I had to help work a trade show in Syracuse NY yesterday and today. We drove from Boston and did the setup. My boss and I decided to blow off the dinner with the other vendors at the show. We wanted to explore the city in search of a good bar and or restaurant.
After an hour of walking up and down dozens of blocks we'd only found a Subway and two scary looking bars.The few places we spotted were closed already. We spotted some umbrellas and tables a couple blocks away and headed towards them. When we got close I could swear I smelled hickory smoke and BBQ. My boss didn't smell it and even though there were actually 3 restaurants and a martini bar near the umbrellas, none of them seemed like they could be the source of the smell.
We trudged around for another half hour. We decided to bag it, and head back to the hotel and hit the bar there. My boss said lets at least get a drink at the martini bar. When we got to the same place I smelled BBQ. Once again my boss didn't smell it. The bartender recognized we were from Boston by our accents and started talking to us. This place was strictly a bar, so I asked her about the smell of que at the corner. She was amazed I could smell it because there was a place, but it was about 6 blocks away.
She said it is called Dinosaur BBQ and was a biker/blues bar that was supposed to have great barbecue. She gave us directions and it was a long walk. When I finally saw the place I recognized it from a blog entry Steven made on this site on August 7. He really liked the place and said it was some of the best que in the country.
What an interesting place!!! There were some people in biker duds, college aged kids, people in suits and families. We had an hours wait but it was worth it-we simply had some drafts and took in the ambiance. Once seated, we tried to have a little bit of everything and it was great!! I may have had better individual items here or there, but I have never been to a place where everything I tried was consistently that good. Overall it was the best que I've had.
What a turn of events. We went from what looked like a dining disaster and a miserable experience to one of the best meals and most entertaining evening either of us has had in a long time. All on the strength of my nose. My boss enjoyed it so much he bought us T-shirts to commemorate the event, So if any of you are passing through Syracuse definitely check out the Dinosaur Bar-b-Que. They have location in rochester and Harlem too, but we were told by several people the Syracuse location is the best.