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  • Jennifer

...Dino Green "A Birthday Barbecue"

Let's face it. You don't get more vintage than a dinosaur. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant has the chicest, greenest dinosaur-waiter for a mascot. Dinosaur-waiter? Yes. He sports a black bow tie, and a white napkin on his left forearm. He carries a big hunk o' steamin' meat. He also appears to be so happy that he's even prancing. Good food will make you prance, I reckon. I first visited this restaurant franchise at one of its first locations – Harlem – back in 2006. Since then, I've been hooked – on its amazing down-home food and its jolly ol' Jurassic friend. I was, of course, elated then when this restaurant opened up in my hometown. Ring the dinner bell, folks! My family and I sampled the "The Big D" the other day, in celebration of my sister's "Big 50th" birthday. I remember feeling especially clever when I surprised my sister with the dinner gift certificate – I had made a joke about the mascot dinosaur being "old" and my sister at 50 being – well – not old? She's not a dinosaur yet.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is a big, sprawling restaurant that supplies its guests with truly momentous offerings of down-home comfort food. Think baby back ribs, beef and pork brisket, hearty cornbread, simmered greens (scrumptious collards with turkey gravy) and an array of other traditional barbecue items and cozy side dishes. It also has a welcome change of pace with menu items like jerk salmon, if you're in the mood for something less meaty. My family stayed true to their diets and opted for less heavy main dishes. Then, they had a cucumber salad and a simple tossed salad for their side dishes – in lieu of their untouched cornbread, which they enthusiastically placed on my plate. I, of course, gobbled up this extra delight as if good ol' Green Dino was ready to swoop down at any moment (with his long green neck) and "snatch my catch" before I could eat it. No way was that happening!

If you're going to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – bring your appetite, your love of protein, and enough time to truly sit back and enjoy. The food is mouth-watering good, and there's a lot of it. By the end of your dinner, your shirt might be splashed with an Arnold Palmer drink (a half-lemonade and half-iced tea concoction that I adore). You quite possibly could be unbuckling the belt in your pants. You might even be swearing to the heavens that you won't eat meat again for another six months (which incidentally might not be a bad idea).

You undoubtedly will be doing all this as you feverishly wash your hands with the stockpile of moist towelettes that your waitress considerately dropped off at your table pre-meal. This waitress wisely knew what a mess you'd be post-meal. But it's all so deliciously fun – and as far as birthday barbecues go – that's all that really matters. Hubba-hubba, Big D!

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