“Pig in, Pig Out,’’ reads the neon sign in the window at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in downtown Syracuse.
It can be taken several ways: “Pig out,’’ as in eat in excess until you can’t move/eat another bite. Or, “Pig out,’’ as in bring your appetite and feast on a whole pig, smoked for 10 hours and served OUTDOORS, with an array of sides/trimmings.
A North Carolina-Style Pig Pickin,’ they call it. Gatherings like this, sometimes called a pig roast, pig roll or pig bake, are common in the South. The Dinosaur is hosting one every Thursday this summer, in the area behind the restaurant known as The Boneyard.
Here’s how it works, according to my friend Bob Baker, public relations and social media manager for the Dinosaur: The pig is rubbed with Dinosaur Cajun Foreplay (a spice rub), injected with an apple brine, “mopped” throughout cooking with a vinegar-based sauce and smoked to the point of falling off the bone – 10 to 11 hours. The pig is dressed and displayed, belly-side down, with a traditional apple or pepper in its mouth. The meat is then pulled off the pig. Mix/dip it in Dinosaur barbecue sauce, or savor it in its natural, smoky state.
The first pig pickin’ at the Syracuse Dinosaur was held Thursday, June 20. It featured an 80-pound, grass-fed pig from Lucki 7 Farms in Rodman (Jefferson County), to feed a crowd of about 50.
Pay $15 for a token. The Boneyard has plenty of picnic tables and its own bar.
A one-time-through buffet gets you: pulled pork; sweet 'n' sour slaw; BBQ beans; Brunswick Stew; North Carolina sauce and/or Dinosaur Sensuous Slathering Sauce; house-cured pickles; pickled onions; rolls and Southern-style sweet tea.
“One-time-through buffet’’ means just what is says, so pile that plate. Refills of sweet tea are on the house. The bar has your favorite adult beverages.
The Pig Pickins’ will be held each Thursday this summer, from 6 to 8 p.m., or until the pig is gone. A different band is scheduled to play each week, from 6 to 9 p.m. This week’s band is Novak-Nanni-Dorgan.
More information: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., Syracuse, 315-476-4937.