Tag Archives: ribs

Twice is nice, third time’s a charm at B.J. Ryan’s BANC House in Norwalk

28 May
Ladies and gentleman:  The Healthy Elvis sandwich.  We're talking bananas, strips of thick smoky bacon, and peanut butter served up on whole wheat bread.

Ladies and gentleman: The Healthy Elvis sandwich. We’re talking bananas, strips of thick smoky bacon, and peanut butter served up on whole wheat bread.  Lobster roll in the background…

When we first went to B.J. Ryan’s B•AN•C (BBQ and crabs) back in November 2011, we were excited for an awesome meal.   The weather was beautiful so we sat outside under their awesome covered patio.  When the food arrived, though, we were pretty disappointed.   There were some highlights like the drink selections and the bacon wrapped dates, but the BBQ ribs, chicken, and risotto we had were way too dry and overcooked.

Now the ribs had a nice char and were anything but dry...

Now the ribs had a nice char and were anything but dry…

Then, a few months back, Kristien’s boss’s band, Ask Your Mom, was playing at B•AN•C, so we decided to give it another try.  We asked Derek what to try and he (and some of his band mates) suggested the Lazy Bacon pork belly.  Smart man that Derek is, because the pork belly was excellent, with a nice ratio of fat to meat.  We also had some ribs that were cooked very nicely, charred on the outside, delicate on the inside, coming off the bone with a gentle tug…totally different than the ribs that we first had.  And, of course, we ordered the bacon wrapped dates because they kicked butt last time.  The mixed drinks were great too and, hey, it’s hard to beat live music at a BBQ joint. We were very happy to see such improvement.

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HUGE Food Truck Festival, BBQ + Chowder Cook Offs, Demos, and Live Music at Westbrook Tanger Outlets

7 Apr


If you’re looking for the Connecticut Food Truck Festival 2014, click here.

New York has its food truck festivals, Boston, has its food truck festivals, and now Connecticut has a major festival, too. Let’s count ’em: 15-25 food trucks from Connecticut and surrounding states will show up at the Westbrook Tanger Outlets on 4/27-4/28/13.  Plus, Westbrook Assistant Manager David DelVecchio says he’ll be updating the list (we’ll update for you, too) every few days as Food Trucks 2 Go brings new trucks in.   There is absolutely no fee for attending, so you can use that saved dough to pig out. Here is the list as of 4/7:


The food trucks will be there for om noming from 11 am to 6 pm and there will be lots of live music to provide a soundtrack for your gorging pleasure. We’re talking The Red Hill Rockers, The Sin Sisters, The Shiney Lapel Trio, and others.  There will also be live cooking demos from Clarke, Kitchen Aid, Soda Stream, Williams Sonoma, Chef Kashia, and lots more.

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Our Search for BBQ Perfection at Dinosaur Bar-b-que – Stamford, CT

12 Jan

Our first (and awesome) experience with Dinosaur Bar-b-que in Stamford was their opening party where we were treated to a buffet of meats and side dishes. We were able to get a real taste of Dinosaur and were very impressed with everything. But, being the good little OmNomers we are, we wanted to make sure we came back (um, a few times) to try things without all the opening hoopla so we could get the real experience everyone else would get.

The first time we decided to hit up Dinosaur it was Friday night at 9:40, so we thought we’d have no problem getting in, but, alas, there was a 30 minute wait.  Yeah, this place is hot so it was quite busy.  We decided to head to the bar and were greeted by a perky and fun hostess who asked if we wanted to be seated right away in a “secret spot.’  Duh.  She shuffled us off to a somewhat private dining area by the side of the bar.  A hidden gem, so now you’re in the know…you’re welcome!

The service that night was excellent! The food came out quickly, our waitress was super attentive and friendly and the food was amazing as ever.  Everything from the meats to the sides were seriously perfect! With two great experiences under our belt, we decided to go back twice over the holiday break with friends and family and our brand new fancy camera! YAY food porn! Through our 3rd and 4th gorge fest we discovered some new favorites, and the service was consistently impeccable, but we also were just a little disappointed by some of the dishes that we had previously liked.  Here’s the rub:

Dinosaur Ape Hanger Ale:  made for Dinosaur Bar-b-que by Middle Ages Brewery in Syracuse was just $5 a pint and was worth every penny.  It was wheaty and that beautiful taste lingers with you for a bit after you drink. Goes great with BBQ and is super easy to drink!

Nice char and sauce on the wings

Nice char and sauce on the wings

Jumbo BBQ Chicken Wings: BEST chicken wings EVER and winner of best wings in our 2012 OmNomys! Seriously! These bad boys are smoked for four hours then they are grilled.  There’s such a beautiful smokiness and char around these wings with just the right amount of sauce.  Ah.  You can get them in Wango Tango (hot), Garlic Chipotle (hotter), Devil’s Duel (hottest), and the mild Honey BBQ or Sesame Hoisin.  Even the hottest of these sauces aren’t too much to handle, but will definitely leave a nice burn on your tongue. But then again, we’re tough like that.

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Killer Wings and Beer. ‘Nuff Said. Monster B’s – Stamford, CT

3 Jan

We first checked out Monster B’s over the summer when we were putting together the most awesome places to check out for craft beer experiences.  One of the most intriguing things about Monster B’s is the seemingly endless beer selection.  They have 30 rotating beers on tap and have more than 150 different bottles, too.  Which means you’ll have a lot of fun trying to work your way up on their Hall of Foam.  The first level, Silver, is earned for downing 100 beers, and earns you a picture on the Hall of Foam, a membership card, a t-shirt, $10% of all food orders for the year, and even $1 off draughts.  But, there are two more levels, too.  With greater power, comes greater benefits, too. ;)

But they don’t just stop at the beer, nope. They also have the Hall of Flame.  Yup, eat 12 insanely crazy redonkulously hot chicken wings and you’ll get put up on the Hall of Flame, right next to the Hall of Foam winners.  So, when my friend (and wing connoisseur) Paul Mueller was coming over for a manly, action-packed Saturday of watching the Stamford Harbor Parade of Lights show and watching The Muppets movie (errr), we knew we had to take him here.  He’s just about the most devout wing-nibbler that was ever created on this here Earth.  He even just took a roadtrip with his brothers to the original home of the buffalo hot wings:  Anchor Bar.  Yup.  I had these visions in my head of Paul and I, head to head, chomping down through the Hall of Flame challenge.

We asked our waitress to explain it again for us:  12 chicken wings, you can’t drink or eat anything during, and 10 minutes after, you eat the wings.  I looked up on the board:  only 3 people beat the challenge, while about 30 people tried.  I was thinking, eh, maybe, but then she described one person whose lips ballooned out and was in horrible pain all night.  So, we decided to just go with some regular hot wings, ribs, and burgers.  Wusses. :(

Buffalo Wings

These are some of the best wings that you’ll find anywhere, even better than Vinny’s Backyard BBQ in Stamford.  Better than a lot of wings we’ve had beyond CT. Yeah, they’re that good.  They were saucy, but not too saucy.  The sauce was a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and had lots of bite to it.  If you’re into pain and are sadomasochistic, try the Hero sauce.  It’s helluva spicy and will knock you on your tookis.  We ordered it on the side…smart move.  Kristien liked the wings a lot too!  They weren’t those mammothly meaty wings that some places serve and they weren’t overly breaded either.  Nope, just the right size, just the right amount of meat and so tender and juicy – not soggy and not too crispy. YUM!


Paul, ever the rabid carnivore and official Omnomivore too, was thinking about salad but then proudly declared he wouldn’t push the wussiness.  He got a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.  Yeah, half a plate was enough, no doubt.  The ribs came to him, smothered in a sweet and tangy bbq sauce and they lay atop a bed of shoestring fries.  Paul and I agree that the sauce is decent, but there was just too much of it.  The taste of the ribs got lost, but they were still tender and you could easily pull the meat off the bone.  We learned that’s good at our Blues, Views, & BBQ judging gig.  The coleslaw was swimming and drowning in mayo.  Not a favorite of Paul or Kristien, who as you know is a coleslaw expert.


Kristien and I got burgers.  She’s a self-confessed burger purist, so she got it with her usual cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo and ketchup.  She thought it was just okay and didn’t have much flavor.  My guy was plain and simple too, with onions, tomato, and lettuce.  The beef was cooked a bit over medium for us.  Although there wasn’t a ton of flavor going on, it was still a decent enough burger for a bar. I would order it again to wash down a beer.  The fries, though, rocked it for me.  They were crispy and there were so many. I’m one of those people who can take down half the order of fries before even digging into the burger.


You might go crazy trying to figure out all the choices available here.  A good thing to do is start with the style of beer that you like, then ask your server or the bartender what’s good like that.  We love thicker, darker, stoutier, hoppier beers and they had a nice selection of those.  If you’re not sure that you’ll love a beer, you can usually ask for a small taste and try it out.  I like to be daring and just order it, then find out the results.  Kristien’s more cautious with her beer drinking, she doesn’t like hoppy or too light of a beer, but I still love her.  If she orders and doesn’t like it, I’m the default drinker-upper:  beer should not go to waste. ;)

Final Impressions

Monster B’s is a fun place to go with friends.  You can sit at the bar or sit down at some of the tables in the front of the house or in the back.  There’s darts, electronic shuffle board, and pool.  They have really killer wings and beer selection. The rest of the food is ok – but the wings and beer are so good they make up for it.  Also, you can reap some pretty impressive rewards just by keeping track of your beer consumption.  We know that Ryan from Food Plus Beer is on the Hall of Foam and  Jessica May from Alternative Control is a fan too.  So, we were wondering.  Have you made the Hall of Foam?  Do you have a goal to shoot for?  Maybe the Gold or even the Platinum level?  Let us know.

Noms:  3

Cost: $$

Monster B’s
487 Glenbrook Road
Stamford, CT 06906
(203) 355-1032
Hours:  Opens at 11 a.m.; closes Tue at 11 p.m.; Wed at 12 a.m.; Thu at 1 a.m.; Fri to Sat at 2 a.m.; Sun at 10 p.m.; Closed Mon
Site:  http://www.monsterbs.com/index.asp

Monster B's Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Exclusive interview with Dinosaur Bar-b-que pitmaster extraordinaire, John Stage!

4 Dec

John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-b-que talks with OmNomCT (press photo)

Update:  as of 5 pm, 12/5/12, Dinosaur Stamford is open.  Check our review!

Are you a BBQaholic?  Well, you still have plenty of time to work on that and become one.  Just imagine…around this time next year, the fall of 2012, you could be down by the water in Stamford, munchin’ on some smoky, succulent ribs at Dinosaur Bar-b-quesee our announcement here.  To get you all psyched up and ready for the opening, we’ve got an interview with founder and pitmaster, John Stage.  In the meantime you can check out their Newark (now open), Syracuse, Troy, Rochester, or Harlem joints.  Without further ado, John Stage…

Dinosaur Bar-B-Q Ribs (press photo)

OmNomCT:  Everyone has their own opinion on what makes good BBQ. What’s yours?

John Stage:  Good BBQ is the right balance of smoke, spice, and sauce. Most importantly, the succulence of the meat is the star of the show.

OmNomCT:  Dinosaur Bar-b-que went from a BBQ slinging truck to a Syracuse institution of meatiness.  What made Dinosaur Bar-b-que so popular and the go-to spot for BBQ?

John Stage: I’m a self-taught chef who’s let my experiences—from my Italian-American upbringing, to my travels to Miami and love of Cuban food, to my training under a Japanese chef—inform the menu at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. The early days of Dino, which were spent traveling and cooking up and down the East Coast, brought my cuisine to life in a way that respectfully blends regional lines of barbecue. Further, the Syracuse location gained fast popularity because of its unique, festive atmosphere, live music scene and motorcycle vibe, indicative of my love of traveling by bike on the open road. All of these aspects come together at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, making it stand apart from other barbecue joints. The restaurant offers a story, an experience, a night out, and delicious, unparalleled barbecue, all of which have built its reputation.

OmNomCT:  Are there unique aspects to each of your places?  What will make Stamford stand out from your other Dinosaur Bar-b-que spots?

John Stage:  There are no two Dinos that look the same, the uniqueness of the Stamford building and the design that’s evolving will add to that. We are also putting in a wood grill in addition to the 3 smokers, so I’m very excited about some new recipes to complement the grill.

OmNomCT:  How would you describe Dinosaur Bar-b-que in 140 characters or less?

John Stage:  A soulful restaurant that offers delicious, authentic barbecue in a relaxed, fun atmosphere infused with great music and biker culture.

Yumminess of Dinosaur Bar-b-que, photo by Daniel Krieger

OmNomCT:  If zombies were invading Stamford and the customers at Dino Bar-b-que had enough time for one last dish, what do you think should be their final meal from you?

John Stage:  That’s easy, they should get the sampler plate of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and our homemade sausage. Hit that with our mac and cheese and all will be right in Zombieland.

Well that it’s folks! We’re even more excited now after hearing about John’s culinary training – and the fact that he justified our Zombie question with a perfect answer! How could you not love that? Stay tuned for more meaty goodness as we get closer to the grand opening.

Dinosaur Bar-b-que

Stamford (November 2012)

845 Canal Street

Stamford, CT

Newark (Now Open!)

224-226 Market Street

Newark, NJ


246 W. Willow St.

Syracuse, NY


99 Court St

Rochester, NY


700 W. 125th St at 12th

Harlem, NYC


377 River St.

Troy, NY

Buffalo (Summer 2013)

301 Franklin Street

Dinosaur BBQ on Urbanspoon

Are the rumors true? Is Dinosaur Bar-b-que coming to Stamford, CT?

10 Apr

Update:  as of 5 pm, 12/5/12, Dinosaur Stamford is open.  Check our review!

 If you haven’t had a chance to try Dinosaur BBQ yet, then either get into NYC stat or take a weekend trip up to one of their three upstate locations in Syracuse, Rochester, or Troy, because it is da bomb! See, I grew up about 45 minutes from Syracuse and went to Syracuse University, so I would hit up Dinosaur BBQ whenever I had the chance. What exactly is Dinosaur BBQ you might be asking? *ahem, blasphemy* Dinosaur BBQ is a down and dirty BBQ joint and bar that started as essentially a food truck touring motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals before settling down at their first location in Syracuse in 1988. See, good things do start in upstate NY (like moi, hehe). Now, all four locations are frequented by bikers and BBQ lovers alike. With fantastically tender ribs and pork, delicious side dishes like to-die-for potato salad, and sauces so good they’re sold at grocery stores across the U.S., Dinosaur BBQ can rival any seasoned BBQ joint of the south!

So, when we heard a rumor a few weeks ago that my beloved Dinosaur BBQ is coming to Stamford, CT, I almost exploded with excitement.  But, never being ones to spread rumors without a little fact checking, we emailed Dinosaur BBQ’s corporate office for some answers.  So, word from the horse’s mouth is they are in negotiations for a Stamford spot (supposedly in the up-and-coming Harbor Point area), but nothing is final yet. Now it’s final. :)

So, we promise to update this post as soon as we hear more, but it sounds like things are moving along well.  Until then, there’s a Facebook page to rally for Dinosaur BBQ to come to Stamford. Hey, I know it won’t make it happen any sooner, but we can all hope, right?

Dinosaur Bar-b-que

845 Canal Street

Stamford, CT

Dinosaur BBQ on Urbanspoon

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