As I eat my way through North Texas BBQ joints (in my quest to find the best, most authentic Texas BBQ), I often get reader suggestions for places to check out. One of those, from a few weeks back, was Robinson’s Bar-B-Que on East Berry Street in Fort Worth. So, recently I headed out to the east side.
Robinson’s is a first-rate BBQ shack. It’s a simple metal-sided building with a drive-through, a tin roof covering some of the parking, a picnic table and a big steel barbecue pit hanging out of the back of the building like it had crashed into it.
This is what a BBQ joint should look like.
Inside are a couple of tables, wood paneling and an order window. There were new employees in training when I was there, and while this delayed my food a minute or two, it gave me an inside look into how the place serves customers. Care was given to how the ’cue was portioned out, and even how it was bagged and packaged. All you could ask for or want.
I ordered brisket, sausage and ribs for the meat, potato salad and coleslaw for sides. For dessert, sweet potato pie. Total tab: $17.25.
Let’s start with the sides. The potato salad was mustard-based and house-made (unlike most places). Really good. Coleslaw had a nice crunch to it, but was fairly standard. The pie was terrific, served in little individual disposable pans.
The sausage had a nice flavor but was a bit too chewy and perhaps a touch lean. It was better with the excellent house-made sauce, which was thick with a bit of spice.
The brisket had a nice smoke ring and good flavor, but it was also a little more chewy than I would have liked. Brisket is perfect right before it falls apart but after the collagen breaks down so it’s tender. That can be a hard mark to hit. Still, dipped in sauce, this brisket was better than most.
The ribs are where Robinson’s really shines; the pork ribs are meaty and flavorful. Next time, I’ll order a whole lot more of these pigsicles. The meat tore off the bone cleanly with each bite and needed no sauce whatsoever.
Robinson’s is an old-school ’cue shop run by people who care about the food they serve. It hit the mark on ribs, service and atmosphere, but the oh-so-essential brisket could have been better. It may not be the Holy Grail I’m looking for, but it’s a solid place to get your ’cue, and it’s right off Interstate 35.
So my quest continues. If you think you know where it is, let us know in the comments section on DFW.com.