For the past two decades, TK’s American Cafe in Danbury, CT has had a tight grip on the wing business in the area. They were the standard as far as wings was concerned, even going so far as to claim they were the first to start a “wing night” on which they offered 10 cent wings. TK’s offers a long list of wing sauces and will even combine any two or more flavors anybody could desire. Sure enough, life was pretty good for TK’s.
Until recently, that is. In the not too distant past a new bar and restaurant opened in Brookfield, no more than 15 minutes from TK’s. Located at 439 Candlewood Lake Road South, Al’s Cookout has started to emerge as a threat to TK’s stranglehold on the wing market in the Greater Danbury area. For those that were willing to try, Al’s has built a loyal and dedicated following.
Al’s is actually a nice bar, featuring several high-definition televisions tuned to current sports, lots of room, an outdoor patio area, as well as bar games. The physical bar and the surrounding tables are nicely built natural wood, leaving just a hint of its original scent that seems to perfectly fit the bar. The patrons are a great mix of young and old, and it is a rare occasion when somebody gets too rowdy or out of hand. Most nights the bar has some sort of event going on, such as karaoke and late night happy hour specials.
Those things, though great, are not the reason TK’s should be intimidated. The wings at Al’s Cookout are, in a word, phenomenal. They choose to use a bulkier, meatier, heftier wing that complements the sauces as a better alternative than the smaller wing at TK’s. The flavor menu is far too large to list in its entirety. It must be said that Al’s offers some flavors that might be new to the wing market, such as peanut butter and jelly, but these must not be ignored.
For the daring, there are several different levels of hot and spicy sauces, from naked wings with no sauce all the way up to the scorching “liquid hot magma.” There are also some borne of other regions, such as those that feature Thai peanut sauce and Mexican-inspired flavors using tequila. If a sweeter sauce is desired, there are maple syrup and cinnamon flavors. Al’s also offers a number of dry rubs such as Cajun, salt and pepper, and Italian spices. All in all, there are nearly 60 different flavors to sample. By comparison, TK’s only offers 37 flavors, many of which are simply the combination of two or more other flavors. All of the sauces at Al’s are original.
The prices are more than fair and there are plenty of drink specials. There is plenty of room in the bar for a good number of people to fit comfortably. The wings almost indescribably good. Very few bad things can be said about Al’s Cookout in general, but the wings are the MVP of the bar. The best part is that at this point the establishment remains enough of a secret so it is rarely packed to the point of making a patron want to go home, unlike TK’s.
Only the owners of Al’s Cookout know for sure if they intended to take on TK’s in the wing market, but either way that is exactly what has happened. Watch out TK’s, you have a target on your back.