Comments: This is not a subtle book – it is in fact a book with personality. It is the paperback version of the hardcover book that came out in 2001, and is based on the cooking (and jazz, motorcycles, bathroom graffiti, and tattoo art) of the "honky-tonk rib joint" of the same name in Syracuse, New York (and now Rochester and New York City, as well.)
In addition to the history of the roadhouse and its colorful founders, chapters cover starters (wings, drunken shrimp, Creole Deviled Eggs, salsa, guacamole, Mississippi-Style Catfish Strips), beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, sides (slaw, rice, beans, Cajun Corn, fries, corn bread, Garlic & Cheddar Grits), soups and leftovers (hash, jambalaya, Texas Red Chili, Soulful Stew), desserts, and barbecue staples. The last section includes "Mutha Sauce" (which is used in nearly every recipe), and Creole Seasoning and Mojito Marinade (which only seem like they're used in every recipe), and a variety of other rubs, seasonings, dressings, and stocks.
That the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is grounded in upstate New York, but mixes Cuban, Memphis, Texas, Cajun and other cooking styles and ingredients seems barely worth mentioning. After all, the book implies (well, screams), shouldn’t people in the Northeast (and with the book – people everywhere) have access to Southern barbecue and flavorful ethnic "grub" anytime and anywhere? What's geography, after all, when you can whip up Drunken Spicy Shameless Shrimp with Brazen Cocktail Sauce, Not Your Mama's Meatloaf, and Dinosaur-Style Ribs in the comfort of your own kitchen and on your own grill?
And yes, we did mean to state that the layout is cluttered and kind, the legibility is challenging and clear, and the overall tone is trying too hard (occasionally) and that of a good friend. It is, after all, a book with personality….