Published: March 10, 2015
Follow Grilling With Rich:
“If you can’t smell the smoke… Then it isn’t real BBQ…”
Back in 2011, I had a chance to review a hidden barbecue restaurant gem in Upper Marlboro, MD named Chucks Wagon BBQ. Since then I have kept in touch with Chuck and seen him at various barbecue competitions and events in the greater Washington D.C. area. I was bummed to find out a couple of years ago that his Upper Marlboro restaurant closed and he was in the process of looking for a new place to house his authentic barbecue food.
Fast forward to late 2014 when I received an email from Chuck saying that he was in the process of opening a brand new location in Bowie, Maryland and that when he officially opened he wanted me to come in and say hello and more importantly taste the barbecue.
A couple of weekends ago, I traveled the half an hour car drive on a very cold Sunday afternoon to Bowie, MD to take Chuck up on his offer and boy was I ever glad that I did. But before I get to the review of the food I want to provide those who might have never heard of Chuck and his Wagon BBQ a little background and share with you his amazing barbecue journey. Chuck’s passion for cooking some amazing barbecue can be felt through his cooking but also the way that he explains the process of smoking some mean barbecue ribs and brisket.
Chuck’s Wagon BBQQ was first located in the Washington D.C. area and more specifically the “H” street H Street Corridor. Chuck’s passion for producing great barbecue has led him and his restaurant to be named and voted by the Washington Post “Best BBQ” in Prince Georges County Maryland, which is an honor and something that Chuck is very proud of. In addition, all of his staff at the restaurant is his own family which truly makes his barbecue passion a “family affair.” What I find the best about Chuck is that he will say that he isn’t already the best barbecue pitmaster on the block but he is someone who wants to learn more and more and improve his craft, and knows that through learning and hard work the sky is the limit!
The presentation of the food is not fancy and not on butcher paper or whatever the hot trend is, the presentation is simple, and just like his barbecue: “classic,” and that is what he wants it to be and is happy with it.
Let’s get down to the food, as that is one of the most important aspects to me and one of the greatest aspects. First off what I like the most about the food is that it is simple with no flair and Chuck sticks to what he likes: Making BBQ the old fashion way.” When you enter the restaurant you are greeted with a simple menu of brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork and classic barbecue side dishes such as beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad and some good old fashion greens.
The meats were just amazing and had the perfect balance of smoke and the pork ribs feel right off the bone with some proper tug while bitting through them. My favorite protein by leaps and bounds was the sliced brisket. You can see from the moment that you look at the brisket that it had the right amount of smoke ring which comes from just the right amount of kiss of smoke.
Also of Interest:
- REVIEW: ThermoWorks TimeStick Trio
- Chris Lilly’s Pit-Stop Guacamole Recipe
- Don’t forget to become a Fan of Grilling with Rich on Facebook!
Looking for that perfect smoker or grill? Check out the Grilling with Rich BBQ and Grill Finder tool here
You Might Like These Other BBQ & Grilling Articles