Hello Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Syracuse!

Dinosaurs are often associated with big and bold and thus it just seems appropriate that one of the biggest restaurants as well as one of the boldest in terms of making a name for itself in Syracuse is named Dinosaur Bar-B-Que!

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que first started off in 1983 as an idea among three friends at a motorcycle gathering in Albany, New York. Founder John Stage and his friends wanted to offer good bbq to their fellow bikers and made a mobile concession that they brought to various motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals throughout the Northeast. Fast forward to 1988, where the mobile concession stand became a full-blown restaurant in downtown Syracuse, New York. Through the years Dinosaur has been making bold waves via being showcased in various magazines and the Food Network. Now Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has eight additional locations: Rochester, New York, Harlem, New York, Troy, New York,Newark, New Jersey, Stamford, Connecticut, Brooklyn, New York, and Buffalo, New York.

Traveling to Syracuse, I knew instantly that I had to try this iconic bbq joint and did not hesitate to go to the original location on one of my nights there. Known for super long waits, I was pleasantly surprised to have no wait when I arrived! (Can we yell success and yay!!) The place was definitely crowded with eager foodies like myself but it didn’t take long for me to start of my savory meal here.

To start off I tried Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s famous Fried Green Tomatoes.

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The Fried Green Tomatoes come in either 3 pieces or 5 pieces and are served with a side cayenne buttermilk ranch. This was the perfect starter to my meal. I loved the juicy green tomato that was fried to golden perfection. The Pecorino Romano cheese on top was a nice touch and the cayenne buttermilk ranch was a great dipping companion.

For my main meal, I decided to try a variety of some of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s best offerings by getting a combo plate.

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My chosen combo plate consisted of St. Louis ribs, chicken wings and bbq brisket with jalapeños along with corn bread, simmered turkey neck collard greens and mashed potatoes. This was one hearty and very fulfilling plate! The St. Louis ribs are dry rubbed and slow smoked and lightly glazed with Dinosaur’s original bbq sauce  It was no surprise to have the meat fall off the St. Louis ribs. Very tender it came off with one flick of my fork. Equal in tenderness was the bbq brisket. The BBQ brisket is also slow-smoked and then hand sliced and flavored with pickled onion & jalapeno relish. It is topped with sliced jalapeno and just has the right amount of spice. The chicken wings were also delightful and had very good flavoring. These chicken wings are spice-rubbed, pit-smoked and grill finished. I loved dipping it with the original BBQ sauce as well as blue cheese dressing. All of the meats went well with the side of collard greens and mashed potatoes.

Dinosaur’s meats are already quite tasty by themselves but if one wants even more flavor; there is a variety of sauces and rubs that you can smother and sprinkle all over.

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Sensuous Slathering is more of their traditional BBQ sauce that has just the right amount of sweet for my palate. The heat starts with the Garlic Chipotle Pepper Sauce and the Mango Tango Habanero Hot Bar-b-que Sauce. Dare if you can handle the heat with the oh so hot Devil’s Duel Habenro Hot Pepper Sauce. Lastly there is the Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub for a little more heat. (How hot can you go?_ 😉

If it does get a lot hot…have no fear because aside from savory meats, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que also has some sweet treats! They’ve got Chocolate Ice Box Pie, Peanut Butter Pie, Dino Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.

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The Sweet Potato Pecan Pie was my dessert of choice and I fell in love with at first bite. The sweet potato itself was so soft and practically melted in my mouth. I loved the toppings of pecan pie. Both the sweet potato and pecan were the perfect pair for one another.

Just like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s namesake of dinosaurs, this place definitely is big and bold in terms of their offerings. Their foundation is fresh, homemade and high quality and as they say they “WFDA” or “We Don’t F** Around.” Big and bold indeed. It was one intense and delicious trip here.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Syracuse.

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Hello Truxton’s Torrance!

Truxton’s American Bistro has finally hit Torrance, California! The popular restaurant specializing in New American cuisine has opened up its third location at Hillside Village in the South Bay! The other two locations are in Westchester, California and Santa Monica, California.

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It took six years before Truxton’s found a home in Hillside Village and now it’s finnaly ready for all of us in the South Bay and beyond. Truxton’s had their grand opening in Torrance this June 9, 2017! Being a South Bay local, I was so excited to try out the newest spot on the hill.

Truxton’s is well-known for their monkey bread and I couldn’t let a visit pass by Truxton’s without it.

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Monkey bread is traditionally known as a soft, sweet, sticky bread that is easily torn away with the fingers and eaten by hand. Truxton’s however does monkey bread a little bit different. It’s not sweet and sticky but instead cheesy and garlicky.  Their pull-apart housemade bread is packed with cheddar cheese and garlic. It’s fresh from the oven and so soft. It’s amazing when dipped in the trio of sauces that comes with. The sauces are marinara, garlic butter sauce or ranch dipping sauce. The marinara gives the monkey bread a sweet tomato touch. The garlic butter sauce enhances the garlic side of the bread and gives it’s a nice, buttery taste. The creaminess of the ranch is a perfect pair to the cheese. This monkey bread is a great starter!

One of the things that I love about Truxton’s is the variety of their menu. They’ve got sandwiches, burgers, pastas, salads, vegetarian dishes and handful of healthful plates I also like that they continuously offer new items and seasonal ones. One my visit here I got to try two of their newest seasonal offerings from their healthful plates.

First off was their Turkish Spiced Chicken.

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The Turkish Spiced chicken dish consists of chicken rubbed in a blend of traditional spices.  This savory dish comes with seasoned Israeli couscous with crispy spiced garbanzo beans, fried shallots, barberries and parsley! I liked the aromatic, spiced chicken. The Israeli couscous was tender and toasted just right. This entree was light and healthy.

The second entree of the night consisted of my personal favorite, their new Spiced Brisket Bowl. This bowl was featured during the LA Times Food Bowl.

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Truxton’s has a very popular 11 spiced brisket dish that consists of slow roasted beef brisket. Imagine that brisket put into a healthy bowl with yummy, flavorful veggies. Hello Kitty Foodies, you don’t have to imagine too much because it is a reality via Truxton’s Spiced Brisket Bowl. The Spiced Brisket Bowl has beef brisket along with couscous and cauliflower rice that is mixed with golden raisins, butternut squash, red onion, parsley and toasted almond, kale, shaved brussels sprouts and pickled onions. White sauce is drizzled all over and it is topped with crispy heirloom carrots.  I truly have a crush on all the ingredients in this dish! The cauliflower rice was light and fluffy and I loved the addition of butternut squash, kale and brussel sprouts. I was a fan of the crunchiness brought in by the tasted almond and crispy heirloom carrots. The brisket brought it a nice, spicy kick to dish. This definitely dish was definitely a highlight.

It’s definitely nice to see Truxton’s American Bistro open up a third location and to see it in the South Bay! I had a wonderful time visiting their newest restaurant. I was full of smiles from dining here and am definitely looking forward to trying more of their dishes in the future.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Truxton’s American Bistro in Torrance.