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Put Some South In Your Mouth -100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

 

Champ Stew at Champ’s Barbecue in Wetumpka, is my #93rd dish on my quest to eat all of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. #8 if I am counting down to zero.

Champ Stew at Champ’s Barbecue in Wetumpka, is my #93rd dish on my quest to eat all of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. #8 if I am counting down to zero.

Just Northeast of Montgomery, there is a beautiful small town set in rolling wooded hillsides with the Coosa river running through the downtown.   It is where the foothills of the Appalachian plains meet the lands of the flat coastal plains. No wonder the Native Americans and later the French colonists settled this area.

Just out of Wetumpka lies the small town of Wallsboro. Since 2007 this has been home to a family run business called Champ’s Barbecue. Recently recognized as a newcomer to the 100 Dishes list, I now had an excuse to drive to Wetumpka and check them out.

champsout

Champs Barbecue Wetumpka, AL

I visited in the afternoon and although most of the lunch crowd had eaten, the place was still busy with seated customers and take out orders. The counter crew had excellent customer service skills, probably one of the most polite and friendly that I have seen in a while. They make a point to call you by name.

champcounter

Champs Barbecue Counter, Wetumpka AL

The restaurant itself is a humble building. The décor is what one might find in most barbecue joints in Alabama. This family shows their faith in the décor.

 

Camp Stew at this establishment is called “Champ Stew;” the clever naming of the dish which has now become a customer favorite. Camp Stew is a cousin to the Brunswick Stew. In brief, somewhere back in time, barbecued meats were added to this dish and the rest is history. I thought it would be fun to get a taste of this restaurant and ordered several things from the menu, thus this crowded photo. The Champ Stew is seen in the small cup/bowl.

champsstew

Champ’s Stew and a BBQ Plate, Wetumpka, AL

 

The Champs Stew- The stew was included in the meal. It is hardy and I could have easily had only this side for my meal.   $2.75.

Although I do not have their exact recipe, I would think that the ingredients are typical of a camp stew. Pulled pork, the sausage, corn, carrots, okra, butter beans, tomatoes,? lima beans or a similar green bean, and green beans. I have had many many bowls of camp stew. The one thing that stood out to me was a nice smoky flavor.

champsmoker

Champs Barbecue Wetumpka House smoker and grills

While researching this blog, I note that they try to source the food locally whenever possible. Alabama food served with Alabama pride.

I give this dish-

4 MEGastars ****

Before I take credit for the title of this blog, the store sells the T-shirts with the words “Put Some South In Your Mouth” on the back. On the front, there is a photo of a pig and the wording of Champ’s Barbecue-Wallsboro, AL.

MEGatips

  1. The restaurant is located on Highway 231 just minutes out of Wetumpka.
  2. The restaurant has varying hours and I had a hard time finding matching hours to my free time so I will include their phone number. (334) 514-4742
  • Sunday and Monday. CLOSED
  • Tuesday and Wednesday they are open for lunch from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
  1. Champ’s Barbecue has a Facebook page with the menu and some of the information needed if you want to learn more about this restaurant.Champ’s BBQ’s Facebook page
  2. They also have a catering menu.
  3. Do check out Wetumpka Alabama. Sometimes, I wished that I had moved to that lil town because of the outdoor opportunities. There is water opportunities on the Coosa River including kayak trips, mountain biking, historical events, parks and oh, 80 million years ago there was a giant crater that crashed into a hillside and Wetumpka holds events surrounding this event.  Wetumpka has a newer casino but this is Alabama so there is only the slots to play.

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This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/or truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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