Chuck Wagon 175, an American fully licensed restaurant on O’Connell Street is booming on any day of the week when they’re open. As you first enter the restaurant, you are met with a heap of super hero motifs, popular cartoon characters, props, famous movie merchandise, movie posters and memorabilia whether it be on the walls, windows, in the corner, on the bar, and even on the ceiling. It’s rather impressive and a huge difference to what it used to be only a few years back which is when we had our first visit. Now under new management and a new direction, James the owner invited us for a meal to see what they were all about.
Decor, Samuel Adams beer for The Stranger
Aside from the notable difference in terms of the funky decor and energetic vibe, they also offer an extremely extensive American style street food menu. We only skimmed the surface on what they had on offer, but surely there is something for everyone. Have a looksee:
Sweet potato fries; $6.00
We started off with something small, a serving of their sweet potato fries that had been lightly dusted in a Tex/Mex seasoning served with a side of smashed avocado. Long golden sweet crisps with a spice coating, different but good albeit a bit dry and the side of smashed avo, we didn’t find it really necessary but hey, each to their own. It was also surprisingly very filling as we were ‘content’ before our mains even came out! But as usual, we soldiered on.
The Chuck; $14.00
We ordered the classic and standard burger, called The Chuck, the small tower consisted of a 140g chuck patty with crisp iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, fresh onion and a creamy house mayo on a soft toasted sweet bun.
Cross section of The Chuck
A classic it was with the usual offerings in a burger. A decent sized one too, although we did find it tricky to eat it from the small tray it came out on but overall, a good bite with fresh crisp ingredients.
Memphis style barbecue pork ribs, half rack; $19.00
Instead of doubling up on the burgers (psst, their burger menu is MASSIVE!), I opted for half a rack of their 12 hour braised and hickory smoked American pork ribs which was served on a bed of crispy shoestring fries and seasoned with Tex/Mex spices. Phew!! The ribs themselves are braised for 4 hours then seasoned and smoked for another 6 hours with Chucks very own meat rub then lathered in Chuck Wagon’s smokey Jack Daniels barbecue sauce. According to my maths, that only equates to 10 hours so I’m not entirely sure where the next 2 hours went, but there you have it! Haha. The meat was tender although we wished there was a more prominent smoke flavour permeating through it, but hey, it was definitely better than my attempt at home! Pork rib disaster at home. Shh! So sorry I had to put The Stranger through my disastrous cook. >.<
You might be wondering what else these guys offer? How about fried American pickles, portobello chips and/or smokey mac and cheeese with bacon? Or crispy shoestring fries or corn chips covered in a range of decadent toppings that should only be a sometimes food–everything in moderation folks and always best to share. 😉 Chuck Wagon also allows you to customise any burger to suit your taste with burger prices falling between $10 and $19. The $19 burger being The Burgernator with beef patty, double crusted Chuck breast, two pieces of shortcut bacon, cheddar cheese, double breaded onion rings, iceberg lettuce, tomato, smokey Jack Daniels sauce and tangy fry sauce on a toasted sweet bun. Oh man, my stomach hurts from just reading that alone–obviously not one for the faint hearted! Hotdogs and hot wings are also popular as well as their sweet desserts like The Original Nutella Burger with whipped cream, crunchy Nutella patty, sliced strawberries and banana on a soft toasted dessert bun.
If The Burgernator sounds like an easy feat for you, they also have two food challenges for those that are game. Chuck Wagon’s Commando Burger Challenge and the Inferno Hot Wings Challenge. The first entails 6 x 160g burger patties, 6 pieces of bacon, double cheese on each patty, sweet bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, garlic aioli and shoestring fries for 2… all to be wiped clean in 20 minutes. Winners get a free meal and their face on the Wall of Fame, and losers? Well, they cough up $40 and have their face on the Wall of Shame. And the Inferno Hot Wings Challenge ($20)? One must consume 6 extremely hot wings in 15 minutes with no beverages during and after the challenge for an extra 5 minutes. Ouch!
On our visit, the restaurant was insanely busy with patrons braving the cold outside waiting to nab a seat. The folks here know what they’re doing and are obviously doing something right as business is booming; the location is convenient, parking is accessible and service is friendly.
[dbites was invited as guests to Chuck Wagon 175]
Chuck Wagon 175
175 O’Connell Street
North Adelaide SA 5006
P 08 8267 4070