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Hog Wild Beach & BBQ

Stop for



Gulf Shores



In case there was any confusion, that’s my declaration after a visit to Hog Wild Beach & BBQ in Gulf Shores. We were on our anniversary trip and decided to hit up a new joint for The Alabama Barbecue Chase. What we had just blew me away! Heck, it blew US away! Mary loved it so much she talked about it for two days, until we ran it back on day three of our getaway. The second meal, just as mesmerizing! How could smoked chicken and pork be this good?

I admit to a strong prejudice towards geography when dining out. When traveling through Boston you should have clam chowder, lobster in Maine, deep dish pizza in Chicago, steaks in Kansas City, etouffee in New Orleans, and barbecue in Alabama …except for the Gulf coast. That was always a sanctuary for seafood and all the glorious sides that compliment them. Now, what am I supposed to do? My prejudice has been turned on its head and it’s left my head spinning. Not only am I perplexed by the discovery of great barbecue at the beach, but I’m reeling from the fact that Hog Wild may have the best smoked meats in all of Alabama!

Upon arrival, there’s a bold aesthetic that I really like. The look is very industrial with block walls partially plastered, rough concrete floors, natural wood beams, and wooden tables. It has a reclaimed feel and with all the variety of materials and textures, a look that I’m really comfortable in. The outside has a covered patio with a giant, colorful mural of a pig surfing and another lounging on the beach in sunglasses. I think Chase would be right at home in that scene. It’s the perfect backdrop for a beach trip meal. While the venue is cool, the looks are nothing compared to the food. Let me rave!

The pulled chicken is the best we’ve ever had! Mary goes for poultry and this chicken was far and away her favorite. Immediately you get smoke, then the flavor builds as you chew. All the seasoning comes to the forefront and it finishes with a bit of heat. It’s one of those sensations where you sense the flavor even as you breathe out. The meat is pulled then cut so every bite is hearty and satisfying. I recommend just closing your eyes so your senses of taste and smell aren’t distracted.

If those are my accolades for the chicken, I need to ramp it up for the pulled pork! From the first bite, I knew this was a contender. It has a beautiful color which transitioned from the dark, spiced crust through the pink smoke ring to the delicate center. It’s soft but hearty and incredibly moist, with a little bit of crunch from the bark. Everything good about smoked, pulled pork barbecue is delivered in this one experience. While a variety of sauces are offered, this pork doesn’t need any. I’m sure I spent way too much time eating with my eyes closed, trying to decipher everything that I was tasting. What I learned is this was the best duo of barbecue Mary and I have ever had together.

My theory on Hog Wild is they have their own spice rub that’s like some magic pixie dust. They used it aggressively on numerous dishes and it delivers big, bold flavors. I’m certain it was in the baked beans, which were firm and well spiced. The mac n cheese is baked with a blend of cheddar and American cheeses and has a nice crust on top. The slaw is chopped and served with a mustard vinaigrette, which I found dry but it had some tang. We polished off the fries which were classics, fried golden and well-seasoned.

While there’s no sauce on the tables, there is a station with four different sauces that you portion into serving cups. The OG Sauce is the house sauce and delivers what you’d expect. It goes from vinegar to tomato to spice. It’s really well seasoned and flavorful with just enough heat. This was my favorite by far. The Sweet Sauce is earthy and thick, and verrrry sweet. Their White Sauce is thin, peppery, and striped an easy burn down the back of my throat. The Hot Sauce goes in easy then blasts you with a blend of spices on the sides and back of your tongue. Try ‘em all or none at all. The meat at Hog Wild can stand alone.

Big flavor and big portions are what’s served here. But like they say, “Go big or go home!” Well Hog Wild goes big and you’ll remember them long after you’ve gone home!

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