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Chuck Wagon Bar-B-Que

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I’ve worked very hard over the years to overcome my discrimination against any barbecue that wasn’t pulled pork.  I realized I was missing out on some amazing food by being so arrogant towards traditional Alabama techniques.  I’m also very territorial and any claim that North Carolina, Kansas City, or Texas had better barbecue than us grated on my nerves.  But I have managed to rehabilitate myself and appreciate the mastery of others’ take on barbecue.  We all can get along and delight in our differences.  If you’re like the old me and believe barbecue can only be done the Alabama way, Chuck Wagon is the place to change your mind.

Our Huntsville office is managed by a native Texan, Chris Munson, who has the culinary chops to prove it.  He’s brought a few different homemade dishes to office potlucks and they all delivered big flavor.  So when he found out I was a barbecue connoisseur he immediately told me about Chuck Wagon.  I belief he said it was the most authentic Texas style barbecue he’s had in Alabama and maybe anywhere.  Now I want to try it but Texas barbecue means beef to me.  While I do love beef, pork is what I’m chasing.  Chuck Wagon’s founder is a Texan and there’s no way this guy can do both brisket and pork, right?  WRONG!!!

One really unique thing about this place is that it’s organized like a buffet.  There’s a long counter you pass along and all the food is on the opposite side.  You tell them what meat you want and they portion it right there in front of you.  You tell them what sides you want and they scoop them right in front of you.  By the time you reach the end of the line your mouth is watering.  It’s a neat strategy to sell more food because everything’s beautiful and seeing it makes you want to try everything.  I think our group had a little bit of everything by the time we sat down.

I’m gonna make this simple…YES!!!  Pulled pork, delicious!  Brisket, delicious!  Smoked sausage, delicious!  Ribs, delicious!  Chicken, delicious!  The pork is portioned using thongs.  They reach into the shoulder and the meat comes right off.  It has a strong pork flavor but is mild on any smoke or seasoning.  But that’s OK because it’s tender and juicy.  The sauce is a thick, ketchup base that possibly has molasses on account of its dark color.  It’s well seasoned and clings to the meat.  The baked beans are meaty and have a mild bite.  They also serve a creamy, spicy coleslaw that packs enough kick to liven up your taste buds.  It doesn’t cool your palette but has a depth of flavor that regular cole slaw doesn’t.  I tried some of Lamarr’s ribs and smoked sausage, but only after trading some pulled pork.  The ribs are huge and meaty and I really dug the sausage dipped in the sauce.  On the way home my coworkers zonked out in the car and I have the picture to prove it.  Both of them incapacitated from meat overload.  I’m saving it in case I have a need for blackmail.

Someone at Chuck Wagon is a genius and it is definitely worth the detour, even if you have to exit I-65 and dedicate an additional two hours for the experience.  Free yourself and whole-heartedly join the diverse world of barbecue, free of bias and doubt.  This is one of the most diverse menus with the best quality in the entire state.

Bonus points for:

Order at the counter

Coke products

Self-serve fountain drinks

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