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Dinosaur BBQ (NYC)


phaelon56
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that surely is a from the heart felt response, thanks for sending that on, Jason.

I'm totally taken back with the fact they use the same wood supplier for all three locations. While it makes great business sense, from the Dinosaur end, Shute Landscaping, must have swallowed somewhat hard, when they were approached to send a truck loaded with cordwood into Harlem.

woodburner

Not sure I'm geting your point. Is is just that its quite a distance from the upstate locations?

Mary

hi mary

it sure was my point.

rochester/syracuse/nyc are not what most would consider a perfect triangular delivery route, for a landscaping company.

my point is I applaud, dinosaur, and j. stage for going the extra mile. :wink: in doing what is right.

your fuel source turns from a consumable into an ingredient in your style of cooking. Keep in mind this is bbq, where wood is king. I'm sure there was no easy negotiation regarding the transport of wood from upstate to NYC. Stage has certainly thought this whole thing through, being that you only expected one quarter of the business that you currently see. Food supply for this type of an slaught would be overcoming to most.

Purist bbq shuts down when the food is gone for the day. I'm glad to see that the Dinosaur has thought this problem out and solved it

woodburner

Edited by woodburner (log)
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rochester/syracuse/nyc are not what most would consider a perfect triangular delivery route, for a landscaping company.

Perhaps not but have you seen the prices for firewood in the NYC area? Metro NYC area based suppliers can make a fortune selling firewood by the cord to individuals - I doubt that they'd come uop with really competitive wholesale prices for a restaurant. I'm not familiar personally with Shut but wood prcies in Syracuse can be really low if you hook up with the right people (folks who own or have really good access to a woodlot). I'll guess that it's cheaper to pay a Syracuse supplier to make the drive for a good sized load than it is to buy it in NYC with local delivery. Not to mention the peace of mind that comes from dealing with a vendor who is a known quantity and has proven to be consistent and treliable. It ain't all about price.

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Good business decision is what most comes to my mind, in keeping one wood supplier for all three locations. The Dino is basically using the same Oyler pits in their three locations, which means to me, they want to make sure that their wood supply in each place needs to be comparable, in regards to moisture content, species, and relative sizing. It would only make sense to me that they want a meal to taste the same in NYC, as one would expect to get in Syracuse or Rochester

Like I mentioned upthread, wood to a bbq place, is the second main ingredient, in their cooking, coming in behind consistent meat quality as number one. So I doubt it's a money issue with the Dinosaur, more of a logistics issue with Shute Landscaping.

woodburner

Edited by woodburner (log)
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Shute Landscaping, must have swallowed somewhat hard, when they were approached to send a truck loaded with cordwood into Harlem.

Not sure I'm geting your point. Is is just that its quite a distance from the upstate locations?

Mary

It's about 260 miles. But I also think he was playing around a bit about people's general perceptions about Harlem.

He must not have gotten on one of those tourist buses that ply 125th Street these days.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

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December 29, 2004 review by Josh Ozerky, Newsday.com

"Best Opening (Manhattan): Dinosaur BBQ.

Its ribs, reddened from and redolent of fragrant hardwood fumes, are smoked just past that magic moment when the muscle fibers begin to separate from the bone, and each other.

This Dinosaur delivers, and in spades. For me, its opening was the event of 2004".

woodburner

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December 29, 2004 review by Josh Ozerky, Newsday.com

"Best Opening (Manhattan): Dinosaur BBQ.

Its ribs, reddened from and redolent of fragrant hardwood fumes, are smoked just past that magic moment when the muscle fibers begin to separate from the bone, and each other.

This Dinosaur delivers, and in spades. For me, its opening was the event of 2004".

woodburner

And I hear Ozersky knows his meat.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Just read the Village Voice review and noticed this comment:

"bombard their meat with thick wood smoke, running through hardwood by the cord (128 cubic feet) every day".

Anyone who even just dabbles in smoking meat knows that the last thing you want is "thick wood smoke." All this will get you is bitter tasting creosote stained leather.

What you need is just a light whisp of thin blue smoke (Hence the name of the "other" place).

This alone suggests to me that the reviewer had some sort of agenda...

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Just read the Village Voice review and noticed this comment:

"bombard their meat with thick wood smoke, running through hardwood by the cord (128 cubic feet) every day".

Anyone who even just dabbles in smoking meat knows that the last thing you want is "thick wood smoke."  All this will get you is bitter tasting creosote stained leather.

What you need is just a light whisp of thin blue smoke (Hence the name of the "other" place).

This alone suggests to me that the reviewer had some sort of agenda...

In no way does this suggest an agenda. Instead, as the posts above have made clear, it reinforces the claim that Sietsema should have been way more careful in his research before suggesting that Dinosaur didn't use wood. No question it was a mistake. But let's not dismiss ten years of some of the best and most interesting restaurant reviewing in the city because of it.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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I'm curious as to what people would consider to be the top 5 BBQ places in NYC. How you would rank them and how they differ.

"I never have trouble getting in shape. The Ancient Greeks thought the sphere was the perfect shape, all points being equidistant from the center. I effortlessly tend toward perfection".

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Oh, oh

The NY Times review is out. Did the reviewer eat in a totally different place than I did? Can all the people enjoying the bbq be wrong?

How do these things happen? The review is totally negative, aside from the chicken.

Sighs

Nadine

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A recent meeting of the soon to be married club choose Rochester's Dinosaur for our once a month Monday dinner. None of us have been there for at least a year of so and it seems we haven't been missing anything. The sauce is always good but the pulled pork was mushy, the ribs were not smoky enough, and the brisket seemed mundane. All I can think is that there must be rushing the cooking process somehow. The pork could have been done in the oven it was so bland and the ribs tasted like the temp was too high and they spent their cooling time covered causing them to "steam" in their own juices. I hope there not trying to "pre-make" their product in a central location - that never works for 'que.

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I'd say more than oh-oh on this one...I'd say OUCH. :sad:You can read it here.

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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The New Yorker, January 17, 2005:

. . . At lunch the other day, a well-travelled finger-licker consented to mumble some criticism. First, Dinosaur's Carolina pulled-pork sandwich is really a Mamphis pulled-pork sandwich (not enough vinegar). Second, he said, "they don't respect the pork." The same could be said for the beef brisket, which was gyro-tough. Hist theory was that in a quest for authenticity Dinosaur had erred on the side of blandness, skimping on sauces and spices. The others at the table agreed and found the chicken (the dark meat) and the ribs (pork) smokier and more to their liking. One diner observed that the corn bread, with a sugary glaze, tasted a little like Alpha-Bits, and another discovered, heretically, that pretty much every kind of meat at the table could be improved by dipping it in the melted "Cajun garlic butter" (seasoned with "Cajun foreplay") that came with a side order of salt potatoes. . . .
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I'd say more than oh-oh on this one...I'd say OUCH.  :sad:  You can read it here.

I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research. The only thing I can toss all of this up to is that Dinosaur is still in its infancy and that at times the place is either very "on" or very off. The one time we went, it was definitely "on".

Blue Smoke in its early days was besotted with technical problems. I'm confident that Dinosaur, come six months time, will be producing excellent barbecue on a consistent day to day basis. I'm curious how Paul Kirk is going to do in his first several months as well, and whether his 'Q will be equally recieved.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Come on now!! Blue Smoke still sucks!! I would Not put Paul Kirk in the same catagory as either of them. He is a true Pit Master.

I found this on line:

The Grand Barbecue, a book by Doug Worgul which celebrates the history, places, personalities and techniques of Kansas City barbecue, devotes an entire chapter to Paul Kirk. Worgul writes,

Paul Kirk's contribution to barbecue is roughly equivalent to the contribution of Vince Lombardi to football and Jack Nicklaus to golf. Combined. Except in Paul Kirk's case, he's alive and in his prime.

Paul Kirk is the world's greatest barbecue cooker and the world's greatest barbecue coach. (Emphasis added. The Grand Barbecue, page 65.)

I'd say more than oh-oh on this one...I'd say OUCH.  :sad:  You can read it here.

I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research. The only thing I can toss all of this up to is that Dinosaur is still in its infancy and that at times the place is either very "on" or very off. The one time we went, it was definitely "on".

Blue Smoke in its early days was besotted with technical problems. I'm confident that Dinosaur, come six months time, will be producing excellent barbecue on a consistent day to day basis. I'm curious how Paul Kirk is going to do in his first several months as well, and whether his 'Q will be equally recieved.

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The New Yorker, January 17, 2005:
. . . At lunch the other day, a well-travelled finger-licker consented to mumble some criticism. First, Dinosaur's Carolina pulled-pork sandwich is really a Mamphis pulled-pork sandwich (not enough vinegar). Second, he said, "they don't respect the pork." The same could be said for the beef brisket, which was gyro-tough. Hist theory was that in a quest for authenticity Dinosaur had erred on the side of blandness, skimping on sauces and spices. The others at the table agreed and found the chicken (the dark meat) and the ribs (pork) smokier and more to their liking. One diner observed that the corn bread, with a sugary glaze, tasted a little like Alpha-Bits, and another discovered, heretically, that pretty much every kind of meat at the table could be improved by dipping it in the melted "Cajun garlic butter" (seasoned with "Cajun foreplay") that came with a side order of salt potatoes. . . .

The entire review is here.

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I'd say more than oh-oh on this one...I'd say OUCH.  :sad:  You can read it here.

I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research. The only thing I can toss all of this up to is that Dinosaur is still in its infancy and that at times the place is either very "on" or very off. The one time we went, it was definitely "on".

I too am okay with this review. It doesn't take cheap shots or make spurious unjustified unresearched assumptions.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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. . . At lunch the other day, a well-travelled finger-licker consented to mumble some criticism. First, Dinosaur's Carolina pulled-pork sandwich is really a Mamphis pulled-pork sandwich (not enough vinegar). Second, he said, "they don't respect the pork."

And I agree about the problem with the Pulled Pork. I was trying to figure out why I rated it as barely more than "okay", and this probably hits the nail on the head.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research.

This is the sort of review that challenges even a writer's fans. It begins with an unprovable premise ("New York will never be a great barbecue town") backs it up with nostalgia ("Regional food tastes best in its region") and then falls into the abyss of self-fulfilling prophecy, not to mention questionable research (I would not be so quick to complain that a North Carolina-style barbecue sandwich is "more chunked than pulled," given that North Carolina-style barbecue sandwiches are supposed to be more chunked than pulled). It is extremely difficult for me, even accepting the idea of significant variance in smoked products, to accept the conclusions in this hatchet-job as having been based on open-minded tasting at the same restaurant I visited. And in "$25 and Under" there's just no reason to slam a place this hard. Eric Asimov would have focused on constructive criticism. It is unfortunate that this important function has now been handed over to a gaggle of writers who don't necessarily seem to have a feel for the column.

Every time I see an injustice like this perpetrated on a hard-working, conscientious restaurateur who is trying to improve the New York food scene and is showing early signs of success, I grow even more disappointed with the community of New York City restaurant reviewers. Dinosaur no doubt has flaws, but it also serves some really good food. It did not deserve this slam or the one from Sietsema.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research.

This is the sort of review that challenges even a writer's fans. It begins with an unprovable premise ("New York will never be a great barbecue town") backs it up with nostalgia ("Regional food tastes best in its region") and then falls into the abyss of self-fulfilling prophecy, not to mention questionable research (I would not be so quick to complain that a North Carolina-style barbecue sandwich is "more chunked than pulled," given that North Carolina-style barbecue sandwiches are supposed to be more chunked than pulled). It is extremely difficult for me, even accepting the idea of significant variance in smoked products, to accept the conclusions in this hatchet-job as having been based on open-minded tasting at the same restaurant I visited. And in "$25 and Under" there's just no reason to slam a place this hard. Eric Asimov would have focused on constructive criticism. It is unfortunate that this important function has now been handed over to a gaggle of writers who don't necessarily seem to have a feel for the column.

Every time I see an injustice like this perpetrated on a hard-working, conscientious restaurateur who is trying to improve the New York food scene and is showing early signs of success, I grow even more disappointed with the community of New York City restaurant reviewers. Dinosaur no doubt has flaws, but it also serves some really good food. It did not deserve this slam or the one from Sietsema.

I see her premise as conventional wisdom, Steven--although I can see the point of view that such could be construed as a lazy and unfair shortcut. Admittedly her thesis is that the restaurant is somehow inappropriate from its inception, but she does give a lot of supporting very food-specific objections to prop that up. This is versus Sietsema, who basically just made stuff up.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Come on now!! Blue Smoke still sucks!! I would Not put Paul Kirk in the same catagory as either of them. He is a true Pit Master.

Do you think Bluesmoke would be more successful if it prepared its food to suit your palate? It may be that New Yorkers don't really like barbecue. I know nothing about authentic barbecue, but Bluesmoke and Daisy May's are IMHO very good and significantly better than what I had one my lone visit to Dinosaur.

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Come on now!! Blue Smoke still sucks!! I would Not put Paul Kirk in the same catagory as either of them. He is a true Pit Master.

I found this on line:

The Grand Barbecue, a book by Doug Worgul which celebrates the history, places, personalities and techniques of Kansas City barbecue, devotes an entire chapter to Paul Kirk.  Worgul writes,

Paul Kirk's contribution to barbecue is roughly equivalent to the contribution of Vince Lombardi to football and Jack Nicklaus to golf.  Combined.  Except in Paul Kirk's case, he's alive and in his prime.

Paul Kirk is the world's greatest barbecue cooker and the world's greatest barbecue coach.  (Emphasis added.  The Grand Barbecue, page 65.)

I'd say more than oh-oh on this one...I'd say OUCH.  :sad:  You can read it here.

I have a lot of respect for Kim Severson, she's a very talented, highly respected and intelligent writer, and she's someone who does her research. The only thing I can toss all of this up to is that Dinosaur is still in its infancy and that at times the place is either very "on" or very off. The one time we went, it was definitely "on".

Blue Smoke in its early days was besotted with technical problems. I'm confident that Dinosaur, come six months time, will be producing excellent barbecue on a consistent day to day basis. I'm curious how Paul Kirk is going to do in his first several months as well, and whether his 'Q will be equally recieved.

At this point I think it’s a little harsh to say “Blue Smoke Sucks.” They make decent BBQ that’s just not great. They are what they are and people seem to like them, whatever you think of their food quality. They did get a break from the press when they first opened and where given a lot of time to figure things out. Dino isn’t getting the same break, but you would think with Dino’s history they would have hit the ground running and not have the need any excuses.

What I don’t get is how some restaurateurs think that they can wake up one morning and expect to open a BBQ restaurant with a pit master that spent a couple of months watching someone cook. Or a chef that decides he’s going to experiment with a BBQ restaurant and develops his “secret” smoker that you no one can see because it’s so special. If you did that with a sushi restaurant, you would be laughed out of town. Do you remember 5 or 6 years ago when a certain trendy Soho restaurant hired a round-eyed sushi chef and the Japanese chefs from other restaurants made fun of him? Why isn’t that the same with BBQ? A lot of people (present company excluded) do not have any idea of the skill-level needed to put out consistent good (much less great) Que. My guess is that most people eating BBQ in New York have no idea what good Que is, and they probably don’t really care; because they know what they like, even if it is dry meat smothered in a cloying sauce.

In regards to Paul Kirk’s much heralded arrival onto the NY BBQ scene, my guess is that any start-up related food quality issues will be resolved prior to the first slice of brisket being served to a paying customer. I was surprised at the access I had at the BBQ Block Party last summer to talk to Paul and compliment him on his brisket. I was even more surprised to find out from him that he’d never cooked on the smokers he was using and that they were fresh out of the box. He explained that while he was happy with the results, he knew that he would do much better (the consensus if I remember from the RUB thread, was that Egulleters for the most part thought that the brisket he served that day was excellent, cooked on the same pits he will use in the restaurant). I asked him if he thought an electrically assisted smoker was inferior to one fired with wood, and he said no. He went on to explain that the most important thing in cooking good BBQ is temperature control, and that the electrical assist provided rock-steady temperatures. He also explained that over-smoking meat was as bad a sin as under-smoking, and that the smokers he was using provided excellent smoke control. Let’s not question how Paul Kirk will do, lets wait and see his results. If past performance is any indication of future success, we may be in for a treat.

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The New Yorkers who don't know about good barbecue seem to be the ones who write for our newspapers. There are, of course, plenty of non-journalist New Yorkers who don't know good barbecue. Perhaps they're cut from the same undiscriminating cloth as all the people in the South who support all those awful chain barbecue places where they steam the meat and bathe it in liquid smoke. I would guess there are at least 1,000 times as many bad barbecue places in the South than in New York City. So maybe it's better to focus on what a lot of New Yorkers do know about barbecue. A lot of New Yorkers have traveled extensively in barbecue country, tasting and appreciating -- go into any serious well-documented Southern barbecue institution and say you're from New York, and you'll hear "Oh, so are those folks over there," or "Yeah we get lots of New Yawkers through here." Plenty of New Yorkers go to university in barbecue country, they travel there for all kinds of reasons, and some go just for the barbecue. Plenty of New Yorkers were born in the South -- now more than ever it feels as though every newly arrived New Yorker you meet comes from Texas, Georgia, Florida or the Carolinas. There are enough people here that can appreciate good barbecue and are willing to support it. Our critics, who think they know a tremendous amount about barbecue even though they apparently don't, are a lot tougher on New York barbecue restaurants than, say, Bob Garner is on barbecue places in North Carolina. And, as in the South, there are plenty of clueless people who will eat any meat with sauce on it and be perfectly satisfied.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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