A Little Down Home in NYC

Howdy partners! This past Friday I attended my first rodeo right here in NYC. Every Manhattanite with even a hint of southern lineage strapped on their hipster plaid and trendy Frey boots to attend this year's PBR classic at MSG. It was quite the experience and I walked away knowing a little bit more about the sport. 1) PBR means 'Professional Bull Riding' not that it is sponsored by the beer, which I didn't learn until I'd frantically searched every kiosk for a can of the stuff. 2) While exciting, it is not the most humane sport. 3) I'd much rather watch the halftime show where kids ride sheep. It gave me some good ideas for my birthday party this year...

The rodeo inspired my group to continue our night at a bull riding bar in the LES called Mason Dixon. There the entertainment was girls in stilettos trying to look sexy while holding on for dear life to a mechanical bull. However it's hard to smile and look cute when your baby-maker is getting repeatedly slammed into the pummel of the plastic bull's saddle. Which makes for an interesting morning the next day. (How'd I get that bruise?) Finally, a creepy bald dude steps in and with the flick of a wrist decides that your turn is over, launching you awkwardly onto the mats and ending your 15 seconds of fame. Alas, there was an endless supply of willing and able stilleto- clad bodies lining up to take on the bull.

Me, I stuck to being a supportive spectator and focused on more important things - such as food. All of this rodeo talk got me thinking about southern food - barbeque to be exact. And there's only one place that properly satisfies my craving - Dinosaur BBQ. A famous Syracuse barbecue joint opened an outpost in Harlem, an expensive cab ride from downtown, but well worth the trip. he second you walk in the door you'll be hit with a wave of aromas so intense, it'll give you barbeque-induced-amnesia, immediately erasing the length of time and cost for you to get there. The atmosphere is half biker, half ski lodge, buzzing with activity and on most nights, live music. They have a fantastic beer selection and a large bar area to wait in. Reservations are a must on the weekend. Call at least a week in advance for larger parties.

Now lets get down to business. My order:

  • Wango Tango Wings: Savory, sweet until the heat catches up to you. And it will!
  • Fried Green Tomatoes: Crisp and tart, dipped in a creamy buttermilk ranch dressing. Perfection.
  • Big Ass Pork Plate: Heaps of moist pulled pork served with two sides. Choosing your sides is the most difficult part, as they're all mouth watering. I stick to the creamy mac n cheese and the bbq baked beans (with tiny pieces of sausage baked in - oh my!) 
  • Honorable mentions: 
    • Tres Hombre - chopped pork, beef brisket and a half rack of ribs. 
    • Syracuse Salt Potatoes 
    • Chilli in a Half Shell 
    • Creole Spiced Deviled Eggs 
    • BBQ Fried Rice

Don't make any plans for after dinner, as you wont be able to walk. And don't be embarrassed for taking home a doggie bag. Pulled pork is a totally acceptable breakfast meat.

Yabba-dabba do,

The Heat


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