While I love me some good BBQ, I'm starting to think that the New York City barbecue fad is getting completely out of hand. Granted, grilling is not an option for most New Yorkers, so it's nice to partake of some smokey meat from time to time, but I'm beginning to think this barbecue thing is as overdone as the cupcake craze. I'm even starting to erase some of the places from my memory--I had pulled pork somewhere within the last few weeks, and it was so dry and flavorless I don't even remember where it was. That's a bad sign.
Well, I tried another one the other night--Wildwood Barbecue on Park Avenue South--and while it was no Daisy May or Hill Country (or, for that matter Sam's Bar-B-Cue in Austin...I love me some 'cue in a shack!), it's fine. (And I'm not sure about this name. While Wildwood is a completely acceptable Western-sounding name, this East Coaster immediately thought of the trashy New Jersey seaside resort of the same name.)
I went for my go-to dish to rate a barbecue place: a pulled pork sandwich. While it didn't measure up to the Daisy May version, it was moist, tender, and succulent. The plate's combination is a study in vinegar overkill, though, as the sandwich is served with vinegar potato chips and a side of vinegar-based sauce. But, even though I had to use the chipotle sauce (one of the options on the table) to make sure my head didn't implode from too much sour, I was generally happy with my meal.
I tried a forkful of the mac and cheese, which had a weird consistency (not creamy...more powdery, like the cheese they use doesn't melt well...). And skip the margaritas. Even though they're supposedly made with fresh ingredients, they're sadly watery.
While my first choice for hearty, relaxed fare near Union Square is still Old Town Bar, I suppose I'll put Wildwood in my mental Rolodex as another option.
Today I am having salad for lunch. And dinner.
Wildwood Barbecue, 225 Park Avenue South at 18th Street.