Leland Avellino is executive chef of nine-unit, New York-based Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which recently added two signature barbecue bowls to its menu: The Black & White (a choice of pulled pork, brisket or pulled chicken with black-eyed peas and rice); and the Sweet & Green (with whipped sweet potatoes and simmered collard greens). Avellino shares his thoughts behind the new line:
What was the rationale for adding the bowls?
We wanted to offer something on our menu that was a bit lighter, but still had the feel of barbecue. The portions of our bowl really work well together—you get your choice of barbecue meat, a few of our housemade sides, some griddled cornbread, a small side salad, a deviled egg and our house-cured pickles. It hits all flavor profiles.
What was the R&D process like?
As with most of the items that we create, our founder John Stage will come to me with an idea, and then we work together to figure out portions, contents and flavor profiles. We knew that beans and white rice complement each other, as do our whipped sweet potatoes and our turkey-neck greens. The barbecue is the star of the dish, so we perch that on top of everything else. It holds shape and is really a treat to eat.
How have they been received?
The bowls have been really well received. In a recent exchange with guests, they described it as a chance to get great sides, a little bit of barbecue meat, and a small salad to build the “perfect lunch.” At our Baltimore location, where we recently launched an entirely new “Fast-Pass” lunch menu and counter, we offer both of the BBQ Bowl options. Our servers are getting great feedback from our guests, as this really speaks to recent dining trends: high-quality and healthy-leaning food, quick service, and a fun and approachable atmosphere.
For more about modern barbecue trends see our Right on ‘Cue feature.