Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where to Eat: Bangin' BBQ @ Robin's

I have to give Los Angeles props when props are due. This city seriously has every type of ethnic cuisine ever imaginable: Brazilian, Peruvian, Lebanese, Spanish, Italian, French, French Japanese, Thai, Ethiopian, Tex-Mex, Southern soul food… You name the region, and there’s a restaurant somewhere in Los Angeles preparing that area’s specialty dish.

Yet on the flip side, finding good – and I mean really good – BBQ in this city is like trying to find a clear street to coast down during rush hour traffic at 8 a.m. I’ve searched high and low, left and right, north and south for satisfying, one-of-a-kind BBQ, but most has left me disappointed, disillusioned and grumpy. It’s been too smoky. Too tough. Not enough sauce. Bad after taste. I’ve resorted to stalking church picnics, 4th of July gatherings and summer cookouts to get my spare ribs from the folks – like Uncle Charlie – who know how to throw down on the grill.

Yet as fall quietly settles in, the thought of eating remarkable BBQ only in the summer troubles me. To go eight months without baby back ribs? I'm mortified. So imagine how I squealed with delight when I discovered Robin’s for the first time this past weekend.

Lying in the suburban outskirts of Los Angeles in Pasadena, within this eccentrically decorated diner is some of the best bone-suckin’ BBQ in town: baby back ribs, spare ribs, beef ribs, chicken, pork chops, tri-tip (pictured to the right) and combinations of all of the aforementioned. Each slab of hunky meat is slithered in just the right amount of BBQ sauce. There are four staple BBQ sauces - the Carolina Sweet Mustard, Memphis Red Vinegar, Robin’s Tangy Original and Smokin’ Spicy Mad Dog. I suggest asking for a side of all of the sauces to sample each and every one.

The meat itself is so tender and succulent that it just slides right off the bone. And, the portions are astronomically gigantic. One plate can easily feed like five people, especially when you add in Robin's signature blueberry cornbread with blueberry butter and blue cheese coleslaw (pictured to the left). They accompany each dish. You can also select a side, like the three-cheese mac’n’cheese that’s so thick and creamy that you can immediately feel your arteries begin clog with each bite.

I haven’t tried every item on the menu, otherwise I’d have to get a 10-year membership with Jenny Craig and go to boot camp five times a week. But, each selection on the menu looks irresistible, so with that said, I'll be back frequently. Hope to see you there soon!

For more information:
Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ & Grill

395 N. Rosemead Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91107


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