up bbq, I Google mapped it to see how far it was from my hotel - less than a quarter of a mile - and like the anal person I am, started planning what sides I would order with my meal.
After I checked into my hotel around 7 p.m., I did the quick walk over to Court Street using my Google Map. Its always so strange to me when I travel to other cities just how desolate they are at night. I am used to Manhattan where it is more crowded on the streets at 1 a.m., then at 6 p.m., and the real desolation doesn't begin until 4 in the morning.
Dinosaur Bar B Que opened in 1998 in Rochester (there are also Syracuse and Harlem locations) and sits in the former LeHigh Valley Train Station overlooking the Genesee River. I went on a Thursday and there was a wait - for only one person! I couldn't believe how crowded it was for a Thursday night. I guess I now know why the streets were empty - everyone in Rochester was at Dinosaur Bar B Que!
Luckily, I didn't have to wait long, because I saw other co-workers there (or I should say they saw me) and sat down with them for dinner. I started with the fried green tomatoes, which were fried, sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese and served with a cayenne buttermilk ranch dressing. The fried green tomatoes were, well, alright. While I can't say for sure, they appeared to have been made in a factory and then frozen, which disappointed me. It was then on to Pork Bar-B-Que Platter with macaroni salad and bar-b-que beans. The pulled pork was served on a bun and while it claims to come piled high, it wasn't even close. I also found the pork to be very dry. Then there was the macaroni salad. The macaroni salad reminded me of the macaroni salad they used to serve in my college cafeteria in upstate New York. Needless to say, I didn't eat very much of it. Finally, there was the bar-b-que beans. The beans were better, but not earth shattering "Oh my God" good. The platter also came with their house-cured garlic-dill pickles. I was expecting to one or two pickle spears, but instead got two tiny pickle chips. Blink and you will miss them.
Overall, I found Dinosaur Bar B Que to be disappointing, especially since it claims that its supporters "swear by the authenticity of the place." I can't tell you whether it is authentic, but I can tell you what tastes good. I think there are lots of better bbq places out there, and even though it is a chain, Dallas BBQ still ranks at the top for me in NYC.
Dinosaur Bar B Que
99 Court Street
Rochester, N.Y. 14604