Wildwood Barbeque's Texas Smoked Brisket and Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings
[In connection with a feature that will be appearing tomorrow in the Village Voice, I've revisited half a dozen barbecues, old places I hadn't been to in years, and new places I hadn't had a chance to visit before. Here are some thumbnail sketches of my experiences.]
It's a branch of the sprawling and diversified B.R. Guest restaurant chain, so maybe you wouldn't expect Wildwood Barbeque to be very good. But, surprisingly, it can be quite good. The original pitmaster was Matt Fisher, now at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue, and the place smells like hardwood smoke the minute you step in the front door.
The brisket is among the best in town, smoke-ringed and unctuous, especially if you order the fatty half of the cut. The pulled pork proved good, too, especially in a sandwich -- though it was somewhat upstaged by the amazing homemade potato chips.
A friend and I ordered a sausage, too, and found it porky tasting, but a bit plain and not all that smoky. The chicken wings, covered with jerk spices, verged on the fantastic, constituting something of a novelty in jerk-challenged Manhattan.
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