The takeout menu notes that Charlie's is located between Pizza Hut and McDonald's. The astute observer might also realize that the exterior of the joint looks like an extant fast-food restaurant. And the truly brilliant eye will notice that Charlie's is a self-service, cafeteria-style place, where you kind of point to what you want and everything is plated for you by the worker behind the counter. So what does all this mean? Only that Charlie's is fast, not that it's fast food. In fact it's slow food, if you consider that the Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork loin have simmered for hours to get them to their juiciest and ripest. Or that the chicken and baby-back ribs have been basted repeatedly with a caramelized layer of Charlie's secret sauce. Add the homemade baked beans, pinto beans, and Spanish rice, and it's fairly obvious to even the most ignorant palate that good ol' Chuck knows how, better than anyone else, to do the Q.
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