Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BBQ and Other NYC Adventures in Food

My first acquaintance with New York City barbecue was not a good one. The pulled pork I ordered at Dallas BBQ about a year ago was evidently plopped on the bun with an ice cream scoop because the goopy meat still kept its round shape.

There has to be something better than this, I thought. So some friends and I recently went in search of prime pig in Harlem, at Dinosaur Barbecue.

The signs were promising. A long line often points the way to good food, and the number of people waiting on the sidewalk made me glad I had made a reservation. In addition, the dim lighting and wooden decor were a far superior cry from the neon overload at Dallas.

But then the food came out.

First of all, one friend ordered what is called the "Big Ass Pork Plate." Evidently Dinosaur's idea and my idea of a big ass are very different because that was one small derriere.

My own pulled pork sandwich was good but not great. I liked the sauce, but it was nothing to write home about. The french fries were limp, and the cornbread was below average. My favorite side, the baked beans, was the one thing Paul didn't like.

Even still, Dinosaur was 1,000 percent better than Dallas. But my quest for good barbecue in the city continues.

I'm not looking for anything classy. Just tasty. In fact, Paul and I have skipped places with linen napkins lately in favor of some good old comfort food.

Last weekend: IHOP. There's one in downtown Brooklyn, near the border between the shady and swanky parts of town. I quickly chose the chocolate chip pancakes, while Paul got a country fried steak that looked absolutely disgusting. But he was happy.

"Sometimes you just want a bunch of cheeseball Midwestern food," he said as we walked to the subway. "And free refills."


  1. So I got a tip about a "place" the other day...in the financial district. mypicnick.com is the place but there's supposed to be a cart called "Picnick, smoked" or something somewhere down there too... I haven't figured out the association cause the menu they have on the site has no BBQ but I know the cart does. I'm going to try to find it next week.

  2. Have you tried Brother Jimmy's or Southern Hospitality (upper east side place owned by Justin Timberlake)? Brother Jimmy's was weird in that they charged extra for slaw (usually comes standard on southern BBQ sandwiches) and there were no hush puppies on the menu, but they did have a variety of regional BBQ styles, including NC and SC. I've tried SH a couple times, and while it's no hole-in-the-wall, their BBQ is decent, even if it's not NC-style (my favorite). I think we went there for margaritas when Sam was here...

  3. Ohhhh, IHOP. We actually don't have that where I grew up, but it's all over the place here. Not a fan! Give me Eat 'N Park any day. :)



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