Not long ago I finally got a break that was long enough to drive out to Katy and experience the great barbecue at Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers. They are located in a strip center on the southeast corner of FM1463 and Cinco Trace. I was bummed when I learned that the owner and pitmaster, Waseem Hilal, was not going to be around to be able to meet finally. But I was still very excited to try Waseem’s brand of Texas barbecue. I went with a three meat “Texas Trinity” plate of brisket, jalapeno sausage and pork ribs. And for my sides I went with the old standbys of potato salad and coleslaw.
- Brisket – I of course went with moist brisket, and really enjoyed it. The fat was well-rendered, there was a beautiful bark, and the flavor was excellent – not overly smoky and not lacking in smoke.
- Jalapeno cheddar sausage – I loved this sausage. The snap in the casing was outstanding. The grind was great, and you can just see how much cheese and jalapeno is mixed in. Fantastic flavor – a great sausage all around.
- Pork ribs – The St Louis cut pork ribs were very tasty. The rub was very nice but didn’t overpower the pork flavor. The ribs were well cooked and not oversteamed. Great ribs!
- Sides & sauce – There wasn’t anything super special about the potato salad or coleslaw. But they didn’t detract from the meal either. The potato salad was good and mustardy (I think that’s a word). The coleslaw was mayo-based with a good crunch to the cabbage and not too wet or dry. The two different barbecue sauces (regular and spicy) were very good. And the pickles, onions, pickled jalapenos and slices of white bread were standard fare and added to the overall experience.
Even though Waseem wasn’t there, I asked the very pleasant young man running the cash register if I could get a quick peek at the pit room and kitchen area. He happily obliged by request. And man am I glad a got to go back there. Waseem uses a very reliable Ole Hickory rotisserie pit for their meats with post oak providing the smokiness. What I wasn’t expecting was to see was a member of the cook staff building absolutely massive-looking burger patties. I of course I did know that the name of the restaurant includes the word “burgers”. But it had not hit me yet how serious they are about these burgers.
All-in-all this first trip to Chuckwagon BBQ was a great experience. Next time I go, I am definitely gonna make sure I plan ahead better so I can finally meet Waseem. And I am definitely ordering a burger.