Though charcoal drawing was once the dominant artistic medium in America, precious few masterworks survived the realization that those early portraits could be crumpled up and used to smoke delicious stacks of ribs. Honor forgotten artists with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of barbecue, sandwiches, and drinks at Robin's in Pasadena.
Smoke sultan Robin Salzer enraptures senses with his menu of American barbecue and homemade sauces dished out in a whimsically decorated dining space. In blanketing his four-ton smoker with apple and oak wood-chips, Robin appeases swine-centric palates with favorites such as the Carolina pork plate ($13.95) or the wood-fired smoked pork chop ($15.95). Slather one of four signature sauces onto meat racks of baby back ribs ($17.95+), spareribs ($13.95+), and beef ribs ($13.95+) or eschew meat for stylish swim caps while diving into plates of Louisiana barbecue shrimp ($18.95). Southern-inspired sweet treats, such as Mom's fruit cobbler ($3.95) or killer slabs of carrot cake ($5.75) cap off satiating meals, as diners pay homage to Q-master Salzer with a frothy toast of beer ($4+) or handshake of fresh lemonade ($3.25).
Salzer smokes meats using all-natural techniques, exiling gas, lighter fluid, and propane-toting robots from his culinary repertoire. Paint large plates of meat with flavors of sweet mustard or extra-spicy, red-vinegar, or traditional tangy barbecue, while lapping up the vibrant dining room's antique beverage signs, red-gingham tablecloths, and roadside-attraction relics.