Uncle Willie’s BBQ – West Haven, CT
Uncle Willie’s BBQ
403 Saw Mill Road
Exit 42 off I-95
West Haven, CT 06516
Tel: (203) 479-4017
My boyfriend and I ran across Uncle Willie’s when were planning a trip from New York to Rhode Island. It was just off of I-95, so we decided to give it a try. It was easy to find, and as we pulled in, I had a good feeling. Good barbecue in my experience is often to be found in the hole-in-the-wall kind of places, and this seemed to fit the bill.
As we entered, I was struck by the kick-ass kitschy awesomeness of the place. It was decorated with menus from other barbecue restaurants around the country, along with a big weird framed print that was basically “The Last Supper” but with old movie stars instead of Jesus and the disciples. (I looked it up; it’s called “Invitation,” or “Dinner for Great Names”, and Marilyn Monroe is in the Jesus position. YES indeed.)
You order from the counter and take a seat, assuming you can get one, as it’s pretty small. We ordered sandwiches – brisket and pulled pork – and sides of the jalapeno mashed potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. We got the “li’l” size, and it was plenty. They had a few different kinds of sauce sitting out on a table so you could try what you wanted. I personally liked the Memphis Classic Sweet on my brisket. The sandwiches were both good, meat tender and not too fatty. It’s actual wood-smoked, pit barbecue. The collard greens were better than decent and the cornbread was tasty. I don’t know what I expected, but I was a little disappointed that the jalapeño mashed potatoes were just average-tasting kind of mushy mashed potatoes with what seemed to be slices of jalapeño straight out of a jar mixed in. Not that great.
I grew up in Texas, and I love barbecue. I’ve certainly partaken of my fair share over the years. Uncle Willie’s isn’t the best I’ve ever had, but I enjoyed it. It was reasonably priced (we paid $26 for the above mentioned plus two drinks) and convenient from the highway, and we were both very full when we left. I also liked the feel of the place – everyone was nice and friendly, they have a pig in the logo, they served on Styrofoam plates, and overall the place seemed like what I expect from a little barbecue joint. I’d definitely go back to try more items from their extensive menu.