When it comes to choosing a restaurant for a family meal, it’s usually not without some trepidation for mom and dad. You don’t feel like hitting the same old diner again, but even if the kids are well-behaved, they’ll probably forget to use their inside voices, spill things, or generally not enjoy the haute cuisine on offer at the fancy-pants restaurant you’d visit on date night. That’s where Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Brooklyn comes in. This massive barbecue spot in a formerly industrial corner of Brooklyn is truly capable of pleasing every member of the family. It’s loud, with rock ‘n’ roll on the stereo and plenty of boisterous conversations, so you won’t have to worry about shushing the little ones. It’s super casual like every barbecue place should be, so it’s no problem at all if the occasional cup gets knocked over or a few french fries end up on the floor. And it’s well-versed in the ways of children, providing every kid who enters with a four-pack of crayons and a menu that doubles as a coloring book to keep them occupied while they wait for their brisket sliders and mac ‘n’ cheese. (To really get their attention, direct them to the mural of three portly pigs enjoying a barbecue of their own.)
Now that the kids are taken care of, the parents can take advantage of what Dinosaur does best. Start with a couple of beers–the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale’s a standout–or an appropriately southern cocktail like a Lynchburg Lemonade before perusing the menu. Dinosaur may have started in Syracuse, New York in 1988, but it’s ‘cue is totally legit–something your nose probably told you when the aroma of mesquite smoke hit you on the way in. Nosh on some fried green tomatoes before digging in to a platter of southern classics. You want it all, so get it all–you can always take some home for lunch tomorrow. A rack of St. Louis-style ribs, a pile of slow-smoked pulled pork shoulder, and a few thick slices of delicate brisket is simply perfection on a plate, especially when you’ve dressed it with a good helping of Dinosaur’s signature Slathering Sauce. The sides are all there too, from cornbread and baked beans to the silky–and maybe even a little bit healthy?–turkey neck greens.
It’s a lot of food, so take your time and savor every bite. And when the plates are cleared, find the room in your belly for a slice of lemon pie, a sweet sendoff after an epic meal. Now look around the table at the smiles on your family’s faces. It’s hard to tell who enjoyed Dinosaur more, the grown-ups or the kids. Better come back soon to find out for sure.