Wildwood Barbeque

On the hunt for a good barbeque joint in New York, I stumbled upon Wildwood Barbeque, while reading New York Magazine. Wildwood Barbeque is another mutation from the B.R. restaurant conglomerate. B.R has a sack full of great restaurants such as Dos Caminos and Blue Water Grill also located in New York. I figured how bad could Wildwood Barbeque be?

It was a great summer night and after looking at the Wildwood Barbeque menu online for some time, my friend and I decided to go eat there and see the movie Pineapple Express. Wildwood Barbeque is located on Park Avenue South between 17th and 18th Street in Gramercy Park. After parking my car, we walked past Angelo Maxies and almost got sidetracked. I had to remind my friend we had a plan to eat barbeque food.

Wildwood Barbeque takes reservations but my friend and I decided to go without a reservation. When I entered the restaurant, I noticed the chic contemporary decor. We were told there would be a wait of 10 minutes, so I started to analyze the restaurant. Being born and raised in Brooklyn, we were both far from barbeque aficionados but we both know the difference between good and bad barbeque. Although I tend to watch television shows that specialize in various genres of food especially barbeque foods, I have never actually been in a true Southern barbeque spot. My analyzation of Wildwood was that of a rustic hole in the wall decorated by a gay man. Chairs that did not match jelly jars for drinking glasses and chalk boards with the “specials” of the day written on them.

Our hostess then announced that our table was ready. A small table for two cramped into a corner near the register. On the table there were a rack of sauces. Wildwood Classic Barbeque Sauce, Big Lou's Secret Raspberry Chipolte Barbeque Sauce and Dirty Dicks Hot Pepper Sauce a/k/a “dicks oral abuse”. Oral abuse? That reminded me of this girl I went on a date with once. Our waiter came over and asked if we would like to start off with some drinks. The gazebo sour caught my eye. Sazerac rye, chamomile and green tea. While waiting for the drink, I had a dilemma on my hands. Do I go with the ribs or do I go with the wild park brisket sandwich?

My gazebo sour was brought over to me and now it was crunch time. After discussing what I should order with my friend, we both decided to split a rack of ribs for appetizers and we would each order the park brisket sandwich. The park brisket consisted of sliced brisket, onion rings, coleslaw, melted provolone on a sesame seed bun and served with potato chips and an order of mac-n-cheese on the side. One thing I despise is bad service and our waiter is a prime example of it. He had an attitude like he had better things to do then take our order. It took him about 2 hours to get us our drink refills. I understand restaurants get busy, but our waiter was making this a bad experience.

Our rack of ribs arrived and we only received half the order! What a jackass this waiter is. I notice they are already glazed with barbeque sauce. From what I've seen and read, there is a big controversy between dry served ribs and glazed. Honestly, I don't give a shit, if it's good then its good! I took a few bites of the ribs before I could actually get all the flavors going. The ribs were glazed in Wildwood’s Raspberry Chipolte Barbeque Sauce. The ribs were tender. They were not falling off the bone; however, at first the sauce was sweet and gradually gave it a nice spicy kick as it hit my pallet. I have to admit these ribs did beat out the other places I've been to for barbeque food.


Our sandwiches arrived served on what seemed like a McDonald’s Big Mac bun. I looked at the sandwich and was kind of skeptical about it. The bun itself just made it less desirable. I felt as if I was going to bite into nasty Big Mac with slow cooked brisket, homemade slaw,provolone, and onion rings. I felt like I was looking at a Honda civic with a Ferrari engine. I took a few bites and the sandwich tasted worse then it looked. The provolone with the coleslaw threw off the entire balance of the sandwich. So I figured let me take off the provolone. No difference. I scraped off the coleslaw and added a little of Big Lou’s Barbeque Sauce. Still, no difference! Even worse, the brisket was dry and flavorless. I guess that is why they added the strong taste of provolone to it. The salt and vinegar chips that were served with the sandwich weren't that great either. I was never a big fan of salt and vinegar chips. However, the mac-n-cheese was excellent. The aged chedar gave the mac-n-cheese a nice flavor. My biggest problem with dish was the really small portion.

My friend and I named our waiter the “slug”. He finally came over to clear away our dishes and asked if we wanted dessert. Being that I was still on my diet and trying to lose a few pounds before my vacation, I decided to skip dessert. My wonderful friend decided to order a slice of carrot cake. I have despised carrot cake since I was younger. My friend told me the carrot cake was good and that I should try a piece. To my surprise it was actually good. It tasted fresh, but like I said I’m not a fan of carrot cake and had nothing to compare it to.

I was disappointed with the service and my sandwich at Wildwood Barbeque. However, my drink, the ribs and the mac-n-cheese were excellent and I would recommend going there to get these things. I rate Wildwood Barbeque a 2 out of 4. The bill came out to $90 for two people including the tip.


Edited by m.o

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