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99 Court St. | 585-325-7090
Dinosaur serves its ribs St. Louis style. That’s not a style of barbecue, but rather a style of cut. St. Louis ribs come from the belly side of the pig instead of the back and are trimmed into a rectangular shape. Why the name? Your guess is as good as ours. Not even the National Pork Board knows why, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But the cut means the ribs are flatter and fatter, and that means sweeter and juicier. Dry rub them, smoke them slowly, and lightly glaze them with Dinosaur’s original sauce, and you’ve got the best ribs in Rochester. A very cool trait of Dinosaur has been its willingness to share its secret to its ribs with the world. Recipes for the rub, the sauce, and the ribs are readily available online.
Finalists: Bubby’s BBQ | Good Smoke BBQ & Pub | Sticky Lips BBQ Juke Joint
400 State St. | 585-623-1015
The smell of smoked barbecue is in the air on any given day in the shadow of Kodak Tower. It doesn’t take Toucan Sam to track the delightful aroma to J-Ribs on State Street, a boutique barbecue and convenience store at the corner of Brown Street. The “J” is for Jesse Barksdale, who opened the place in 2016 without much fanfare until he started offering barbecue ribs and chicken a few years later. Today, barbecue is the bulk of his business — and the ribs are the draw for good reason. They’re huge, seasoned with a mix of sweet and heat, and give a slight tug on the bone. J-Ribs sells its sauce for $7 a bottle. — DAVID ANDREATTA