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Wild Wild West Saloon

July 2010 UPDATE:  A return visit showed the place to be inconsistent, the quality of the food variable.

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EARLIER REVIEW

From the outside, Wild Wild West Saloon in Farmingdale appears to be just another one of those dark and gloomy bars that sprout up near railroad tracks. Good thing I got past the front door, for what I found was a veritable oasis of good simple eats.

A horse mural decorates one wall (a requisite, I'm sure, at all restaurants with "Wild West" in their names) and a TV hangs over the bar. And while, yes, the ambience is dark, the wood surfaces in the spotless room gleam.

The cheeseburger I sampled ranks way up there — thick, juicy, smoky, alive with the mineral flavor of good beef. Hand-cut fries were toasty-sweet, lots better than the heavily breaded deep-fried fried pickle chips. A friend's crab burger, perhaps a bit too crusty on the outside, was nonetheless very good — lots of well-spiced crab meat and very little bread. Only the veggie burger was pedestrian.

The burger-centric bill of fare also features a long list of chicken sandwiches (a Philly, a Cajun, a Tuscan) along with fajitas and salads. Chicken wings, to be sure. And a kid's menu, called — you must have guessed by now — "Billy the Kid's Menu".

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