Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Your rating: None Average: 4 (10 votes)

Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the first. That knee-jerk pour of sauce onto your ribs will probably spill onto your new khakis. But you won’t care. The excitement is natural. Instead of reaching for the napkins — and delaying your meal — you’ll continue to pig out. After all, that’s what a fluorescent sign says in the window of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: “Pig In, Pig Out.” The rib experience at this go-to downtown restaurant is one of a kind.

When to Go: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que appeals to all age groups. On any given night, you’ll see everything from grizzled bikers to bright-eyed five-year-olds. It has a full bar, yet still attracts a young demographic. Weekend nights or whenever there’s a Syracuse sports game can cause a lengthy wait. A one-hour wait out on the adjacent sidewalk isn’t out of the norm, and the restaurant is jam-packed at dinner almost every night. But with plenty of seating inside and outside, one can grab lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que without a wait at all. The bottom line: Bring a magazine and an open mind. Any standing in line you do is completely worth it.

On Tap: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que doesn’t fancy itself a watering hole. People come for the ribs and all things barbeque first and foremost. Beer is just a secondary bonus, so don’t come here if boozing is perched atop your Friday to-do list. Leave that to Marshall Street. Still, you’ll find all your basic favorites here. That’s all you need, really. The bottom line: Nothing complements flaming, spicy ribs like a smooth Bud Light or Labatt Blue.

Blue Plate Special: Easy. The ribs. Right along with student-section chants, 2 a.m. Kimmel runs and Mayfest, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s pork ribs are one of the first need-to-know things that SU freshmen discover. The sizes vary: You can buy four different sets of pork ribs— ¼ rack (3-4 ribs), ½ rack (6-7 ribs), ¾ rack (9-10 ribs) and a full rack (12-13 ribs). A half-rack at $14.50 is usually sufficient for one person. Each plate includes two homemade sides on a list of 17 items (go for the fresh-cut fries and the peppered, surprisingly scrumptious coleslaw). Have a hungry (and thirsty) party of people craving Dino ribs? Dinosaur offers a go-for-broke “High Time Special.” Get a full rack of ribs and a bottle of Dom Perignon for $195. The bottom line: First-timers shouldn't mess around with a hamburger. Get the ribs or one of the restaurant’s several barbecue sandwiches.

The Scene: Paintings of dinosaurs are smeared about in collage-like abundance. Along the outdoor seating is a flashy painting of a dinosaur jamming out on a guitar, other dinosaurs drinking beer and one king dinosaur overlooking it all. As odd as it may sound, dinosaurs pigging out on barbeque has given the restaurant its quirky hook, and a distinct brand that keeps people coming back. It’s colorful. It’s loud (live music is common). The bottom line: If you’re looking to leave manners at the wayside and let loose, this is the place for you.

The Crew: Waiters and waitresses are a fun extension of the in-your-face atmosphere. They aren’t looking for your life story, but they’re hip, friendly and sure to loosen you up. After we got drinks and perused the menu for a few minutes, a tattooed waiter stopped at our table, busted out a notepad and boomed, “Let’s do this!” Gotta love it. The bottom line: The people working for Dinosaur add a tint of awesomeness to this rare atmosphere.

The Crowd: Parents, feel free to bring little Jimmy. Frat boys, feel free to bring your rowdiness. Dinosaur truly appeals to every person from every walk of life. The bottom line: Green light.

The Deets: You probably won’t find as dense a barbeque selection anywhere in the state. For anyone missing Ma’s home cooking, this is as close as you’ll find. The menu includes four brackets of specialty sandwiches. The pork barbeque section has six selections, the barbeque beef has six, the barbeque chicken breast has 10 and there are six barbeque “chuck” burgers. Entrees tinker around $10-15 across the board. Plenty of bang for your buck. The bottom line: Yee-haw.

Profile by Tyler Dunne


246 W Willow St
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 476-4937

On The Map:

Javascript is required to view this map.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.