ROBINSON: Hobbs Que
212 South Robinson Dr.
Robinson, TX 76706
Open Tue-Sat 11-7
Update: This joint is CLOSED.
2012: A good navigator can come in handy when you're out in search of barbecue. I had an itinerary to follow, and I didn't even notice a smoker the size of a Volkswagen on the side of the road just south of Waco. Luckily my friend Rob was in the front seat and quickly told me to take a left. I pulled into the gravel lot where a shaved ice truck anchored one end while a metal building with a vinyl banner that read "Hobbs Que" sat on the other side of the lot. Wearing a black shirt, a white toque and a wide smile, owner and pitmaster Sylvester Hobbs stood just inside the sliding window waiting to take our order.
The popular pork was already gone for the day, so we settled for smoked chicken alongside the standard order of brisket and ribs. Sausage was from Slovacek's which is a fine sausage, but it could only be so different from the last fifty times I've eaten it. The chicken was a solid choice for good smoke flavor, but the meat had been cooked too long and the dry meat needed the sauce. The sauce is thin and homemade with a tomato base and good sweet flavor, but I wish Sylvester had at least left it off the brisket.
The beef was sliced thick but still fell apart when I tried to pick it up. It too had been overcooked and was likely steamed while tightly wrapped with foil, but the smokiness was bold. It was tough to get beyond the flavor of the sauce, but this was decent brisket. The sauce complemented the spare ribs better. A thick mahogany crust had developed on the ribs which were dryish with a pleasant chew. The heavy seasoning and good smoke made for some very good ribs, sauce or not. To cap off the meal we headed across the lot to get a dill pickle flavored shaved ice. The flavoring for it came directly from the pickle jars at Hobbs, and the combination was oddly refreshing. Next time I'll get the shaved ice first and drink it along with those ribs.