Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - Harlem
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The Syracuse-based barbecue phenomenon plunked a sprawling roadhouse with all the familiar back-road accoutrements into an abandoned meat factory. Unfinished wood-beamed ceiling, burlap bag curtains, scattered country bric-a-brac, and an enthusiastic greeting feel worlds away from the city. The roll call of devotees includes area families, couples on casual dates and groups of Columbia students.
Though fried green tomatoes and punchy boiled shrimp start things off right, the smell of smoking meats quickly adjusts the focus. The smokey-sweet pork ribs gently release from the bone and the Texas brisket, a touch dry, gets a lift from a topping of tangy cured jalapeños and a dash of hot sauce. It's even safe to venture from red meat with the truly moist and tender chicken, brined then smoked for deep flavor. With the exception of the cakey corn bread, sides keep pace, with tangy Creole potato salad and sweetened baked beans the standouts.