Chuck Wagon [3/5]
3 (60%) 1 vote

Chuck Wagon Cropped
I was recommended to Chuck Wagon by several people, all of whom had nothing but praise for its Texas style bar-b-que. Which is why, when I drove by it quite on accident one day and realized how not-very-far-away-at-all it was, I immediately started making lunch plans. A few days later, I found myself in a line that went from one side of the small building to the other and threatened to go out the door.

The meat smelled fabulous and looked deliciously tender but the $10 a plate prices steered me toward the more wallet friendly stuffed baked potato ($7). The portions are deceiving. It wasn’t until I stood at the counter, watching them make my plate up that I realize a stuffed potato was actually 1.5 potatoes. The set up is similar to any large mess hall, you walk to the counter and proceed down the line, selecting your sides and serving yourself condiments and choosing desserts from a tray near the register. This means I had an excellent view of my potato and a half being doused in butter (optional, and to your specifications), and my pork being freshly sliced, shredded and piled on top.

I had been eyeing the desserts, but once I got a close look at the overwhelming mass of potato and meat before me, I simply added a drink–Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle!–and found a table.

Given the crowd, I was surprised to find a table open, but I actually had my pick of two. Definitely not a spot for loitering, still I wasn’t rushed.

After so much anticipation and delicious aromas, I was sorely disappointed when I scooped up a forkful of pork. While perfectly tender and moist, it was also completely flavorless. It made a wonderful vehicle for the bar-b-que sauce but I expect my meats to stand on their own. The toast suffered the same fate–a perfect balance of a slightly crunchy exterior and a soft interior but very little flavor. The potato itself was soft and generously buttered but after being spoiled by loaded baked potatoes filled with cheese, butter, sour cream, and ridiculously flavorful meats elsewhere, it seemed rather plain by comparison.

I can’t help but feel like I must be missing something here, so I will probably be back to try the brisket since that is what the majority of the crowd was ordering and they may be onto something. Based on this visit alone though? A major win on texture and freshness, but flavor is MIA. Expect to drown your food in sauces and/or butter to compensate.

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