It started as a quest to visit all the 60+ BBQ places in the counties of Madison, Limestone, Morgan, and Lawrence in Northern Alabama (that is the Hunstville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area).
Then I got sent back to Germany and there was no BBQ. But eventually I got assigned to a new job which takes me on business trips in the USA occasionally. So I reopened the blog – just deleted the “North Alabama” from the title.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Chief & Snoogie's Hickory Pit BBQ
Quest Log No 52 – Chief & Snoogie’s Hickory Pit BBQ Trinity, Lawrence
The Captain & Tennille, John
& Yoko, Bonny & Clyde, Jake &
Elliot, Bush & Cheney – those are partnerships everybody knows. In the
culinary world, there are usually only lone wolfs, jealously guarding their
precious recipes and trusting nobody with the preparation of the works of art
they put on the menu.
And with BBQ, there is no real
difference. It’s like in those country songs – you can take my car, my house,
my job, my wife, but if you try to steal the recipe to my secret miracle rub,
my killer sauce, my mother’s cole slaw, all hell will break loose.
But in Trinity there is a BBQ place
where two pals are collaborating to make a righteous cue. Their very neat,
clean and homey little shack is located directly on Highway 24. They have
decorated the inside with all kinds of nice memorabilia, like an old gas pump,
and some pig-related things. Half a dozen tables or so provide seating space
for about fifteen people. There is a small porch with a few extra tables under
parasols, and a drive through window. Speaking of driving, you better approach
the building very slow, because the driveway is just a patch of heavily
potholed gravel. But the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff makes you
forget the aching shocks on your car as soon as you set foot in the restaurant.
The menu has all the usual items
you expect for a complete BBQ experience. As usual, I stayed with the pork
plate, with potato salad and baked beans – slaw and a bread roll, as well as a
pickle spear come with it by default. Additionally to the default mild vinegar
sauce that came with the meal, I had the choice between the hot vinegar sauce,
the thick red sauce, and the white sauce. In a stupid attempt to appear modest,
I only chose the thick red sauce – I should have taken the offer to take the
hot vinegar sauce as well.
Well, the mild vinegar sauce is
just what the name says – a mild vinegar-pepper sauce, which is more on the
sour side than in the peppery corner. Nothing special here, but it goes very
well with the pulled pork, as it should. The thick red sauce is also nothing
earth shattering, just your basic Kansas
City style concoction.
With really well done pulled pork,
a simple vinegar-pepper sauce is all you need as a ticket to BBQ heaven. And
that is absolutely the case for Chief & Snoogie’s pork – very tender and
lean, yet still succulent and with a very prominent hickory flavor. Those guys
apparently know what they are doing.
So, while the pork was just
exceptional, the sides on the other hand where a mixed bag.
The slaw was finely chopped and very
crisp, with a vinegar sauce that made it very sour – just the way I like it. The
potato salad came in a creamy sour crème dressing, which gave it a more neutral,
but also a more fresh taste as with mayonnaise. It could use a bit more salt
and pepper to make it really pop, though.
The beans on the other hand were
just beyond salvation. Those beans were so sweet that they could have served
them as dessert. I did not taste cinnamon in there, but that is quite
understandable, because the sweetness completely overlaid any other flavor that
might have been in there. Next time I am having a bag of chips instead.
Yes, there will be a next time. The
pulled pork was just too exquisite to not return. And for just under eleven
bucks with a sweet tea, the large pork plate is a big heap of food. So, if quality
and quantity and price are right, we have a winner. Or, in this case, two of