Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Band"Wagon" Fan at Chuck's BBQ

A few weeks ago, Elyse asked me on a random Saturday if I wanted to go out to a new place on H Street. "Not today," I told her. "I kind of just want to stay at home." The next day, though, I was getting hungry and feeling adventurous. So I asked her if she wanted to go out to the new place then. "We can't. It's only open on Fridays and Saturdays." That got my attention.

The place in question was Chuck's Wagon, a new barbecue outfit that opened on H Street about a month ago. It's a minimal outfit, only a walk up counter with no seating provided. And though the Wagon hasn't fully settled in to its new surroundings (the former tenant's decor still lines the walls), it's already producing food well worth attention.

When Elyse and I visited this weekend, we decided to eschew sides in the hopes of eating more barbecue itself. I ordered the chopped brisket sandwich while Elyse opted for the rib sandwich; each costs $7. Our orders arrived in white foam to-go boxes (a good sign) and we headed off. When we got home, we opened our boxes to discover that while our sandwiches were on the smaller side, they looked delicious and, importantly, came on plain white bread! I was elated.

Biting into our sandwiches provided another good perspective. The meat was mildly sweet with a good balance of smoke. The ribs were coated in a sweet crust and cooked incredibly well, proven by the fact that the meat fell off the bone. The sauce wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, but I still appreciated the fact that it was barbecue sauce. (An explanatory parallel: Sierra Nevada may not be among my favorite beers, but I still acknowledge that it is beer.) The meat was a bit cooler than is customary, but we'd walked home from the restaurant before eating it, so that was to be expected. In the future, ordering a full slab of ribs or order of brisket ahead of time might be a good idea.

So while having the ability to dine in would be nice (how great would it be to have a picnic table or two on H Street during service?), I am still quite content to have located an actual barbecue place so close to the heart of the city!

ADDENDUM: As of this weekend, Chuck's Wagon appears to be extending its operating hours into the week. So if you're on or near H Street during your lunch hour, stop by!


  1. I had the Pulled Chicken with Potato Salad and Greens and it was PHENOMENAL! Unlike Elliot I liked the sauce with my meal. The potato words can explain how amazing it was. The greens were cooked with smoked turkey and I really liked that. The prices arent bad either. I look forward to returning and having everything on the menu more than twice.

  2. Due to irreconcilable differences with our leaseholder, Chuck's Wagon BBQ has decided to close it's H Street location . The community made us feel welcome and we loved the feedback - even the negative. We love the new vibe in the area, and hope to be a part of it's future. But you don't have to go without great BBQ! Please consider us for your catering needs. See ya soon!