Tag Archives: Fairfield

Bodacious bodega

Perhaps the worst-kept secret of Fairfield’s bustling restaurant scene is Bodega Taco Bar, a tidy, no-frills spot with some truly extraordinary food and booze creations in the ass end of one the assiest, endiest strip malls this side of the Gowanus Canal.

Like its sister restaurant, Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk, the BT is unique; a combination of laid-back, functional style, fresh, inventive south-of-the-border-inspired dishes and unexpected drink combinations (with a kick).

Settle in for some creamy, delicious guac and crack-like homemade tortilla chips. (Don’t bother with salsa. It’s served too pretty and, as a result, is impossible to enjoy.)  Then move on to, well, anything really. Try the arepas — pork belly is a menu staple — along with fresh ceviche, perfectly seasoned lamb ribs, tasty cuban torta, and tacos: fish tacos, Korean tacos, brisket tacos and more. Veggie peeps will love the Pepito and, if you’re cutting back on carbs, there’s no shame in going “Lady Tata” style, i.e. tacos in lettuce wraps instead of a tortilla. (Oh who am I kidding? There’s LOTS of shame in it, but they still taste great. Take it from me 😉

On to the can… It’s small. And regrettably located in just about the only spare corner of this little restaurant — an alcove that’s awkwardly shared by the waitstaff’s ordering computer. Yeah, it’s weird.

Once inside, though, all’s pretty good. There are lovely brown glass subway tiles set off by bright white grout, a stylish raised bowl sink and even a bronze-y plastic waste basket that works surprisingly well. Only gripe is that the extra TP and hand towels are on an open shelf. I’d have preferred a cabinet or doors of some kind to keep the super-tiny space from feeling cluttered.

photo 1 photo 4 photo 5

Anywho, here goes…

Rating of chew: 4.5 out of 5

Rating of loo: 2 out of 5

Wilson’s house of ‘meh’

Let me be clear: I love barbecue. I mean, like, deep, abiding, bordering on obsessive love. And, perhaps as a function of my being from the northeast, I’m not really all that picky about the kind of smoked meat I shove into my maw. St. Louis, Texas Hill Country, Memphis, Carolina—whatever style’s on the menu, I’m pretty much in.

Cute? Not really.

Cute? Not really.

So you can only imagine my child-like glee upon learning that our new office is not 5 minutes away from one Wilson’s BBQ, in Fairfield, CT. Don’t scoff. Fairfield’s a big town, populated by a bunch of folks with plenty of money to throw around on McMansions, Range Rovers and food of every denomination. So you’d think that, in order to survive, a restaurant would have to be pretty damn good, right?

Well, Wilson’s pushes the envelope even further: Their hours of operation are—wait for it—Thursday-Sunday, 11:30AM to close. Now, truth be told, I don’t know what ‘close’ time is, but unless it’s 11AM the following day, these people have a pretty sweet gig. I mean, here they are in a pretty competitive suburban restaurant market, and they can afford to be open for lunch and dinner just 4 days a week.

Nice work if you can get it. There’s just one problem: The food ain’t all that good. I mean, it’ll do in a pinch, like when you need some Q so bad you’re ready to hit the Stop & Shop and guzzle a bottle of KC Masterpiece. But other than that, it’s really rather so-so. Not bad, mind you. Just kind of flavorless. (Don’t even get me started on the cornbread.)

And the facilities? Well, I must admit that I was too disheartened by the meal to actually hit the head myself. But Keith popped in for a visit, and here’s what he found…

Everyhthing in its place

Like that pail!

Bo-ring

Bo-ring

Neat. Clean. He might even say ‘quaint,’ if he were even remotely inclined to use that word.

Basically, the lavatory equivalent of Wilson’s food, i.e. nothing terribly wrong, but nothing terribly right, either.

Rating of chew: 2 out of 5 (Keith’s number)

Rating of loo: 2 out of 5 (consensus)