Dinosaur BBQ started with John Stages serving food at biker events, where he was told that he had the right idea, but needed to work on his technique. John went off on a tour of the South to learn the art of barbequing, and eventually opened up shop in Syracuse. Since, then he’s received national recognition and opened up new locations. I visited the one in Harlem to get a taste of their highly recommended wings.
The Jumbo BBQ Wings are cheapest if you order thirteen for $13.95. For Harlem, that’s quite expensive. However, Dinosaur seems to attract a mix of everyone from across the city and beyond despite it’s location under the Riverside Drive Bridge. I opted for the wings to be rubbed with their house-made Wango Tango sauce. After the wings are spiced, they’re pit-smoked and grilled to perfection. The tender meat encased in smoked, crackling skin was fantastic. The Wango Tango sauce had a mix of sweet and spicy, since it was infused with lime juices, tomatoes, habanero peppers, and brown sugar. I asked for their Devil’s Dare (hottest) sauce on the side to get more of a kick into each bite, but that failed to deliver the spice I wanted. Fortunately, the smokiness of the wings had a phenomenal flavor of its own.
I’ll definitely be back to try their ribs and give a complete review. Although the wings were huge, I paid well over a dollar per wing (before tax and tip) in Harlem. It’s still priced reasonably for the quality, but I’ll have to try the ribs before I can suggest it’s worth going out of your way for. For now, stop by if you’re in the area. Hopefully you’ll have a reservation, since Columbia students tend to fill up the tables very quickly.