So it’s intimidating, but when I’m looking to really indulge in a great meal at the end of a tough week, the first thing that immediately comes to mind is barbeque!

Luckily for all you readers, I have been indulging a lot lately and, as a result, I’m pretty well- versed on what Rochester has to offer. However, my problem is that I always associate fine barbecue with Dinosaur BBQ, which is easily the most popular spot in town.

Don’t get me wrong, Dinosaur BBQ knows what it is doing and it has great food, but it comes with some baggage. I’ve been turned off by the place ever since I went fives times in a row only to find a two-hour-plus wait, and I can safely say that I’m probably not the first person this has happened to.

The word has been officially out on Dinosaur for a while. Unless you’re a diehard who’s willing to wait it out, or if you feel like having a gut-stuffing meal at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, you can do much better.

That’s why I have found two alternatives a little more under the radar that can substitute for what Dinosaur has to offer and then some.

Beale Street Caf: Located a modest two miles from River Campus, you are only a stone’s throw away from Cajun-flavored bliss. Taking its queue from New Orleans’s famous Beale Street, this barbeque and blues joint in the heart of the South Wedge boasts that “every day is Mardi Gras,” and it tries not to disappoint.

In the evenings, this bead-covered paradise frequently hosts live hands. Barbecue fans can get their fill and indulge in all the traditional staples such as pulled pork, ribs and catfish.

Some of my favorites off the menu are the Mud Bugs, which are dusted crawfish than you dip in a Cajun batter. They are pretty light if you want to save some room for the main course, but they are still really flavorful and a change from the ordinary.

However, my must-get item is the sliced BBQ Beef Brisket smoked to perfection. This hardwood smoked, spicy BBQ sauce drenched jezebel quite honestly makes my mouth water just thinking about it and Beale Street is certainly not stingy when it comes to portions.

If you’re looking for good seafood, Beale Street does all the bourbon delicacies to a T, and, if you can’t decide between the two, they have plenty of specials where you can combine different meats for a pretty modest price.

If you are looking for a good taste from the South, this is the place to try out, but if you have more of an All-American appetite, I have another place for you.

Sticky Lips Pit BBQ Restaurant: Initially, trying to find Sticky Lips BBQ wasn’t an easy task for me. I had heard about it from a friend and was intrigued enough by his high praise that I wanted to check it out for myself.

Let me first say that it’s probably not a good idea to go to to try and find it because you will most likely not be pointed in the right direction. But that’s a story for another time.

In the end, I made it to this diamond in the rough located on Culver Road, and I got to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

This place has a menu with just about everything you could think up. I’m talking things from deep-fried pickles to BBQ bourbon tofu steaks. I didn’t go anywhere near those delicacies so I can’t tell you about them, but all the different dishes I did sample were pure deliciousness.

Our waitress said the restaurant was most famous for its Memphis pit-smoked BBQ ribs, but then said they were all out of them for the night.

That was somewhat understandable because I was eating at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night, so I went with a Chili Bacon Cheddar Chicken sandwich instead and topped it with their original cherry bomb BBQ sauce, which proved to be a worthy alternative.

Sticky Lips also has great Pork Nachos, and you get to choose from an assortment of homemade sides with each entre. I choose the maple sweet potato fries and the Cajun corn, and I would definitely choose both of them again.

All in all, Sticky Lips does a good job combining different tastes inspired by barbeque styles from across the country, and they do it well.

So go out and try something different than what the standard Dinosaur BBQ has to offer. Believe me – you’ll be loosening up your belt at the end of the meal just the same.

Park is a member of the class of 2008.

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