Barbecue is expensive.
In case you haven't noticed, restaurants serving barbeque often use phrases describing quality (“hickory smoked,” “slow cooked for x hours”) or offer family deals emphasizing quantity to make your conscience easier to swallow. On one hand, there are local barbecueries whose ribs you would gladly drive a stake through your wallet to pay for, like the local Tulsa Rib Co. or any of the Lucille's in OC. On the other, it's achingly disappointing when you've stumbled onto subpar-beque. Beware, the OC Fair, after the jump.
Beware: set up a few steps from the Fair Square is Chuckwagon. If you don't already know, the most dangerous quality about barbecue is its smell. If you wander within a 15-20-foot radius of this abominable meatstand, you will end up smelling–and buying, like I did.
A little over $10, the pulled pork sandwich is a relatively hefty commitment of your money. As I picked up the food within five minutes of forking over my cash, I was shaking my head at the size of this thing, it could have been a slider. Ten bucks in five bites. Quantity fail.
I sat down, a little distraught, but hoping to be reimbursed with a taste that matched restaurant-quality food. With the first bite, I lost faith in humanity as my taste buds found cold buns and pulled pork slathered with sweetly cheap barbecue sauce. Strike two–quality fail.
Virtually all worthy barbeque joints in the OC are well-known because there just aren't that many of them. Falsely hyped phrases and saccharine smells will only get you so far. Earth to OC Fair: It's time to chuck out Chuckwagon.