Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chuckwagon BBQ (Madison, Al)

Alabama meets Texas

20130814_130921You sometimes have to wonder what possesses people to do the things they do. I mean, what would posses a person to open a Texas BBQ joint in Madison Alabama. Right in the heart of North Alabama BBQ country. Especially given that people from one BBQ region DO NOT, as a rule, like BBQ from another region. But....there it is, Chuck Wagon BBQ not 10 minutes from the legend, Big Bob Gibson's. It's a recipe, no pun intended, for disaster.

20130814_130847But what if I told you that at lunch time, you can't get near this place. That lineups start before the doors open. That ya, it's that good.

20130814_153503Owner Mike Holley, a genuine transplanted Texan is churning out what could very well be the best Texas Q East of the Pecos. Using recipes handed down from his Grandfather, George Washington Gray he's found enough room in the BBQ saturated landscape of Madison and Limestone Counties. While he toiled in the oil fields of Texas for many years, Mike had cooking in his blood. His Great Grandfather was a chuck wagon cook on the
Goodnight-Loving Trail.

20130814_153402Located just off I-565 Chuckwagon BBQ is a sight to behold. An honest to goodness joint. Decked out in weathered barn board with a bright red roof and big BBQ spelled out it's a stand out. Smoke stacks and catering pits pop up like mushrooms in a damp forest.

20130814_145819Inside it mirrors the outside with more barn board and is decorated with many things Texas. You enter around back and go through the outdoor dining area. Food is served to you cafeteria style from a large serving station inside and the cramped main dining room seems to accommodate many more than you'd think.

So let's get a look at what's got Alabamians betraying their roots shall we??

 
20130814_150623The Beans were much better but seemed to be lacking something. It seemed to be an acid of some sort. I added a bit of BBQ sauce and that seemed to brighten things up a bit. So I added more. I found that there was a level that was perfect and one that was too much. So easy does it.
I quite liked the Tater Salad. Nothing special about it, it’s just good old solid tuber goodness. Nothing wrong with that.
 
20130502_180443A 2 Meat combo of Brisket and Sausage is a nice match. Smoked pork sausage and Texas style brisket are as ubiquitous in Texas as cows it seems. While both were terrific, they both lacked that great smoked flavour that I love. Otherwise, the sausage was incredibly tasty and perfectly cooked. When smoking sausage the casing can become rather rubbery and downright unappetizing. This wasn't the case here. The brisket also hit all the appropriate buttons but the smokey one as I mentioned. The meat was fork tender, juicy and great tasting. Gven that these are the two house specialties, they’d better be good.

20130814_150637They do actually do pork products as well. This horrible photo is of ribs. Given that we showed up 5 minutes before close and I got the last order of ribs they were needless to say, not very photogenic. Not to worry, the taste was pretty much everything you’d want. As you can tell by the pink in the meat, the smoke flavour was spot on.

20130814_152240For dessert there are some options but Mrs. Sippi was all over the Fried Pies. The apple was terrific but the peach was just slightly better.

So there you have it folks, terrific Texas BBQ in the Heart of Dixie.

You can find Chuck Wagon BBQ at 8982 Madison Blvd. in Madison, Al.

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You can also find them on facebook.
Chuck Wagon on Urbanspoon

Well that's all for now folks, see ya next time in the food court.

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