Eats Beat: Pork barbecue turns Hudson Oaks into Hog’s Heaven

Posted 10:26am on Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013

Alabama has moved closer to Fort Worth.

The only local Alabama-style pork barbecue restaurant, Hog’s Heaven BBQ, has fired up a new pit off Interstate 20 in Hudson Oaks after two years near the Weatherford square.

“A lot of our customers come from Aledo and Fort Worth, and they wanted an easier way here,” said Charles Huggins, a former Huntsville, Ala., high school baseball and football star.

Originally, Hog’s Heaven didn’t even serve brisket.

Huggins does now, slow-smoked with hickory for 12 hours like the pork ribs, and good enough to be featured in Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s new book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat.

“The first time everybody comes in, they say, ‘Give me the beef,’ and I offer them a taste of the pulled pork,” Huggins said.

“When they come back, they say, ‘Give me the pork.’”

The pulled pork is leaner than most, and served with either a traditional Southern sweet sauce or the cayenne-vinegar more familiar from North Carolina and Virginia.

The ribs are a special-ordered cut. They’re an inch thick.

Hog’s Heaven also has chicken with a special tangy, white Alabama-style chicken sauce. But to make sure, call and order a day ahead.

Huggins also bakes his grandmother’s pecan pie, dense with pecans.

He moved to Weatherford with his family and brother, a doctor, after running a Huntsville restaurant.

“My brother said, ‘Hey, they don’t have much pork barbecue here,’ so I followed him,” Huggins said.

He learned to slow-smoke barbecue from his father, he said: “And I also learned that to do it his way takes all night.”

Hog’s Heaven BBQ is open weekdays and Saturdays for lunch and dinner and Sundays for lunch at 3290 Fort Worth Highway (U.S. 180), Hudson Oaks, across from R&K Cafe and next to Ultimate Cupcake and Big Burger; 682-333-0745.

Alas, Pop’s is gone

It’s a dark day for DFW burger lovers.

Pop’s Burger and Grill will not reopen, owner Russell House said last week.

Pop’s, winner of the 2011 Burger Battle, moved up to the Westcliff neighborhood from Benbrook Highway, but then moved out of business when the expensive, out-of-the-way location proved less favorable than House had hoped.

He thought about reopening, but said last week that Pop’s is gone for good.

House earlier ran the Fairway Grill before teaming up with cook James Leffall, formerly of Tommy’s Hamburger Grill & Patio. At last report, Leffall was cooking on food trucks for gas rig workers.

Back on the south side

A 30-year favorite, Tony’s Pizza Pasta & Subs, has moved from Pantego back to Fort Worth.

Owner Tony Leland has reopened at 609 S. Jennings Ave., not far from his original Fort Worth restaurant on Hemphill Street.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat Get alerts at

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