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Wilson's BBQ (Fairfield, CT) on DDD Tonight

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I was just watching the new Diners Drive-Ins, and Dives tonight and saw that the 2nd featured place was Wilson's BBQ in Fairfield, CT. The place looked pretty good. Any opinions on it? We're going to be in Fairfield for a couple of days later in the week and may need to try it if it's worth going to.

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  1. born and raised in new haven area, never heard of the joint. th show reruns at 1 am, i may check it out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shoreline

      FYI on the episode they mentioned that they've only been open for a few years.
      The food looked awesome!

    2. It has received mixed, mostly positive, reviews (that I can find), but there is a lot of varied opinions as to what is good "Q". Bein' a Texan ...I think I know. Others think they know.
      I found this info: "Ed Wilson, the pit master at Wilson's, spends much of his time traveling the south as a competitor and judge in barbecue contests, so he knows what he's doing."
      http://www.pigtrip.net/review-Wilsons... He thinks Wilson's does way better than average Q.
      I have not tried it but have it earmarked for a taste in the near future. If this guy is truly a competitor and judge, he should be makin' some good stuff!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Scargod

        went there last week and was very very (the second very is because it was very expensive) disappointed.

        the cookhouse in darien is far better BBQ and not too far to go to satisfy the urge.

        if you are really feeling the hunger for some good BBQ and have a bit of time to make the drive Dinosaur in Harlem can't be beat!

        1. re: ma203

          I'm not a fan of the cookhouse. I like Wilson's better. Ribs seem to have more personality than at the cookhouse, and I love the chicken. I do think the staff is not as helpful or nice as they could be.

          1. re: ma203

            Not to question your taste, but could you compare the two (one you like and the one you don't), to certain styles or regional differences. Was it smoked too much, too chewy or cooked with too little/too much sauce, etc.? Are either places style of "Q" like Carolina, Texas, Kansas City or what "style"?

            I'm very curious what both of you think as I am really wanting to find a place or two beyond Uncle Willie's. I believe Wilson's pit cooked Q has been compared to Central Texas Q, but also KC... What's interesting is there seems to be about a 60-40 relationship for who loves it or hates it. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground!

            1. re: Scargod

              I've eaten a lot of great BBQ in texas and wilson's is not in the same league I'm afraid. I have eaten twice at Wilsons...last time Sept. last year. Both times were awful. Meat completely dry and no flavor. I will never return there.

              1. re: Scargod

                I'm definitely not a connisseur of bbq, but I think Wilson's is the meatiest with the least amount of gristly fat around. The Cookhouse (at least in Darien) seems very ordinary, like a chain, and the food is often cold. Again, I can't compare types or anything, just my own opinion!

          2. I had Wilson's this weekend and have mixed thoughts about the food, but a bad customer service experience that will stop me from going back. I thought the bbq was ok, but found the sides too one dimensional - beans too brown sugar-sweet, collards too much vinegary, corn bread dry and bland.

            But what really irks me is that we spent 60 dollars for carry out for four people, and it didn't come with bbq sauce, even though three kinds were listed on the menu, and without prices. The meat on the menu says "sauce on the side," but it doesn't say you have to BUY it! I've lived in BBQ country for 10+ years and have never heard of this. When we called saying (nicely) that they forgot the sauce, they were VERY snippy. Said the owner would call back. After a week, I'm not holding out hope. Eating dry ribs and chicken without sauce just didn't cut it for me, and with that attitude, I doubt I'll be back.

            6 Replies
            1. re: ClippyZ

              Tried Wilson's twice and found them to be way too expensive for the quality of the food.

              The baby back ribs, though tasty, were not quite tender, fall off the bone. The pork was moist, but had no smoke flavor at all--overall it was kinda blah. I've been told the place has no set hours and just kinda closes when it feels like it. The hot sauces were very good, I did like the mashed sweet potato; it's too back the overall quality of the meat didn't match up.

              1. re: bewley

                This style of barbecue is NOT supposed to be "fall off the bone". Most barbecue aficionados consider mushy ribs, where the meat readily disconnects from the bone to be terrible. This would be the equivalent of a New Englander getting an overcooked lobster.
                It's also not unusual for a Q place to close if they are running out of meat. It's not like they can whip up another batch in 20 minutes. There are a few "hot" places in Texas that have not geared up for their new found popularity and are only open a few hours. People show up early and stand in line and soon it's all gone. At that point you need to close up the "front of house" and work on more Q for the next day or go fishin.

                1. re: Scargod

                  Right, Memphis BBQ Judges are taught that only what your teeth bite into should pull away on a properly smoked rib, fine line between tender and mushy.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    Yes, I'm sure you're right with regards to the proper rib meat consistency, but how would you account for the pork and high prices?

                    1. re: bewley

                      I can't really. I haven't been there yet.
                      My impression from reading about Wilson's is that it's pretty good Southern style Q. Also, reading from their website menu I see that they serve "Eastern Carolina style" pulled pork. I guess this is what you had? It tends to be milder and relies on a vinegary sauce. Since it's pulled, yours might have been light on the exterior meat.
                      Isn't Wilson's in kind of a high-dollar area? It is so unusual to find good Q (though you are questioning it), that he can probably command the prices for all the people homesick for and deprived of the Q they're used to.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        Well, after you have tried it, I would really like to know your thoughts! I can say the mustard sauce was very good.

              2. I live in Fairfield. Its good, great mac and cheese but it's simply bbq in a renovated house on Rt 1 and costs $20 a person to eat anything substantial. In my opinion there are better places in FFLD County to get good bbq, just as good as wilsons but for a fair price.

                1. We went after seeing them on a previous version of D,D & D's- really disappointing, it was stone cold after being prepared right in front of us. We tried two dishes, my husband liked his pork sandwich and the fries were good, but very greasy. The stand out from the meal was the "sweet and tangy": house sauce but that was it. Fairfield is now only worth the trip to go to Isabelle et Vincent for baguettes and macarons.

                  Incidentally, I've seen an ad for Uncle Willies BBQ in West Haven we are thinking of trying, but hubby reckons he's found excellent BBQ in the Farmington/W Hartford area (sorry, cant remember the name and he is asleep right now!)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: pain au chocolat

                    I agree with you on WIlsons, but Fairfield does still have lots to offer besides Isabel et Vincent (which is amazing). Have you been to Osianna? Lots more to name (not the least of which is Super Weenie) - what kind of food do you like?

                    1. re: Ima Foodie

                      It takes great willpower when passing thru fairfield not to visit the weenie man...Love that chicago dog

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        Agreed, the Chicagoan is one of my faves. I've found, though, that you really want Gary to make the Chicagoan for you. Of all the SDW dogs, that is the one where the balance of condiments is critical. Too much mustard, and it fails to reach its true potential.

                    2. re: pain au chocolat

                      Is the BBQ place he is thinking of in Farmington "Flaggstead's Texas BBQ"? It's pretty good BBQ, but they seem to run out of things fairly early many nights.

                      1. re: FarFar

                        Flaggstead is really good. Their brisket is far superior to Wilson's, IMO. But I like Wilson's sauces better. Flaggstead's ribs are more tender than Wilson's, but I like Wilson's rub better.