Saturday, April 10, 2010

Omahoma Bob's BBQ

OHIO: Omahoma Bob's BBQ
128 S Market St
Wooster, OH 44691

Open Tue-Thur 11-7, F-Sat 11-8


When I was growing up, the closest you could get to BBQ in Wooster, Ohio were the riblets at Applebee's, so it was exciting to hear that an actual BBQ joint had opened up in this tiny town while I was away. Bob moved around through Texas and Oklahoma and places in between driving trucks all around the country until he settled down in Ohio after buying a meat market in my hometown of Wooster. After a while the meat market had run its course and he decided to open up an authentic BBQ joint. He had plenty of time for research while out on the road, and the profits of all that research shows in his brisket.

There's a load of other meats as well which can all be sampled on his six meat sampler plate. This includes slices of the aforementioned brisket, smoked hot wings, pulled pork, baby back ribs, sliced pork and smoked sausage. For a meat market guy, I expected much more from the sausage, but this was barely smoked sausage with a boring flavor profile and little snap in the casing. Ribs were thick with meat, but needed more time on the smoker to render the still tough fat and the tougher meat. The flavor was fine from the nice rub, but the smoke just wasn't there. Pulled pork had potential with a decent mixture of crust and moist, smokey meat, but it was mixed with far too much of the powerful Head Country sauce that's featured in house. Sliced pork was little better, but the moist slices needed more smoke and more seasoning.

The two offerings that stood out were the brisket and the nicely smoked wings. The wing sauce didn't overpower the smokey meat, and these wings were crispy and flavorful. Brisket was probably the best of the smoked meat items. Although all the fat had been trimmed from these thick slices, a nice crust and hefty smokering were left providing a deep smokey flavor. Of all that I've sampled, this was the best brisket available in Northeast Ohio. I just hope the people in Wooster realize what they have.

My nephew Gus thought the wings were pretty good.

An odd item on their menu were the hog wings. This was the only time I've seen these offered at a BBQ joint since I was at Cripple Creek BBQ in Athens, Texas. These were only offered with hot wing or BBQ sauce, so we went for BBQ'd. The meat was tender enough, but the flavor was completely dependent on the sauce. Bob mentioned that he was looking for a supplier that could get him fresh hog wings rather than frozen version he'd been making do with. Here's hoping.

My brother, David, eating hog wings, in preparation for the next days smoke feast.

After trying nearly all of the meats, it was evident that Bob is aiming for the right targets, but he's handcuffed himself with a Southern Pride smoker, but he states that he uses plenty of hickory wood during the smoking process. I just hope he keeps serving that tasty brisket and that the other meats start to catch up.

Rating ***

Omahoma Bob's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.