Few people come to the West Village to go to the WXOU Radio Bar. It's flanked by famous neighbors like The White Horse Tavern across the way and The Spotted Pig down 11th Street. But locals know WXOU boasts one of the best jukeboxes in the city and provides a respite from having to elbow your way to the bar at other places.
"It's one of the only real bars around here," owner Robert Gelardi says of his well-loved hole in the wall (which he took over from the original owners last year). It's also open late, and as we said, penetrable. In short, it's a place where a cook or chef from one of the hot spots the nabe is more noted for would come to wind down after a shift. And this is how unassuming little WXOU grabbed the title for best bar food in the Village. Its bar food comes from nearby Braeburn. But it only comes once a week.
So, how did your friendly neighborhood dive bar get such fancy food? As Gelardi tells it, the cooks from Braeburn coming into the bar came up with the idea of putting out trays of hot food on football Sundays. We're talking ridiculous falling-off-the-bone barbecue ribs, sliders (with rare little centers) and tangy vinegar coleslaw. This is the sort of Sunday football party you can enjoy even if you're not so into the gridiron.