My heart wants to explode just thinking about it.
And not only because I ate enough meat and other nonsense to sink a ship. Or break an elevator. Or freak my family out.
( Not that any one in my family would ever be freaked out about seeing me eat large amounts of food)
But because I am in love ....... Dinosaur BBQ was THE.BEST.MEAL.OF.MY.LIFE!
For reals, folks. For reals.
My obsession with this place came over a year ago when I watched a special on The Food Network. It was about the BEST of the BEST of BBQ. They singled out Dinosaur as having the best BBQ chicken. Usually they feature places that I know I will never see or visit...so, I enjoy watching the show and then forget about it. But this time... well, this time they announced that it was located in Syracuse, NY. And it just so happened that my brother had just moved there. And if I got him to go eat there it would make me feel famous... or something like that.
I texted him about it the next day and, as big sisters do, I instructed him to go there immediately and tell me all about it.
But the joke was on me, because he had already been there. Several times. And thought it was pretty fantastic.
I knew at that very moment that I had to do whatever it took to get him and Laura to have a baby so I could go visit and experience the restaurant.
Turns out that they didn't need any encouragement from me.
But the minute that I knew Caroline was on the way.... BBQ became the least of my concerns.
I know... it is hard for me to believe too.
I had already decided that if I got to go - then great. But if we didn't - then that was totally fine too. I wasn't even going to bring it up. I was there for them - to help out in any way ( turns out they didn't really need help) and was up for anything.
But then Dave told me that we would save Dinosaur for last. And we would go on my last night.
It was like winning the lottery (meeting Caroline) and then doubling my prize ( BBQ).
I even "barely ate a thing" that whole day in anticipation.
Also, because we left to go eat at 4pm and I didn't have a chance to eat any more than I did. :)
I've already told you that I didn't take my beloved camera. And I've already told you that I hardly got any pictures (boo hoo). But what I didn't tell you is that the ones that I did get weren't really all that great.
So, please bear with me for the rest of this post.
We were driving past it to find a parking space. And I just couldn't wait.
It looks kind of like a hole in the wall/biker bar/every place there is to eat in Gaston.
It felt like home.
At this point, I was giddy. I was beside myself with excitement. Especially having "discussed" the menu with both Dave and Laura.
"What should I get?"
"But I want to try a little of every thing!"
"Oh, Cool! They have a sampler plate"
All I can say about Dave and Laura is ... "Bless their hearts". I was pretty ridiculous.
Then I ordered a pulled pork slider on the side.
The waitress carded me to make sure I was young enough to eat that much meat in one sitting.
But she didn't card me for the beer. Because I am clearly older than 21. Unfortunately.
Dave suggested a local brew made especially for The Dinosaur.
I'm not joking.
They were smoked. And then coated in the most delicious sauce.
I did every thing that I could to hide one in my purse to bring home to Kev.
But then I ate it one second later.
And hoped that one day he would get to experience a meal as good as this.
Then my food arrived....
Ok. I had to pinch myself to see if I was in Heaven.
Words cannot describe how fantastic this food was.
The meat was perfection. Fall of the bone perfection. And the sauce was just the icing on the cake.
Dave and Laura gave us a gift of these sauces and spices last year... but I am here to tell you that I have never created anything as wonderful as this.
Oh.. and the macaroni and cheese comes with a warning label.
Warning you that there is an absurd amount of cheese involved and that you could possibly pass out from the awesomeness.
I did. Three times.
Dave with his combo platter....
And Laura with hers...
I literally did not talk for 20 minutes.
New world record!
And as for the little munchkin......
And unfortunately for her, babies cannot eat bbq or mac n cheese, or even peanut butter ( which I had suggested earlier in the day)
I'm pretty sure that babies ate peanut butter on Little House on the Prairie. And they all turned out pretty good.
Oh well. I tried.
I was able to try some different sauces as I put them on my fries. I couldn't buy any, though.. because I couldn't fly home with them unless I checked my bag. And I didn't think $25.00 for bag checking was worth it.
Also, because Dave and Laura will be headed this way in the Spring and might possibly be up for restocking my pantry.
It was a good thing that we got there at 4:30 even if it did consider us a bunch of grannies... because there was a line - or I guess I should say a crowd- waiting to eat when we were done.
Thank goodness that I don't live in Syracuse - besides the fact that I would probably annoy my family- but because I would most likely work there. Or atleast hide out in the bathroom.
And then I wouldn't be able to run half marathons or take boxing lessons or do yoga.
I would be completely consumed by the food. I just know it.
I'm so thankful that Caroline slept through the meal. I would hate for her to see how much food I ate.
Or know the fact that I have had the "meat sweats" for an entire week.
Seriously... an ENTIRE week.
I've had dogs chasing me all over this town.
But it was SO worth it! Such an awesome memory. Such a great time with family.
And ultimately, such an AMAZING trip.
It was so great to just get to hang out with them without any other life issues getting in the way.
I will treasure it forever!
And I will treasure it even more if they can figure out a way to get me some more of that BBQ!