Wildwood BBQ: Disappointing Fare in Union Square

I’ll be the first to say it; finding good barbecue in New York City is a difficult task. The city is a mecca for all things delicious from all over the world, but it often falls short when it comes to tantalizing the taste buds with the food of the southern Gods: Barbecue.

There are exceptions. Dinosaur BBQ on 125th St has ribs that could easily stand up to Kansas City’s best. Dallas BBQ has perfected the art of fried chicken wings. In short, they are hope in a bleak reality of the world’s best pizza and hotdogs.

Then there’s Wildwood BBQ.

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The interior rocks, obviously making up for the lack of edible food.

Located in the Union Square section of lower Manhattan, Wildwood BBQ manages to overly excite (the decor) and utterly disappoint (the food). Wildwood BBQ manages the impossible: A feast for your eyes that doesn’t manage to connect with your stomach; a gastronomical failure of epic proportions.

We had an 8:30 reservation, thankfully I had the foresight that a Saturday plus a mostly 20’s crowd equals an emergency room style wait. We sat at the booth and were warmly greeted by our server Tanisha.
Southern Hospitality? Check.

We ordered our drinks and Tanisha promptly brought two large Mason glasses filled with water, and a small complementary order of Vinegar Chips. The vinegar chips were exquisite, golden, fresh-cut russet potatoes peppered with spices. They were super crunchy without being uncomfortable to chew. The flavor literally explodes in your mouth; tangy yet sweet and the vinegar managed to grip every single taste bud and linger just enough to make them irresistible. These chips were the perfect start to a rather imperfect meal, and they stood out as the star of Wildwood BBQ. If the barbecue business falls through, the owners should consider branching out and making Wildwood BBQ Vinegar Chips; a guaranteed money-maker.

I started with the Kentucky Cooler cocktail, which is billed as a delicious mixture of bourbon, Firefly sweet tea vodka, white peach and lemonade. Like the water, it was artfully displayed in a mason jar with a fresh slice of lime.

The novelty wore off with the first sip.

Whatever was in the jar was nothing compared to the description on the menu. One sip and I was certain that they had made a horrible mistake and serve me a cup of rubbing alcohol but no, Tanisha assured me that it was indeed the Kentucky Cooler so the lightweight in me (or the non-alcoholic in me) sent back the drink and asked for “more of the other ingredients” anything else but the standard liquor that overpowered my palate and made me gag. What was returned tasted like a margarita minus the tequila and I’m not saying this in praise; it was simply awful. My boyfriend had a Sam Adams; simple and reliable, probably the only part of the meal that he enjoyed.

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Not one to waste a drink, I took it in stride. Highlight of the meal? My fab rings! Seen here: Owl.

Cornbread has a special place in our heart; we consider ourselves cornbread aficionados. We have traveled the likes of South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Maryland to name a few for the deliciously delicate yet earthy flavor native to our American ancestry. What we got was essentially a corn patty covered in grease. The menu bills this special corn bread as “The World’s Greatest Skillet Cornbread”, skillet must be French for rancid. The size of a paperback book, this cornbread had real whole kernel corn pieces and to be fair, was more traditionally southern in appearance than any southern style corn bread that I’ve had, but the buck stops there. The bottom was soaked in grease and the top was sweet and crunchy, almost caramelized but way too filling for a side cornbread. The mark of a good cornbread should be light and fluffy if it’s going to be accompanying baby back ribs and other stick to your stomach fare.

This cornbread just did not make the grade.

After the cornbread we finally received our entrées. I had the Carolina pulled pork with mopping vinegar sauce, baked beans with burnt ends and bacon, and creamy coleslaw. The pulled pork was bone dry, I started to believe that the mopping vinegar sauce was a way to mask the parched piggy in my mouth, but this reviewer was not fooled. The pork could have been moister. The beans were grossly undercooked, in direct contrast with the pulled pork that had apparently been cooking for weeks. The burnt ends were the littlest bit of saving grace, essentially small bits of burnt meat. I couldn’t imagine how awful the baked beans would have been without them. The sauce was independent from the beans; a sign of sheer undercooking. The coleslaw was generic as ever, but I didn’t love it or hate it.
My boyfriend had the Kansas City Sticky Ribs, and therein laid the problem of our meal. Smoked ribs will have a ring of pink that comes with the smoker territory; every good barbecue chef knows this.

Unfortunately, the pink did not stop there.

The entire half-rack was a step above bloody; in short, completely inedible. Tanisha insisted that they were, in fact cooked, but the smoker gives them the pink hue was could easily be confused for undercooked. A quick Google searched proved Tanisha was wrong, but our stomachs were already begging for our departure, so we politely asked for the check and a doggy bag for the ribs. After all, Tanisha was as knowledgeable as a waitress in a sub-par restaurant could be; I doubt the chefs were any wiser.

Bottom line; go to Dinosaur Barbecue if you want delicious food without the chance of being infected with trichinosis. Bring your enemies to Wildwood BBQ.

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Ring #2! Again, highlight of the meal.

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I Left my Heart in Turks and Frogs

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Luis and I found this gem.

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Just a Thought

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I often find myself thinking that this applies to a lot of people and situations. A Good Will Hunting situation, if you will. Think of how many amazing thinkers, athletes, performers, and humanitarians are overlooked because of their lack of financial power or other circumstances beyond their control, i.e., lack of a rich daddy, proximity to a major city, or even those who give up their dreams in order to care for a loved one. I think of the cluster fuck that is Beyonce and Alicia Keys performing at every national event, and I love Alicia, but there are definitely more talented individuals out there (don’t even get me started on Beyonce). There are better soccer players kicking around a rubber band ball in Africa than David Beckham, Better actors out there than Anne Hathaway (in fact, you will find better actors in your local theater than 99.9% of Hollywood, the nepotism capital of the world) and even better thinkers than Stephen Hawking (although I respect the hell out of the man, and do not discount any of his work. The point is, we should stop idolizing people who possess subpar talent and open our eyes to the possibility that amazing individuals exist through all walks of life; your circumstances should not dictate your place in this world.

(Thank you to Alex G. GOP Stopper and Veruca for the Photo and Caption)

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Taste

“What is lacking is the minutiae; the small seemingly insignificant moments in life that give the everyday Joe and Jane a reason to wake up, i.e.: the little things. A bottomless bank account and a Rolodex of Yes Men are no match for what feeds your soul.”

What Nourishes Me:

A great tapas board of my making.

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Delectable. Delightful. Divine.

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Little Lohan Lost

Wow, it’s been awhile (Stewie voice, ah-hwhile) but I have returned, wishing that blogging was possible through telepathy (translation: I’m lazy). But I digress. Time has passed, and many, many feats of human stupidity have presented themselves like tiny, pristinely wrapped boxes, waiting to be opened at my amusement. We watched Lindsay Lohan, my favorite Hollywood flower, wilt with the speed of an Olympic sprinter.
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(left) La Lohan, fresh as a daisy in her Freaky Friday days (right) Lindsay through the ringer, looking, well, Freaky

The world took pleasure in her demise, and I cannot lie; at times I found myself jumping on the mean girls bandwagon headed straight for the Mean Girl herself. To be clear, I believe in giving chances. Second chances. Third chances. Seven hundredth chances. Enablers make the world go round; turning the other cheek makes for amazing reading.

But let’s be honest, Lohan is a minor cog in a ginormous machine of mass destruction; one that eats young, impressionable Hollywood starlets for breakfast. Talent only gets you so far, so being able to resist the temptation to dive face first into a pile of coke can mean the difference between Oscar-worthy talent, and Dancing with the Has-Beens.

And Speaking of Dancing with the Has Beens……

Who could blame Lohan for turning her nose up to the circus that is reality show competitions; where do you go from there? Remember the Golden Globe that Pamela Anderson snagged? Brooke Burke’s Academy Award? Joey Fatone’s Grammy? (hint: they don’t exist). Lohan needs to dry off in a rehab, pack her shit, and move back to Long Island. If she’s smart, she’ll pen her own comeback. Don’t expect her to rid herself of the toxic influence of her parents; at the heart of the matter, she is still a scared young girl who never actually grew up. Maybe a trial separation is necessary for her family to heal.

Hey, it worked for Drew.

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Poplar Bluff:Katrina Catastrophe Part Deux?

The Story:  Poplar Bluff, MO- Over 1,000 people have been displaced due to a flood of the Black River flowing over failed levees.  It has been found that these specific levees failed inspection in 2008.  Because this failure was not fixed, the town and it’s people do not qualify for aid that is given through an Army Corps program.  As of Tuesday,it is unknown why the unsatisfactory ratings were given.

Why it Matters: The failure of Missouri to address the issue strikes an eerie similarity to breakage of the levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, which was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

Shop Talk: Clear use of the 5 w’s, very short yet to the point.  Offers quotes from the chief of the emergency management office of Army Corp engineers.

Would Have Been Nice: A quote from the mayor of Poplar Bluff, as well as the engineering firm who initially worked on the levees.  Also a quote from a resident who may have witnessed the flood waters pouring over the levees.

TheLink:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNkeSNFefJAuA6Irpj3BSwM_4Ymg?docId=87e8031ca67e4a9782a6d3d400700cc7

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Burqa Ban: Pulling The Veil Over Civil Liberties?

The Story:  France- Two women were arrested on Monday for wearing a burqa, which is a long veil that completely covers the face and body.  The burqa, part of radical muslim tradition has been banned in France because the French Government believes it promotes radical religious extremism.  The fine for wearing a burqa is equal to $125.  If you are found to be forcing someone to wear a burqa, you may be punished up to a year in prison.

Why it Matters: The burqa is not required by muslim tradition, rather it is a choice that women make themselves.  France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, however only 2,000 women choose to wear a burqa.  If a burqa was required by muslim tradition, would France get away with banning an element of an entire religion?  Why doesn’t the personal choice of these few women matter to a government in which they pay taxes and support?

Shop Talk: Clear use of the 5 w’s, very informative.  Gives a clear explanation of the law as well as different beliefs from muslim individuals as to whether or not ban should have been put in place.

Would Have Been Nice: More information as to how this law came into effect.  It’s clear that the President supports the law, but who initially proposed the law?

The Link:http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-04-11-Burqa_N.htm

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